I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Armenia, align themselves with this statement.
The main challenge facing the Somali government and the international community is to maintain the political momentum that started a few months ago. That momentum is now being sabotaged by hard line insurgents, who deliberately seek to undermine a political solution by targeting the Transitional Federal Institutions and the Djibouti peace process. The European Union strongly condemns the recent killings of the minister of security, the police chief in Mogadishu, a member of parliament and the attacks against civilians in south and central Somalia.
The European Union calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities to avoid further civilian casualties and deplores the humanitarian consequences of recent attacks. Some 200.000 people have been forced to leave Mogadishu in recent weeks, adding to the one million previously displaced. We urge all parties to abide by international humanitarian law, respect human rights and to protect the civilian population.
The EU welcomes the efforts of the African Union to bring urgent attention to the situation in Somalia and to consider options for reversing the trends of recent months. We take due note of the message of the African Union in Sirte in this regard. The EU strongly calls on all states to respect the UN arms embargo.
Stabilization of the security environment is vital for building state institutions, for providing necessary humanitarian assistance, and for resuming a path to development and political reconciliation. Once the security situation improves in Mogadishu and beyond, the Transitional Federal Government must resume its efforts to complete the Transitional Federal Charter. We stress our support for the Transitional Federal Government under the leadership of president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and welcome his efforts to consolidate the political process through a broad and inclusive dialogue.
The EU expresses its appreciation to the AU and AMISOM troop-contributing countries for their efforts at stabilizing the situation in Mogadishu. The capabilities of AMISOM need further strengthening. So far, the EU has committed a total of 40 million Euro in addition to bilateral contributions from its member states. Additional support is under consideration.
The international conference on security in Somalia, held in Brussels on 22-23 April, expressed unanimous support for AMISOM and the efforts of the Transitional Federal Government to build an inclusive and accountable national capacity in the security sector.
The considerable pledges made by the EU at the Brussels conference underline the importance we attach to this endeavour.
There is now an urgent need to follow up. The pledges made by the international community must be implemented swiftly. The security sector should be committed to the rule of law, respect for human rights, and the principle of good governance.
Enhancing the capacity of the Somali security and police forces is vital to the stability of Somalia and to the state-building effort as such. Training is an essential element. The EU is studying the option of providing assistance to this end, in addition to various bilateral activities and initiatives.
We also recall our contributions to the international fight against piracy off the coasts of Somalia through the ATALANTA operation. Legal measures must also be taken to prevent impunity for pirates in Somalia and in the region.
The Djibouti process remains our best hope for peace in Somalia. Intensified and urgent efforts are now needed to save this process from dissolving. We urge all parties in Somalia to join this effort. We also reiterate our support for the International Contact Group under the leadership of UN Special Representative Ahmedou Ould Abdallah.
In parallel to addressing the current crisis, we must seek enhanced international co-ordination and a more comprehensive long-term strategy for supporting Somalia. Such a an approach should link security and development into a coherent state-building effort. It should be based on Somali ownership and take into account the needs of the entire Somali territory.
For its part, the European Union will consider options for enhanced engagement – including training, capacity building and regional cooperation – ahead of the EU Ministerial meeting later this month. The EU stands ready to continue to support Somalia and its people.
Thank you Mr. President.