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President of Somalia Hassan Sh. High-level Partnership Forum‏

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Opening Speech – His Excellency Hassan Sh. Mohamud High-level Partnership Forum – Mogadishu Tuesday 8 December, 10am

Presidents of Regional Administrations, Mr Nicholas Kay, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia, Excellences, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia, it is my pleasure to welcome you today to Mogadishu for the High Level Partnership Forum.

I acknowledge the United Nations in their role as Co-Chair and offer my appreciation for its continued commitment to Somalia.
It is usual at these meetings to focus very positively on the progress made over the past six months.

However, I don’t think we can gather today and discuss the future of Somalia without acknowledging what has occurred in the north of Somalia between Puntland and Galmadug over the past two weeks.

Firstly, let me acknowledge the excellent mediation work of the Prime Minister over the past two weeks. He has protected the interests of the nation in refusing to accept any deal but peace. I am grateful for him responding to my request to act as the Government’s envoy in this situation and salute his tireless diplomacy.

But let me also be very clear. I am terribly disturbed at the outbreak of fighting in Galkacyo. Somalia cannot afford this and we will not tolerate it.
We will not descend in to the chaos of the past.

As I have repeatedly said, Somalis have had enough of war. We want peace. And we want it now. We need peace. We deserve peace.

Without solid, nation-wide peace, our development ambitions cannot be fulfilled. Without peace, we introduce another generation of children to crisis. Without peace, we cannot rightfully take our place of influence in the region, nor in the world. Conflict and crisis distracts us from the business of pursuing what is right and good for Somalia.

I have said already, and I will say it again: this cannot happen again. There will be no impunity for instigators or participants of such shameful events. Today, we stand united in calling for an immediate and permanent cessation of hostility.

I convey my appreciation to both President Abdirahman Gas and President Abdikarim Guled for resolving this issue. I urge them to maintain peace in their regions. Furthermore I commend the role of President Sharif Hassan an President Abdikarim Islam and their relentless support for maintaining peace.

This week regional leaders will meet to discuss information gathered through the national consultation forums, I urge all leaders to commit to a full and frank dialogue to arrive at a positive outcome. The good of Somalia must be our guiding aim.

As we move closer and closer to the 2016 electoral process, Somalis and the international community alike must protect the stability of Somalia. The next few weeks are critical.

In contrast to the past two weeks, I was delighted to see the intense debate which took place peacefully and collegially in the electoral process consultation forums that were held around Somalia in November.

I am very proud of the work accomplished in support of these forums- undertaken by the Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs, the technical team, the Taskforce and the National Consultation Forum.

There was a distinct buzz around the forums: positive and future-focussed. It is clear that people want to be involved and want to have their say. It was welcome proof that Somalis have a strong appetite for self-determination in the interest of democracy.

Of course, the hard work of reaching a decision that provides a workable 2016 electoral process must now begin. The support of the international community for a peaceful, inclusive and clear resolution will be invaluable over the next few weeks.

We remain committed to the timeline of reaching a decision by the end of 2015, and sharing a detailed plan to support the process at the HLPF Istanbul in February 2016.

I’m sure the Minister of Interior will provide a more detailed update during the course of today.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a very full agenda today. I just want to touch briefly on a couple of other topics.
The last six months have been packed with progress. This progress is manifesting in many sectors.

I draw attention to significant practical progress in the security sector, with troop integration, and also in the setting up an electronic payment process, along with a realistic serviceable budget for troop payment, and accompanied by biometric registrations.

We are moving ahead with articulating a national security architecture, having undertaken to ensure this is firmed up before HLPF Istanbul. We have also been able to number more than 500 weapons in the government’s stores, signalling our seriousness to ensure that we are fulfilling obligations laid out by the UN Security Council.

AMISOM and the SNA have been able to push forward in several key areas, securing several important towns. What will be critical now is to ensure a coordinated process of stabilisation for those towns, so that Somalis feel and see the benefits of liberation.
I welcome the Ministry of Interior’s excellent work in developing the Wadajir Framework, which articulates the process for, and elements of, developing a joined-up approach to building local governance across Somalia. This is the first wholly government-led programmatic initiative focussed on local governance and I recommend it to the international community.

I believe the Ministry is about to start a process of consultation, and look forward to seeing it adopted as the working framework for reconciliation, civic dialogues, peace dividend processes and local government formation.

I am also pleased to once again point to impressive progress on the financial governance front.

Last year Somalia went through its first “health check” undertaken by the International Monetary Fund, or the IMF, for more than 25 years. We are very proud that the IMF pointed out the “country has made significant progress.”

The IMF also noted the improvement in Somalia’s economic condition, which is reported to have “improved significantly”, achieving growth of 3.7% in 2014. As the IMF report notes, “If the security improvements continue, the entrepreneurial private sector will continue to be the most dynamic contributor to economic growth.” We have worked very hard to improve our financial and economic position.

The Central Bank has worked hard to improve core transaction processes so that money is able to flow through to Ministries in support of their activities and staff.

Considerable progress has been made in strengthening our budget execution controls, with the Somali Financial Management Information System now live.

We have set up the mechanisms that allow us to start oversight systems such as the Financial Governance Committee so that we can be confident that funds, contracts and procurement processes are being set up in a way that ensures transparency of process and results.

The Minister of Finance will speak to this later today.

A critical area of Somalia’s economic recovery will be infrastructure development. We must create a conducive environment for this investment. I would like to emphasize here a very important phenomenon. The FGS and international community have focused very much on the security sector, it is and should be a priority area.

We must start to address other issues. We must continue on security but we need to add another sector. We all know that in the population of Somalia, the population is very young.

This young generation needs a life. They are dependent on violence as a way of life, whether that is legitimate or illegitimate. Thee largest employer in the government is the Somalia armed forces: army, police, security forces. These people are employed to use legitimate violence as a means of stabilisation. Our regional forces employ a lot of people.

These are legitimate employments means. But these sectors cannot employ all Somali youth. There are very many unemployed people so they use violence as a way of life: illegal checkpoints, joining al-Shabaab, becoming pirates. Not because they believe this ideology, but because they need to survive.

We here today are fully responsible for providing an alternative way of life for these people: the government and the donor community together. We need labour intensive programs that can employ as many young people as possible. We need to provide an alternative way of life for these young people who are using the gun as a way of life. Infrastructure is therefore very important for stabilisation – not just for economic recovery.

Three years ago I launched a program called CONSTRUCT YOUR COUNTRY (DALKAAGA DHISO), because I am a firm believer that the Somali private sector must actively participate in the reconstruction of Somalia. And the Somali private sector is rising to the challenge. Yesterday I opened the Somali Fuel Company.

This Company is owned solely by Somali private investors, representing all regions of Somalia. The Somali private sector invested $20 million dollars and will greatly improve the efficiency of refuelling ships. We owe the private sector peace and stability so that their investments can be protected and grow.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in closing, let me focus on the purpose of today’s meeting. Of course, we meet to discuss progress and challenges, but we also meet to ensure that we are on track to meet key obligations due by HLPF Istanbul in February 2016, insha’Allah.

The first on the agenda, that I have already mentioned is to communicate the agreed 2016 electoral process.
The other item of extreme importance that we will discuss in Istanbul and which requires substantive input over the next few weeks is the shape of the post-2016 aid modality.

In 2012 we adopted the New Deal Compact. I am very pleased that Somalia is consistently viewed as being a New Deal success story. The going has not always been easy and both the government and the international community have had much to learn from each other.

By HLPF Istanbul, we have committed to articulating the process by which we will make a decision about post-2016 development aid structures and also the guiding principles that will help us make this decision.

This work is being guided by the Aid Coordination Unit, supported by a Compact Review Task Force and will be informed by the 2015 progress report, an independent assessment of the Compact and its outcomes, processes and principles, and numerous discussions between the government and international community.

I ask that we work hard together to consider how Somalia might be best served by development and aid assistance in the future. We recognise the ongoing support of the international community in helping return peace, stability and prosperity to Somalia.

We look forward to the next few months and commit to the hard work necessary to make them productive in the interests of all Somalis.

This is the final HLPF for our SRSG. Let me thank Nick Kay for his faithful and committed service to the people of Somalia. He has worked tirelessly for the last 2 and a half years to ensure a cohesive and productive relationship between the international community and the Somali government and public. We are indebted to his enthusiasm, energy and clear-sightedness.

We thank his family too, for their generosity in allowing him so much time away from important milestones and events. As Somalis, we know first hand how difficult separation can be for families and we thank them for allowing us so much of his time.
May I ask for a round of applause in recognition of his service, please (stand up and applaud).

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President Mohamud Asks Int´l Partners To Help Somalia Avert Looming Famine & Defeat Scourge Of Al-Shabaab.

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Waxaa Qoray

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud delivered his inaugural speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, September 22.

In his speech, the head of state said despite efforts to move past decades of drought and conflict, Somalia is facing some of the most complex crises in the world, urging international partners to help the nation avert a looming famine and defeat the scourge of terrorism.

“In Somalia, we are working tirelessly to transition from over two decades of devastating conflict, drought, famine and developmental stagnation to a new age of stability, progress and prosperity. However, despite our continuing efforts, Somalia and its resilient people are facing some of the most complex and interconnected crises in the world,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told the annual General Debate.

The crises, he added, included ongoing regional drought, which directly threaten the lives and livelihoods of Somali’s most vulnerable communities.

In a new report issued just yesterday, the UN warned that hundreds of thousands in Somalia are already facing starvation with staggering levels of malnutrition expected among children under five. This is the third time in 10 years that Somalia has been threatened with a devastating famine.

The President called on Somalia’s partners to do everything possible to help avert a looming famine, which also threatens the wider Horn of Africa region.

“We urge all our partners to heed our call and work with us to provide immediate support and relief to the most affected communities.

“In the long term, we must collectively work together to ensure that we mitigate the acceleration of the dangerous and costly climate crisis by meeting the commitment to invest in and adequately finance climate adaptation in the most affected and vulnerable regions of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa,” he added.

He cited key areas of investment, including sustainable water management, biodiversity protection, enhanced food security, climate-smart agriculture, resilient infrastructure and investment in renewable energy.;

Somalia has for the first time established a new ministry of environment and climate change to lead the process of urgently addressing the devastating impact of environmental degradation.

“We know that climate change is real, and we are living with the evidence of its painful and destructive reality today. We also know that Somalia, and the rest of the world, cannot develop sustainably without the global climate crisis being jointly addressed quickly and effectively.”

Towards eliminating terrorism

President Mohamud cited that Somali people organically raised up to support their government in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

At the same time, Somalia is tackling the “persistent and complex challenge” of terrorism, which he said both contributes to and exacerbates all other crises, including food insecurity, the displacement of people from their homes and climate change.

He noted that in addition to the efforts carried out by the Somali Federal Government, the Somali people have begun to rise up to defeat the evils of terror, helping to retake villages and towns in recent months.

“We are now confident that with enhanced public support our Government will eliminate terrorism from Somalia.”

He added that the Somali Government will continue to work with all its partners, including the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, in the fight against global terrorism.

“We are fully committed to doing the heavy lifting to secure our future.”

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Somali Government signs UPEACE Charter, opening new opportunities for Somalis

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Waxaa Qoray

The UN University for peace marked another historical achievement following the signing of the instrument of accession by Somali President Dr Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The move means that the Somali Government has officially endorsed the UPEACE Charter and is expected to implement it.

Reacting to the news, the University’s country representative Dr Mohamed Osman said the decision by the president is a welcome news.

“This is highly welcome news, and it puts the university’s Somalia branch at the same level with the rest of the countries that have signed the charter,” said Dr Mohamed

“The students will also benefit from various scholarships offered by the institution”, added Dr Mohamed.

From Right: Upeace Somalia Country representative Dr Mohamed Osman, Somalia’s President H.E  Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, UPEACE Regional Director Programme, Professor Samuel Kale Ewusi,  , and Chief of Staff Office of The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Dr. Hussein Sheikh

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (centre), having a light moment with Dr Juan Carlos, Global Dean of Upeace. With him is Chief of Staff Office of The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Dr. Hussein Sheikh Mohamud

Somalia’s President Dr Hassan Sheikh Mohamed signed the instrument of accession while attending the 77th UN General Assembly, making Somalia the 42nd country to sign the charter, which was born out of UN General Assembly Resolution 35/55 of 5th December 1980 which established the University for Peace with Headquarters in Costa Rica and Regional Programmes in Africa (Ethiopia), Europe (Netherlands) Asia (China), South East Asia (Philippines), and in South America (Honduras).

A map showing Upeace Regional Offices

A few years ago, the University was welcomed in Somalia after it started offering its courses. Before that, Somali students used to travel to Costa Rica and to the neighbouring country, Ethiopia, where the University has its Africa Regional campus for the continent.

“The signing of the UPEACE Charter by the president is yet another huge step for the university and we hope it opens doors for expansion in Somalia and for many students to enroll into the courses offered by the university” said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, UPEACE Somalia Country Director.

Dr Juan Carlos, Global Dean of Upeace (center) posing a picture with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Ambassador Narinder Kakar, Permanent Observer of the University for Peace to the United Nations at the 77th UN General Assembly.

The establishment of the university in Costa Rica, a country in Central America, played a pivotal role in establishing the first base for the University. In Africa, the University established its Africa Regional Programme in  2002 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which opened doors to thousands of African students keen on pursuing courses related to peace, security and development.

Many of the graduates are now using the knowledge gained to build peace and help support their communities. In August 2018, Upeace established its first campus in Mogadishu, Somalia University’s first batch of students for Master’s and PhD Programs.

UPEACE will be organizing its next graduation ceremony in Somalia at the end of October 2022 with more than a hundred Masters and at least 10 doctoral students expected to receive their Degrees.

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Somaliland Head To Polls For Councillors And MPs On May 31, 2021 Last updated May 31, 2021

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Waxaa Qoray

Voters in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland are heading to the polls on May, 31 to choose their member of parliament for the first time since 2005.

Somaliland broke off from mainland Somalia after the regime of Siad Barre in 1991.

The 5.2 Million citizens of Somaliland will be making yet another stab at global recognition as some 1.3 million voters head to the polls to choose 82 members of parliament and 247 local councils.

An election whose measure of democracy Somaliland hopes to use in its quest to certify its sovereignty.

Somaliland’s three political parties in the polls are opposition politicians Faisal Warabe’s UCID, Wadani led by another opposition leader Abdirahman Erye and President Muse Bihi Kulmiye party.

The elections is observed by over a hundred international observers including Uganda’s former opposition leader, Kizza Besigye and ex-president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Korma.

”Our visit to the headquarters of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission left us with a good impression about the Commission’s preparedness to conduct peaceful and credible elections,” said in a Twitter post.

The elections are taking place in six regions of Somaliland, namely Awdal, Sahil, Marodi-Jeeh, Toghdeer, Sanaag and Sool.

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