15 May

AMISOM leaders endorse Somalia’s security responsibilities

Somalia has made an appeal to the African Union (AU) and United Nations, urging the international bodies to believe in the country’s ability to take over security responsibilities.

The United Nations directed the African Union peacekeeping force (AMISOM)to embark on a gradual withdrawal from Somalia, a decision that was approved by the AU’s peace and security council.

However, relentless attacks by the terror group Al Shabaab, coupled with corruption and infighting within military ranks has cast some doubts on whether the Somali National Army is ready to take over the role of securing the Horn of Africa nation.

The Ugandan commander of AMISOM recently warned against the negative consequences that a premature exit by the peacekeeping force might have on the stability of Somalia.

Speaking at a high-level meeting attended by the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and the United Nations, National Security Advisor Abdi Said Muse Ali asked that his country is not judged by its past, but rather decisions should be made based on current assessments and progress reports.

Ali added that the Federal Government of Somalia has the political will to take over the country’s security.

“The transition plan is a huge opportunity for the planning and security of Somalia. Somalia is grateful to our international partners for the strong support provided over the past years. But now, the situation is different,” Ali said.

Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, reiterated the mission’s commitment to Somalia’s desire to meet its own security needs.

“We need to build a country, and to build a country it means that Somalis need to take responsibility not just in military responsibilities but also the administration of the country.”

He added that the peacekeepers have been working on the withdrawal plan in many areas including rebuilding institutions and they are now ready to hand over to the Somali government.

The United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and the United Nations is in Mogadishu to hold meetings with various parties, and then report to the UN Security Council before a meeting to determine the mandate of AMISOM.

Source: http://www.africanews.com/2018/05/15/amisom-leaders-endorse-somalia-s-readiness-to-take-over-security/

10 May

Allow Madagascans to solve our disputes: opposition tells United Nations

The opposition in Madagascar on Monday said it was shunning a UN special envoy who is trying to broker an end to a political crisis ahead of a general election.

“Let the Madagascans speak to each other,” opposition member of parliament Hanitriniaina Razafimanantsoa told protesters gathering for the 17th straight day in the capital Antananarivo.

Since April 21, hundreds of opposition supporters have occupied the May 13 Square in the heart of the capital, seeking the resignation of President Hery Rajaonarimampianina before general elections seven months away.

“For the moment this is a crisis that must be discussed between Madagascans and resolved by Madagascans,” he said.

The country’s top court last week tossed out parts of controversial new electoral legislation that had sparked the protests which claimed at least two lives.

The opposition says the electoral laws are loaded in Rajaonarimampianina’s favour and accuses the government of trying to elbow them out of the race.

But the opposition has decided to continue the protests until the constitutional court decides on its recently-filed petition seeking the removal of the head of state.

Mediation effotrts to solve Madagascar political crisis. Abdoulaye Bathily, a special advisor of the UN Secretary General arrived in Madagascar on Sunday to try to renew dialogue between the opposition and the ruling party.

He held talks with president Rajaonarimampianina on Sunday. “The solution lies in the hands of the Madagascans, we just want to accompany them in this process,” said Bathily.

The opposition has, however, agreed to hold talks with the World Council of Churches in Madagascar, which has also offered to help find a way out of the crisis.

 

To read the full article, click here.

10 May

UN boss recommends more sanctions against South Sudan

South Sudan risks being slapped with fresh sanctions by the United Nations Security Council following a report by a top UN official, saying leaders in the country are still ‘bent on armed confrontation’.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN Under Secretary – General for peacekeeping operations told the security council that despite work done by the regional trading bloc, IGAD to facilitate an agreement on a permanent ceasefire, the ‘parties remain far apart on the issues’.

He also highlighted the scale of sexual violence and increasing cases of aggression against humanitarian agencies and their staff. “We must respond and respond quickly to ensure accountability for these violations and abuses and bring an end to these heinous acts once and for all,” stressed the senior UN official.

The Security Council was Tuesday discussing possible renewal of the mandate of the Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts on South Sudan to exert pressure on the warring factions to strike a peace deal.

In a brief statement posted on its official website, the council says a decision on imposing more sanctions would be reached after examining a new report on the situation.

The world’s youngest country, South Sudan, has spent much of the past seven years mired in conflict, riven by a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and his then former Vice-President Riek Machar that erupted into full-blown war late in 2013.

Kiir recently called on his exiled former deputy to return to the country, saying the government has now chosen the path of forgiveness.

The gesture is a rare ray of hope in a country where agreements and ceasefires have been severally violated by both the government and the rebel groups.

IGAD has also postponed talks to secure the implementation of the peace process, without giving any explanations or setting a new date for the process.

To read the full article, click here.