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Somali president: We need support to achieve security

By Tajuddin
In Local News
Sep 26th, 2014
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo

New York ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Somalia is at a critical juncture in its efforts to achieve security and stability, the country’s President told the United Nations General Assembly calling for continued support to strengthen Somalia as a security and ideological “firewall.”

Addressing the 69th high-level debate of the UN General Assembly, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said that Somalia will meet the world’s aspirations for a better future, “We have a country that is beginning to unite as a nation, behind a vision that will see a federal and united Somalia in 2016.”

He noted that his Federal Government is taking concrete steps to engage all Somalis, including women and minority groups, in the political process of nation-building.

“Our success requires the support of our international partners, but most of all it demands the ownership and commitment of the Somali people,” he said.

The President’s address follows a high-level meeting on Somalia held earlier this week on the margins of the General Assembly’s opening high-level session.

In his address, the President also noted the humanitarian threat facing Somalia with around 3.2 million people in need of life-saving or livelihood saving aid.

A $933 million humanitarian appeal for the country remains “severely underfunded” with only 32 per cent of the amount received.

This situation must be addressed urgently,” said the president. “More than half a billion US dollars are still required for life-saving activities.”

Mohamud, who has led the Horn of Africa nation since 2012, cited progress in restoring peace and proclaimed his country is “not a Somalia of failure.”

“We may still be fragile, but we are no longer broken,” he said.

Supported by African Union troops, Somalia has succeeded in pushing back Shebab insurgents, driving the Al-Qaeda-linked fighters out of 70 percent of the south and central regions, he said.

US and Somali officials said earlier this month that airstrikes had killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the Shebab group in Somalia.

But Mohamud noted that Somalia’s geographical location as a gateway between the Gulf and Africa made it vulnerable to foreign extremist groups seeking haven or a base of operations.

“Al-Shebab must not be defeated only for other extremist groups, such as the ISIS militant group, to find fertile ground,” he warned.

The president was referring to Islamic State fighters who have overrun parts of Iraq and Syria, prompting the United States to launch airstrikes last month in a campaign to defeat the extremists.

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