Al-Shabaab continues to pose serious threat in Somalia: UN envoy
The Al-Shabaab militant group continues to pose a serious threat to peace and security in Somalia, said Anita Kiki Gbeho, officer-in-charge of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.
United Nations: The Al-Shabaab militant group continues to pose a serious threat to peace and security in Somalia, said Anita Kiki Gbeho, officer-in-charge of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.
The year 2022 was the deadliest for civilians in the country since 2017, with a 60 per cent increase in civilian casualties as compared with 2021, she told the UN Security Council in a briefing on Wednesday.
Over the past few months, the Somali federal government has made progress in countering this threat by targeting Al-Shabaab’s military and financial operations and ideological narrative. The Somalia security forces, reinforced by the use of local militias, have conducted successful operations against Al-Shabaab in Hirshabelle and Galmudug states. Operations are expected to gradually move into other areas of Somalia, she added.
“Consolidating gains in the newly recovered areas will require strong linkages between military operations and stabilisation initiatives, comprised of reconciliation and justice components and aimed at bolstering good governance and service delivery,” said Gbeho.
In parallel, the government continues efforts toward generating forces to gradually assume security responsibilities in line with the Somali transition plan. However, funding for the security transition remains a critical challenge, she added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.
With five consecutive poor rainy seasons, the current drought is unprecedented in Somalia. Humanitarian needs continue to steadily rise, with about 8.3 million people, nearly half of Somalia’s estimated population, requiring assistance and protection in 2023, Gbeho said.
Thanks to generous donor support, government efforts and local community initiatives, humanitarian organisations scaled up response and reached 7.3 million people in 2022, she added.
While famine has been prevented for now, famine remains a threat if the April-June rains underperform as forecast, and humanitarian assistance is not sustained, she warned.
Gbeho called on donors to stand with Somalia at this difficult time by responding to the newly launched 2023 humanitarian response plan that seeks $2.6 billion to meet the priority needs of 7.6 million Somalis.
The UN stands ready to support Somalia in implementing its vision of a secure, stable and peaceful nation, she said.