Norway joins the Secretary General and other member states in strongly condemning the recent terrorist attacks carried out by extremist groups against AMISOM peacekeepers and innocent civilians, both in Mogadishu and Kampala.
In spite of the commendable efforts made by AMISOM - under extremely difficult circumstances - we have to face the fact that the situation in Mogadishu is still fragile. And the same may also be said about the TFG.
The threat posed by militant and extremist groups to other countries in the region underlines that what is happening in Somalia is also a serious threat to peace and security in the wider international community. It is therefore important for the Security Council to take appropriate action to boost the strength and the operational capability of AMISOM.
The main victims of the ongoing war of attrition in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia are of course the Somali people, who have been compelled to live under the most dire conditions for such a long time. As long as the present situation continues, there is little hope of any improvement, and those who are able to do so are fleeing from Mogadishu with their families. Norway is, together with other donors, seeking to provide humanitarian assistance, but access is often difficult.
As regards piracy, Mr President, Norway wishes to thank all the countries that are currently contributing to the naval capacities in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. At the same time, we note with concern that the prosecution of captured pirates remains insufficient and sporadic, despite our collective efforts.
Even if AMISOM should be significantly strengthened, a lasting solution to the conflict in Somalia can only be achieved by political means. Norway remains a strong supporter of the Djibouti process and the efforts to reach out and integrate those groups that are not yet party to the peace process. We believe this should be vigorously pursued. At the same time it is vital that the TFG gets its act together and shows a unity of purpose. The internal dispute over political positions is seriously undermining not only security, but also any efforts to achieve peace.
Norway will continue to support the Transitional Federal Institutions of Somalia, in particular the ongoing constitutional process. With only one more year left of the transitional period, time is now highly limited if we are to find a lasting solution in Somalia.