From the talks we had with Prime Minister Abdiweli in Oslo last week, we believe there is now a far greater commitment and determination by the Somali leaders to move towards a lasting peace. While they bear the prime responsibility, they will also need strong support and commitment by the international community.
We are now entering a critical turning point, not only for Somalia, but also for Somalia’s relationship with the international community. Together we may now have a real opportunity to bring Somalia out of the misery and the political chaos that has plagued the country for too long. If we are successful, it will be the start of a new and more hopeful life for the Somalia people, and a major step towards ending the threat of violence, terrorism and piracy, that affects both the region and the wider international community.
It is of vital importance that the international community seizes this opportunity to work together with the Somali leaders and the region, in their effort to ensure that this opportunity is not wasted. Norway has, in addition to the humanitarian and other assistance that we already provide, decided to contribute USD 2 mill to the new Stabilization Fund for Somalia. We shall also continue to support the process for establishing a new Somali constitution and electing the new Parliament. We strongly encourage both the members of the Council, and other countries, to use the opportunity we now have, to go that extra mile in supporting the efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia and the region.
The key Somali leaders have recently agreed that the transitional arrangements must come to an end in August this year. They have also outlined a Road Map for the process to establish more inclusive, accountable, and representative structures of governance, which has been further elaborated at subsequent meetings in Garowe.
This Somali lead process has the full backing of IGAD and the countries in the region. The High Level Conference on Somalia in London, less than 10 days ago, also stated that the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions must end in August.
The new momentum that we now see in the Somali situation has in large part been created by the military achievement of AMISOM, in pushing the militant extremists out of Mogadishu. For this, we should all give them credit. We therefore welcome the recent decision by the Council to expand support for this important African mission.
We must now ensure that the achievements in the military field are followed up by appropriate political – as well as other - measures in order to avoid a vacuum in the areas recovered from the militant.