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Somaliland: UNSG António Guterres Submits First Report on Somalia

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Praises Somalia for remaining impartial in the Gulf Crisis while welcoming Somaliland presidential elections in November
Then UNHCR chief António Guterres meets Somali refugees at Dadaab camp in Kenya May 2015. B.LoyseauUNHCR

By : Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- While the new Somalia Government continues to confront several challenges, including drought response and security, it intends to remain on good terms with all its partners and is concerned that a crisis in the wider region might have far-reaching consequences on the stability of Somalia. It therefore opted to remain neutral in the Gulf crisis of June 2017.
As for relations with Somaliland , in remarks made on the fifty-seventh anniversaries of independence (26 June) and of unity between southern Somalia and “Somaliland” (1 July), President Farmajo expressed interest in resuming talks with “Somaliland”. The “Somaliland” Administration has called for a resumption of the stalled talks but rejected the call for unity.
This is according to a Report of the Secretary-General submitted to the UNSC which covers major developments in Somalia during the period from 1 May to 22 August 2017.
On the Somaliland democratization process the report reads “In preparation for presidential elections scheduled for November 2017, the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2019 and House of Elders (guurti) elections scheduled for April 2020, the “Somaliland” National Electoral Commission concluded voter card distribution in the Awdal and Saahil regions in May. Another distribution phase commenced in the Togdheer and Maroodijeex regions on 8 July. Although President Farmajo officially complained about the Berbera port agreement between the “Somaliland” Administration and a company based in the United Arab Emirates, in April a high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates attended the Berbera port inauguration on 11 May”
In his first report on Somalia the UN Secretary General António Guterres, observed that

Since assuming office, the Federal Government has shown a strong commitment to take on the vast challenges facing Somalia. At the Conference on Somalia, held in London on 11 May, I personally observed this commitment as well as the continued resolve of the international community to support Somalia. I commend the leadership of President “Farmajo”, Prime Minister Kheyre and the federal member state leaders in that regard and urge all Somalis to work together to translate the renewed momentum into genuine and sustainable progress.
UNSG António Guterres says drought effects continue to plague Somalis 1. Welcomed the security pact agreed in London between Somalia and its partners to develop a viable Somali security sector at the federal and state levels based on the national security architecture. The primary responsibility for security lies with the Somali authorities and institutions.
2. Building on the outcomes of the London Conference, the Federal Government and the Federal Parliament have taken important steps to advance the review of the provisional constitution, the cornerstone of a full-fledged federal Somalia. There is no time to lose for Somalis to address the difficult questions on the division of powers, revenues and resources between the federal and state governments. Regional actors, civil society and minority groups should be able to meaningfully engage in these discussions. A constitution that serves all segments of Somali society will require consensus-building, dialogue and reconciliation at all levels, including through the active participation of women. An electoral legislative framework and agreement on the electoral model are now also needed. And
3. Welcomes ongoing preparations by the “Somaliland” Administration to hold long overdue presidential elections on 13 November 2017. The repeated delays in the holding of the elections have raised serious concerns and eroded the credibility of the democratization process in “Somaliland”. I urge the authorities to ensure that there are no further delays in the holding of the presidential and the parliamentary elections.

In conclusion the UNSG says “I pay tribute to my Special Representative, Michael Keating; my two Deputy Special Representatives and the staff of UNSOM; the Head of UNSOS and his staff; and the staff of the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes engaged in Somalia for their continued hard work under challenging conditions”
The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 25 of Security Council resolution 2358 (2017) and paragraph 44 of resolution 2297 (2016). It provides information on the implementation of those resolutions, including on the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and challenges faced by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) in carrying out its mandate. It covers major developments in Somalia during the period from 1 May to 22 August 2017.

UNSG António Guterres Praises Somalia for remaining impartial in the Gulf Crisis while welcoming Somaliland presidential elections in November Read full Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (S/2017/751)

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