The UN Security Council is expected to debate a resolution on Somalia early next week.
Many humanitarian agencies are watching developments at the United Nations, because recent fighting and insecurity have restricted their operations in Somalia.
Greg Puley is a policy adviser for Oxfam International. From New York, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about what the UN resolution should address.
“The humanitarian situation in southern Somalia is very, very worrisome for us and the humanitarian community broadly. People have been displaced by the fighting. There’s a chronic livelihood crisis there linked to drought and flooding. And the recent sealing of the Kenyan border has also created a very big problem for us in getting humanitarian relief and personnel to people who need it. So we want the Security Council to focus the international community’s attention on this problem,” he says.
Puley says that this must also include the cooperation of the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopian forces in Somalia.
Humanitarian aid has been limited in recent months. “The humanitarian relief effort is restricted by insecurity. There’s ongoing fighting, the US and Ethiopian aerial attacks. There’s banditism (sic). There are resurfaced militias. It’s very, very difficult for us, particularly in the lower Juba region, in the Middle Juba region and in the Gedo region, to get assistance to people who need it,” he says.
As for a security force in Somalia, the OXFAM policy adviser says, “We support the idea of a broad-based African force. From our view, the most important thing is that any international security presence needs to be in parallel with a political process that will be broad and inclusive to give Somalia the kind of…representational government that it’s lacked in the past.”