Is Somalia Ready to Embrace Peace?
Somalia Transition Federal Government (TFG) has been urged to develop a road map for allocating funds through the Somali National budget, for the payment of salaries for Somali Security forces.
This comes as the TFG government plans to have 10,000 police officers and a fully furnished military headquarters in place by 2011. This was disclosed over the weekend, following a Joint Security Committee (JSC) meeting held at the UN complex in Gigiri, Nairobi to oversee the installation of National Security forces in Somalia
The Committee meeting which was jointly chaired by the Somali Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, and the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga, agreed on the need for the TFG to move quickly to update and adopt the National Security and Stabilization Plan, which will see the revised target of Somalia Police force (SPF) of 7,000 civilian police officers trained under the international community umbrella and integrated into the Stipends Payroll List by the end of 2010.
In the strictly media briefing attended by Somali Prime Minister Sharmake and Mr. Mahiga, and issued in a communiqué to AfrobeatRadio, through its East Africa correspondent, Abdulaziz Billow; the communiqué stated:
Article 15 pointed out that the Committee reaffirmed its commitment to the protection of civilians and in this regard emphasized:
- All civilians need to be protected – and atrocities of the insurgents against civilians need to be exposed.
- The need to provide protection to civilians including vulnerable groups as part of maintaining law and order by the police.
- The need to avoid casualties of civilians caught in the conflict through the provision of appropriate training, information gathering, appropriate operational equipment and application of the relevant rules of engagement in conformity with international law.
- Facilitate humanitarian access and safety of humanitarian workers.
JSC plans to revert the situation by Including in the Stipends Payroll List all trained police officers as a way of boosting their moral, for the period June-December 2010. USD 5.4 million would be needed to accomplish this. The international community has been urged to provide additional funding to sustain the process.
The stated target for 2011 is 10,000 civilian police. The UNPOS will start training 500 Somali Police Force (SPF) in Djibouti as a matter of urgency. In a Joint communiqué released after the meeting the proposed date to starting training the police officers will be 23 August 2010 at Lafoole and Labantin which will be conducted by UNDP and AMISOM.
The communique affirms that the TFG policy not recruit or use child soldiers. The joint security committee plans to work with the international community to establish processes to prevent the recruitment of children (under the age of 18) by all groups; by setting up a task force to ensure the timely implementation of the recommendations of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
However, TFG government has been challenged to ensure it provides alternative livelihoods and education for Somalia youths so that they cannot be lured into joining the Al-Shabab militia.
With plans to bring sanity in Somalia under review, the problem seem far from over since amongst the 925 SPF trained with German funding in Ethiopia, some absconded duty and joined militia groups because they were not paid by the TFG.
In conclusion, the Committee commended the Transitional Federal Government and United Nations’ Political Office for Somalia for organizing the meeting and for having detailed and result-oriented outcomes. The Committee also undertook to meet more regularly, with the support of better technical preparations.