Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Somalia News Update: TFG Opposes Civil Society Meeting In Turkey; IDPs Need Assistance


Press Releases

Somalia: TFG Constitution Minister disapprove Istanbul Pre-Conference

May 28, 2012 - 3:19:50 PM


The Ministry of Constitution, Federalism and Reconciliation wishes to express its grave concern on the selection of the civil society groups for the Somali Istanbul Pre-Conference.

As already highlighted by many parts of the Somali Society, including key signatories of the Road Map, the selection process lacks transparency, and may inadvertently impact the progress made thus far on the End of Transition processes.

A quick glance at the invitee list shows that the civil society members are not inclusive and exclude mainstream civil society groups.

Furthermore, politically motivated members of the parliament and politicians were amongst the so called civil society groups that went to Istanbul.

The Minister of Constitution, Federalism and Reconciliation H.E. Abdurahman Hosh Jibril said "We register our displeasure that an unrepresentative self-selected group within the pre-conference attendees have hijacked and thus politicized an integral part of the process, a fact which could potentially undermine the integrity and the spirit of all of the agreements and principles agreed to by all stakeholders in the last 9 months, including the recent Addis Ababa Communique."

The Minister welcomed an urgent and timely resolve to the concerns of the Somali people by working closely with the Turkish government in ensuring the success of this Pre-Conference and the Istanbul Conference II.

The Ministry acknowledges the full commitment of the government and the people of Somalia to the fruitful results of the recent Addis Ababa Meeting and reminds all of our international partners of the importance of unity of purpose on ending the transition.

We call for the continued and unreserved support for the Roadmap process, Mogadishu Consultative Conference, Mogadishu Civil Society Meeting, the Garowe 1 and 2 Agreements, the Galkayo Agreement, the on-going Traditional Leaders' conference and the Addis Ababa Communique. The Transitional Federal Government relies on the brotherly and friendly countries of Somalia, inter alia the Turkish Government, to support the implementation of the sustainable state-building process for peace.

The Minister further added that we are looking forward for an urgent review of our concerns in order to put the process on its right track. I must remind all that at this critical juncture, the Somali government and its international partners ought to show a unity of purpose so that we can end the transition as expeditiously as outlined under the Roadmap agreements.

The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia expresses gratitude for the developmental and humanitarian role played by Turkey and for its continued support for the people of Somalia.

Equally, the Transitional Federal Government is deeply appreciative of the good intentions of the Turkish government in convening and facilitating the Istanbul Conference to rally the support of the international community for Somalia's future.

Somalia: UNHCR Ready to Assist Newly Displaced in Mogadishu

29 May 2012 Comment
press release

In Somalia, UNHCR and our partners stand ready to assist displaced people from Afgooye as they arrive in Mogadishu. Since 22 May, some 14,000 people have been displaced from Afgooye as a result of military activity in the area which started a week ago.

The humanitarian community has a contingency plan for 20,000 households (120,000 people) in place but so far just over 10,000 people have reached Mogadishu. As was the situation during the previous wave of displacement from Afgooye in February, the first to move were often people with financial means to hire or rent transport and therefore may not be among the most vulnerable in need of humanitarian assistance. The remainder of the displaced has arrived in Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba.

However, those people now on the move are using whatever transport they can afford and is available, namely donkey carts, mini buses, lorries and trucks, in order to get to Mogadishu. There are reports that heightened security checks on the way into Mogadishu are posing difficulties for these internally displaced people.

Further reports from our staff and partners on the ground indicate that those who have reached Mogadishu are staying among host communities with relatives and clan members. Some are arriving in the more established IDP settlements where services are already being provided. UNHCR and partners are ready to deliver shelter and other emergency assistance items (plastic sheeting, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and jerricans) to the IDPs.

The movement of people has slowed down since its peak on 23 May when almost 5,000 displacements were recorded. Over 3,500 displacements were reported the following day and almost 2,500 on the 25th and a further 2,000 on the 26th. The road into Mogadishu remains open and we anticipate that movement will continue into the Somali capital as people seek out humanitarian assistance, but not to the same extent as witnessed last week.

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 29 May 2012, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

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