Muqdisho-(P-today)-Excellencies Heads of States and Government, Honourable Minister’s and Ladies and Gentleman,
I am honoured and privileged to welcome you all to Somalia: Soo Dhawaada dhamaantiin.
Indeed, today is a truly historic day for Somalia, its resilient people and all our brotherly neighbours and valuable partners. To you all, I say Somalia and Somalis have turned a new leaf and we are writing a new chapter in our history. This chapter is characterized by hope, inclusive governance and development in all its forms.
Somalia is a proud founding member state of IGAD and it is therefore a source of enormous pride that we are finally hosting our first Head of States and Government’s Summit in Somalia. I am grateful to you all for your brotherly and extraordinary commitment and wholehearted support of Somalia and for this Summit. This not an important day just for Somalia but a memorable one for the entire people of the IGAD region for whom the restoration of peace, stability, progress and prosperity is a common agenda.
From the offset, I would like to thank H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey, the IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia for relentlessly contributing to peace and stability during his tenure. In the same breath, I would like to also recognize the great efforts of H.E. Ambassador Mahboub, our Executive Secretary, in contributing to Somali progress through his able leadership of IGAD.
Our gathering here today is a clear indication, that our common goals and partnership, values and dedication are strengthened and working for our common good. IGAD has and continues to play a critical role in supporting member States progress, including Somalia.
I am also proud to state that IGAD, in cooperation with the AU, UN and other international partners, has facilitated the deployment of AMISOM. The role of IGAD is visible and concretely imprinted in our State and peace building goals. From this, I can only say that Somalia is proud to be a member of this organization and is ready to continue playing an effective and visible role in the achievement of our overall regional goals.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Somalia faces a dual challenges of progressing development and reform initiatives in a complex environment. Somalia, with the support of its African brothers, is successfully fighting a war against international terrorism. I say international because no country is immune from terror today, whether it is Al-Shabab, Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram and others. Terrorism is an evil without purpose, geography and can only be defeated in partnership across all sectors internationally.
Over the past four years, the Somali National Army and AMISOM have regained key towns and cities. Today, Al Shabab controls less than 10 per cent of territory in the country. In recent months many of their key leaders have been killed, others have defected and their violent ideology is truly shunned by the Somali people. The Somali National Forces and AMISOM have proven that Al-Shabab is vulnerable, divided and can be defeated through coordinated military action.
To this end, it is my duty as a Head of State to say that Somalia and its people are indebted to the Somali Security services and their African brothers in AMISOM who made the ultimate sacrifice in saving and restoring peace and the stability in Somalia. They are all in our hearts and they will never be forgotten. The memory of their sacrifice will most certainly inspire progress and spur regional development and prosperity for the IGAD region, the African continent and the world.
Due to the success of the joint operations of Somali National Army and AMISOM, Al-Shabab has turned to small-team asymmetric warfare tactics to conduct higher impact terror attacks against various soft targets in Somalia and increasingly in the neighboring countries. In response, I would like to suggest that we have to develop common security and legislative policies that enable us to respond to this threats in unison and swiftly.
Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen,
Throughout the last four years of this government, the Somali People have seen the benefits of peace and state building as well as development. The Federal Government of Somalia, in consultation with the federal states, has adopted credible, transparent, and inclusive electoral mechanisms.
As we meet today, the different Electoral Commissions and the National Leadership Forum as well as the Somali People in general, are working relentlessly on the implementation of our electoral mechanism in line with the agreed timelines.
Let me underline to you that our aim is to ensure a smooth, peaceful, inclusive and enhanced electoral process for a peaceful democratic transition in November 2016 with no extension. This will constitute a first step towards the implementation of the 2020 political road map for One-Person One-Vote mechanism.
I am sure you all appreciate the difficulties of transitioning from conflict to inclusive governance and development. The Somali People and Government are attempting to make the kind of national transition which many countries have achieved in centuries and decades in just 4 years. Our task is enormous as it is historic and we are determined to succeed in achieving it.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In partnership and with great effort from all, especially the Somali People themselves, Somalia has turned the corner towards stability and progress. Today, shops are open, schools are full and our markets are busy with traders and customers.
Hope, confidence and progress is the new narrative for Somalia and its People. For us now, there is no turning back, only going forward together and in partnership with the region and the rest of the world.
Given that the agenda today also includes a discussion on the brotherly state of South Sudan, I would like to reiterate our continued support for the political process and to highlight what a privilege it is that this key issue is been discussed Somalia which has vast experience in this area. At the right time I will deliver an intervention on behalf of my Government on South Sudan.