New York(Mogadishu24)-In a comprehensive briefing to the United Nations Security Council, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, James Swan, provided an overview of the critical issues facing Somalia. The discussion, held in New York, focused on security, political developments, constitutional review, humanitarian concerns, and the future of the UN presence in Somalia.

Swan praised the bravery and sacrifices of Somali and African Union forces in combating Al-Shabaab, a group he condemned for its continued terrorist attacks on civilians.

“The protection of civilians must remain a key priority. We condemn these terrorist attacks and extend our condolences to the families of those killed,” said Swan.

He highlighted the drawdown of 5,000 ATMIS troops since June 2023 and the ongoing need for predictable and sustainable funding for Somali security forces and future security arrangements post-2024.

Swan commended Somalia for its progress, including its election to the UN Security Council for 2025-2026, and the Federal Government’s efforts in constitutional reform and electoral processes.

“Somalia’s Federal Parliament has adopted significant amendments to the Provisional Constitution, reaffirming the commitment to a one-person, one-vote electoral model,” he noted.

He also expressed concern about the Ethiopia and Somaliland Memorandum of Understanding, urging respect for Somalia’s sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes.

The humanitarian situation remains dire, with 6.9 million people in need of assistance despite a decrease from 8.3 million in 2023. Swan urged international partners to increase funding for the Somalia Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan, which requires $1.6 billion but is currently only 24% funded.

“Somalia‚Äôs humanitarian and development challenges are intensified by climate shocks, requiring investments in resilience and infrastructure,” he stressed.

Discussions are underway to transition from a special political mission to a UN Country Team structure, reflecting Somalia’s progress and growing self-reliance. Swan emphasized the need for a collaborative and orderly process.

“We are working to determine the modalities and timeline for this transition to ensure it aligns with Somalia’s priorities and needs,” he said.

Swan concluded by reaffirming the UN’s commitment to supporting Somalia in achieving its national priorities and addressing the complex challenges it faces.

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