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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia

(RW)- I. Introduction
The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 25 of Security Council resolution 2358 (2017) and paragraph 44 of resolution 2297 (2016).
It provides information on the implementation of those resolutions, including on the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and challenges faced by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) in carrying out its mandate. It covers major developments in Somalia during the period from 1 May to 22 August 2017.
II. Political and security overview
A. Political developments

The Federal Government of Somalia continued to capitalize on the opportunity created by the February 2017 election of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” as President and the subsequent formation of a new cabinet under the Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre. Encouraging steps were taken to strengthen relations with the federal member states. On 6 June, President Farmajo visited Kismaayo, where he promised to pay regular salaries to the Somali national army and Darawish forces in Jubaland. The Federal Cabinet plans to hold meetings in the regional capitals, the first of which took place in Kismaayo on 12 July.

The new Government continues to confront several challenges, including drought response and security. The new Government intends to remain on good terms with all its partners and is concerned that a crisis in the wider region might have far-reaching consequences on the stability of Somalia. It therefore opted to remain neutral in the Gulf crisis of June 2017.

In remarks on the fifty-seventh anniversaries of independence (26 June) and of unity between southern Somalia and “Somaliland” (1 July), President Farmajo expressed interest in resuming talks with “Somaliland”. The “Somaliland” Administration has called for a resumption of the stalled talks but rejected the call for unity.
On 18 May, the Speaker of the House of the People, Mohamed Osman Jawari, outlined the key priorities of the tenth Parliament, which included enactment of quality legislation, constitutional review, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Parliament resumed on 8 July for its second session, which is expected to last for eight weeks. During the session, it should enact critical legislation, including on the electoral law and anti-corruption. On 22 August, the Upper House of the Federal Parliament passed the law regulating telecommunications, following its passage in the House of the People on 9 August. This represents an important step towards establishing a new source of federal revenue.

Significant progress was made in kick-starting the next phase of the constitutional review process. A Joint Constitutional Review Parliamentary Committee was established in April and the Federal Minister of Constitutional Affairs held broad consultations with counterparts from federal member states and civil society on key issues. On 19 May, the Federal Minister of Constitutional Affairs presented a preliminary comprehensive master plan to the international community to complete the review within two years.

Significant work lies ahead to deepen federalism, including reaching a political agreement on the division of powers between the Federal Government and federal member states, the allocation of revenue and the management of natural resources, and defining the pending status of the Banadir region, in which Mogadishu is located.

Relations between the executive and legislative branches in some federal member states remain fraught with challenges. On 14 August, the HirShabelle State Assembly voted to remove the President of the HirShabelle Interim Administration, Ali Abdullahi Osoble, citing poor performance and lack of consultation with the Assembly. President Osoble insisted, however, that he remain President given that the vote was not carried out in accordance with the state constitution. On 28 May, the Jubaland Regional Assembly expelled two members who had accused the President of Jubaland, Sheikh Ahmed Islam “Madobe” of corruption, human rights abuses and suppression of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly. On 17 May, citing procedural grounds, the Speaker of the Puntland Regional Assembly rejected a proposal by the President of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas”, to enlarge the Assembly in response to demands from clans complaining about underrepresentation.

Reconciliation efforts in Galmudug have yielded mixed results. On 3 May, the Galmudug State Assembly elected Ahmed Duale Geele “Xaaf” as State President.
The attendance of the President of Puntland at the inauguration warmed rel ations between the two administrations, which resulted in some progress in the implementation of agreements to resolve the conflict in Gaalkacyo. Following failed negotiations in April between the Federal Government and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) on power-sharing in Galmudug, President Xaaf initiated informal contacts with ASWJ and various communities to prepare for reconciliation and unification between his administration and ASWJ in Dhuusamarreeb. However, formal negotiations have yet to start and inter-clan conflicts in Heraale, Galguduud region, could also potentially delay a final settlement.

In preparation for presidential elections scheduled for November 2017, the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2019 and House of Elders (guurti) elections scheduled for April 2020, the “Somaliland” National Electoral Commission concluded voter card distribution in the Awdal and Saahil regions in May. Another distribution phase commenced in the Togdheer and Maroodijeex regions on 8 July. Although President Farmajo officially complained about the Berbera port agreement between the “Somaliland” Administration and a company based in the United Arab Emirates, in April a high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates attended the Berbera port inauguration on 11 May.
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