The UN top envoy for Somalia on Saturday said the international community will work closely with Mogadishu to help tackle daunting challenges facing the Horn of Africa nation.
Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, said many challenges loom for President Mohamed Farmajo, his government and the leadership of federal states over the next 12 months.
Keating said long-standing disputes over resources and boundaries continue to divide communities, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the twin ravages of drought and terrorism.
“The hurdles facing their nation will be overcome, and Somalia can count on the international community for its broad and steadfast support, now and in the future,” he said while congratulating Somalia on the 57th anniversary of independence.
Keating said agreements need to be reached through the constitutional review on fundamental issues like resource and revenue sharing.
“There will be differences and disputes, but these can be addressed if there is a collective commitment by the nation’s leadership to work together for the common good. This will also be the best basis for confronting Al-Shabaab and reducing levels of violence,” he said.
The envoy said the international community, led by the UN, stands ready to work closely with Somalia leadership and help it promote the state-building process and consolidate the peace and promote the development of the country.
“The UN and international partners are working closely with federal and state authorities to promote justice and human rights, step up humanitarian aid efforts, and develop more transparent and accountable institutions,” Keating said.
“The UN looks forward to working with all Somalis who share these goals in a spirit of goodwill, inclusivity and solidarity,” he added.
He lauded the government for the strong commitment to bring peace, stability, accountable institutions and economic growth to Somalia.
“I urge all leaders, whether in the public or private sectors, to work with them to deliver results. The more they do so, the more the international community can support Somalia,” Keating said.
He said the challenge ahead is how to translate the positive politics and the enormous potential of the country into tangible benefits for all Somalis, particularly the millions of women, men and children living in terrible poverty and deprivation.
The Somali president faces a formidable set of challenges in meeting the expectations of the Somali people for the new federal government to respond to the country’s worsening drought crisis and avert another famine.