Somalia’s problems need comprehensive solutions.

Halkaan ka akhri

April 27, 2009: The increased piracy off Somalia’s waters highlights the inter-connected nature of the challenges of our age.

Unattended problems rise and reverberate in various corners of the globe.

They spill into the seas. We are now witnessing lawlessness and insecurity, state collapse, the crisis of refugees; the economic and ecological crisis; and, of course, piracy.  All have an impact beyond borders.  All are linked.

After all, piracy is not a water-borne disease. It is a symptom of anarchy and insecurity on the ground.  Dealing with it requires an integrated strategy that addresses the fundamental issue of lawlessness in Somalia.

That is why we need to get beyond the headlines and write a new chapter for Somalia’s future.  

Despite the obstacles we know well, there is hope in the Horn of Africa. Somalia is at a crossroads.  

The UN-sponsored Djibouti peace process has produced a broad-based government. That government is taking the hard road to peace.

As a result, the Somali people have the best chance in a generation to end their suffering and move toward a better and more stable future.

We must push open this window of opportunity. Somalia needs support in key areas.

First to establish the Transitional Federal Government’s authority throughout the country;

Second, to rebuild state institutions; Third to address the humanitarian emergency; and to facilitate economic recovery.

This will not happen overnight.  

Today we take a vital step by helping the new leadership meet the first responsibility of any government: keeping its people safe and secure. Our support is therefore designed first and foremost to enhance the security of Somalia.  

It is based on two pillars: strengthening Somalia’s security institutions, and supporting AMISOM’s ability to help the country.

First and most critically, the development of Somali security institutions: With the assistance of international partners, the Government has begun the process of building the National Security Force and the Somali Police Service.

The Somali government has presented a specific and credible action plan for the next three months.

We should encourage them and help them succeed.

At the same time, the Government must establish solid procedures to ensure that these forces are inclusive, and that they protect civilians and respect human rights and the rule of law.

The only lasting solution for security in Somalia is one that is owned by the Somalis.

But above all, it will be an investment – a vital investment at a crucial time to nurture a fragile process and secure a long troubled part of the world.

Ban Ki Moon is the UN Secretary -General.

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