Report of the UN SG on the situation in Somalia (S/2008/709)

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I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the statement of the President of the Security Council of 31 October 2001 (S/PRST/2001/30) in which the Council requested me to submit quarterly reports on the situation in Somalia. The report covers developments since my last report dated 16 July 2008 (S/2008/466) and focuses, in particular, on the internal political developments and the ongoing efforts to implement the Djibouti agreement reached between the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia. The report includes relevant information on peacebuilding efforts, an update on the security, humanitarian and human rights situation, as well as operational activities of United Nations agencies and programmes in Somalia. It also provides details on the status of contingency planning for the possible deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation, as well as an update on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1816 (2008) on piracy and armed robbery, as requested in paragraph 13 of that resolution.

II. Main developments in Somalia

A. Political developments

2. Since my last report, there have been a number of significant political developments in Somalia. Key among them, was the decision by Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein to dismiss the Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Benadir Region, Mohammed Dheere, on 29 July on charges of mismanagement of public funds. Following the dismissal of Mr. Dheere, 10 Cabinet members allied to President Abdullahi Yusuf resigned on 2 August in protest. President Yusuf subsequently reinstated the Mayor which exacerbated tensions within the Government. The Prime Minister in turn, nominated five new ministers and a deputy minister on 3 August to replace those who had resigned.

3. In a bid to break the deadlock, the leadership of the Transitional Federal Government - the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament - met in Addis Ababa on 25 August, where they reached an agreement under the auspices of the Ethiopian Government. The Addis Ababa agreement provides for the reconstitution of the Benadir regional administration within 15 days of signing the agreement; the proper collection and administration of revenue; capacity-building for the Ministry of Finance, customs, airport and seaport administrations, and the redeployment of Ethiopian troops outside the capital following the reconstitution of the Benadir regional administration.

4. On 27 August, Prime Minister Hussein announced to Parliament that a 12-member committee would be established to work on the reform of the Benadir regional administration as provided for in the Addis Ababa agreement signed on 25 August. The motion of "no confidence" tabled on 25 August in Parliament against the Prime Minister was defeated on 1 September by a vote of 191 members out of the 200 members present.

5. While the Addis Ababa agreement appears to have eased tensions within the Executive, members of the Transitional Federal Parliament voted against the reinstatement of the cabinet members who had resigned on 6 September. Consequently, the Speaker formed a Committee of Parliament to examine the issue. The Committee reported to Parliament, upholding its earlier decision not to reinstate the ministers who had resigned. Parliament endorsed the Committee's recommendation on 24 September.