My tour of duty comes to an end next week. On the day that I arrived in Mogadishu in January 2016, I was taken straight to the President’s office to discuss a threat by federal member states’ to suspend cooperation with the central government.
When I left Mogadishu two days ago, the country faced a similar situation.
The structural problems that shape Somali politics and security have not changed. But this should not obscure some remarkable achievements in the last three years.
Mogadishu – The top United Nations official for Somalia has encouraged the country’s authorities to proceed quickly with the ratification of a treaty safe-guarding and promoting the rights of people with disabilities.
Currently, Somalia has no national or legal policy framework regarding people with disabilities, however, the federal government recently announced that it would sign the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
"Somalia's enormous potential will not be realised unless there is stability."
That was the key message of the United Nations envoy to Somalia at a gathering of leaders from the country’s Federal Member States.
Held in the southern port city of Kismayo, the meeting of the Council of Inter-state Cooperation (CIC) brought together the presidents of Puntland, HirShabelle, Galmudug and South West states, as well as Jubaland, of which Kismayo is the capital.
Baidoa, 19 August 2018 – Speaking in regional Somalia today, the top United Nations official for gender equality and women’s empowerment highlighted efforts made at the national and local levels towards greater representation of women in political structures and processes, and encouraged further progress in this area.
“I am here to strengthen our collaboration with the Federal Government of Somalia and wish them well in their very difficult but promising journey of reconstructing their country,” said the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Mogadishu, 19 August 2018 – As the international community marked the World Humanitarian Day today, a senior United Nations official warned of the grave threats faced by aid workers in Somalia, where they continue to be targets of armed groups which often abduct and detain them and steal desperately needed relief supplies.
On August 12, as people from all over the world celebrated International Youth Day, hundreds of Somali youths took to the streets to take action and improve their communities in a clear demonstration of their relevance to peace and development in the country.
Somalia: Respect for human rights vital for future elections - UN report
GENEVA / MOGADISHU – A UN report has urged Somalia to build on the significant gains made in its peace process in the last five years and take steps to ensure future elections are not marred by the human rights violations and abuses committed during the 2016-2017 electoral process.
Mogadishu - A joint IGAD-UNSOM mission visited Garowe, Puntland, and Hargeisa, Somaliland, from 28 to 30 July 2018, to take forward ongoing efforts to find a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Tukaraq area of Sool region.
Baidoa, Dhumuusareb, Garowe, Jowhar, Kismayo – In especially-convened consultations in cities around Somalia this week, Somali women gathered to discuss enhancing their role in the country’s peace and reconciliation process and to strengthen the fight against violent extremism which is impacting ongoing peace efforts.
Gaalkayo – Leaders, community members and police from North and South Gaalkayo have come together this week for a week-long discussion to establish a community forum and joint police community action plans – key steps in furthering peace-building progress in the region.
Garowe – The top United Nations official for Somalia today called for greater involvement of women in dealing with the country’s challenges on various fronts, including its efforts to bring about peace and stability.
Somalia’s civil war wrenched the country in many ways.
Families were torn apart, the rule of law faded away, government institutions collapsed, and education came to a standstill, to name but a few of the setbacks the country faced because of the violence.
In the ensuing decades after the war’s end, the area of education slowly regained some structure as the authorities – aware of its importance for the country’s long-term development – tried to get it back on track.
Mustaf Yusuf Ibrahim’s experiences as a migrant seeking a better life abroad differ little from those of so many others – hunger, fear, mistreatment and abuse.
At the age of 17, he and two friends left Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, where they saw no future for themselves.
“I had lost all hope in life and I could not pay for my education. I wanted to be a bread-winner for my family but things were difficult. It is what pushed me to make that risky journey to Saudi Arabia,” says the 23-year-old.
In a city plagued with emergencies, it takes a unique combination of courage, determination and compassion to respond to a crisis call in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
Despite the city’s volatility, groups of volunteer workers walk the streets and alleys of Mogadishu day and night, ready to respond to calls for help amid life-threatening emergencies.
Mogadishu, 7 June 2018 - The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo concluded a day-long visit to Somalia today, her first field trip since her appointment to the position one month ago.
Ms. DiCarlo’s visit to Somalia is part of a regional tour of three countries in the East Africa.
Mogadishu, 30 May 2018 – Following several months of confinement in detention centres in Libya, 150 Somali migrants returned voluntarily to their home country today with transportation organized by the United Nations migration agency.
“I cannot find the right words to explain the anguish I went through in Libya. It was a difficult situation and I was held in detention for a long time,” said Mahad Abdullahi Hassan, soon after the transport plane landed at the airport in Somali’s capital of Mogadishu.
29 May 2018 – Following a visit to a community in ‘Somaliland’ affected by Cyclone Sagar, the United Nations has pledged close to $3 million to help people affected by the unprecedented storm which delivered a full year's worth of rain in just a few days, compounding damage caused by recent severe flooding.
Somalia’s international partners are gravely concerned over the latest armed clashes taking place today near the Tukaraq area of the Sool region between Puntland and ‘Somaliland,’ and are urgently calling for an immediate ceasefire.
According to reports, heavy fighting broke out earlier this morning between Puntland and ‘Somaliland’ forces, reportedly with the use of heavy weaponry.
Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo – With cyclones bearing down on Somalia, causing flooding and upheaval throughout various parts of the country this past week, it seemed natural for much of daily life to come to a halt.
That was not the case for more than 27,000 students from 120 secondary schools across most of the country’s southern half.
The students braved the adverse conditions to undertake one of the most important steps in their education and overall futures: the government-administered Unified National Examinations.
Mogadishu, 20 May 18 – The humanitarian branches of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the United Nations today launched an appeal for $80 million to provide immediate help for people affected by recent flooding in the country’s centre and south – resulting from the heaviest rainfall experienced in Somalia in more than three decades.