Kismayo – I am very pleased to visit Kismayo but have mixed emotions. I share with the people of Jubaland a terrible sense of loss in the aftermath of the terrorist attack of 12 July. On behalf of the UN team in Somalia, I present my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the attack, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.
There is no political or ideological justification for such atrocities. The United Nations stands with the people of Jubaland as they deal with this terrible tragedy.
I also share with the people of Jubaland the determination not to let a despicable act of terrorism derail the progress that Jubaland has made towards reconciliation and political stability, as a Federal Member State of Somalia.
My trip to Kismayo today represents my second visit to a Federal Member State since I arrived a few weeks ago as Special Representative of the Secretary-General. I am grateful to President Ahmed Mohamed Islam ‘Madobe’ and his administration for their kind welcome to me and my delegation. I also had the opportunity to meet the Chairman of the Jubaland Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission and a delegation of Parliamentarians from Jubaland.
President Madobe and I discussed a range of issues regarding security, economic development, and governance in Jubaland. We had a frank exchange on plans for the Jubaland Federal Member State to select new members of parliament and indirectly elect the president. I underscored the strong views of key international partners that this process must take place without violence, on time, and without interference, and that it follow a fair and transparent process broadly acceptable to all. Such a process would enhance prospects for peace, stability, and economic development in Jubaland, and in the region.
The UN family continues its engagement in Jubaland, despite a fluid security situation. Twelve UN missions, agencies, funds and programmes support efforts to respond to the population’s humanitarian needs, improve livelihoods through economic development, help facilitate reconciliation, strengthen institutional capacity, advance security, the rule of law and human rights. As a sign of the continued UN commitment to Jubaland, I am accompanied today by the Acting Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Takeshi Moriyama, and the Head of Office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Justin Brady. These and other UN agencies implement a wide range of programmes to benefit the Jubaland population.
Mr. President, thank you again for your warm welcome and for our constructive meeting. I look forward to a close collaboration with the people and leaders of Jubaland during my tenure.