News / Africa

UN Chief: Somalia Needs Urgent Attention

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)

The U.N. Secretary-General is warning that the situation in Somalia requires urgent attention. Ban Ki-moon told the U.N. Security Council Thursday that recent military gains made by the Transitional Federal Government with support from African Union troops are "fragile" and that the humanitarian situation is "dire."

Mr. Ban told the 15-member council that if the international community acts now it can consolidate recent gains made by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and set Somalia, which has suffered from two decades of violence and lawlessness, on a more promising course.

"We must help them sustain these gains in order to restore security and deliver basic services, humanitarian aid and support for recovery and reconstruction. Such improvements for the people of Somalia and the thousands of internally displaced persons in zones controlled by the TFG are critical to sustaining the hard-fought military gains," he said.

Dozens of peacekeepers from the force known as AMISOM have died in recent fighting with Al-Shabab militants. But the Secretary-General said AMISOM and TFG forces have succeeded in opening new fronts in southern Somalia and taken control of major towns previously held by the insurgents.

Mr. Ban said the 8,000-strong AMISOM force could be more effective, if it were better equipped, and he urged the international community to step up its funding and contributions.

AMISOM is mandated to have as many as 12,000 soldiers, and the secretary-general, as well as Security Council members and the prime minister of Somalia, called for the additional 4,000 troops requested last year to be deployed as soon as possible.

Mr. Ban also expressed his concern about the threat of piracy along the Somalia coast, calling it a "grave and growing menace." Last month, four Americans were killed by their pirate captors, and a Danish family is currently among the dozens of hostages being held separately by the pirate gangs that operate off the country’s coast.

The secretary-general also said the unfolding drought is another area of concern. The U.N. refugee agency reports some 50,000 persons have been displaced by the drought during the past two months, and that number could grow if April rains fail.

Somalia’s prime minister, Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, said his transitional government, which will end in August, is working hard to improve security, enhance reconciliation, complete the transitional process - including drafting a constitution - address the humanitarian crisis and promote good governance.

He appealed to the international community for medical and food assistance to help Somalis displaced by the violence and drought. A U.N. humanitarian appeal of $529 million for Somalia is only a quarter funded.

For its part, the Security Council adopted a statement stressing the need for a comprehensive strategy to encourage peace and stability. The council expressed its concern over the worsening humanitarian situation, condemned terrorism and piracy, and encouraged the swift deployment of the mandated 4,000 additional AMISOM troops to Somalia.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs