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Chinese envoy urges parties in Somalia to put interests of country, people first

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-25 14:31

Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN [Photo/Foreign Ministry official website]

UNITED NATIONS - A Chinese envoy on Monday called on all parties in Somalia to prioritize the interests of the country and its people, and resolve differences through dialogue and consultation.

"The international community should adhere to the Somali-led and Somali-owned principle and avoid external pressure and interference or imposing any governance model," Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council briefing on Somalia.

The envoy highlighted the importance of advancing the political process in Somalia.

He welcomed the National Consultative Council meeting held by the federal government of Somalia with the federal member states government in May this year, where they discussed significant issues such as constitutional review and the electoral system.

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has made substantial efforts over the years to support Somalia in advancing political transition and security sector reform.

"China supports UNSOM in formulating as soon as possible a scientific and reasonable transition timetable that corresponds to the development of the situation and in accordance with the requirements of the Somali government," Dai said.

Addressing the security situation, Dai noted the challenges posed by recent terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu and other places, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

"The international community should continue to support Somalia in building up its security forces, carrying out counter-terrorism operations, and gradually taking over security responsibilities independently," he said.

Dai acknowledged the significant contributions of the African Union (AU) to peace and stability in Somalia. He mentioned the recent communique by the AU Peace and Security Council on the future arrangement of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and supported the Security Council in making appropriate adjustments to the drawdown plan of ATMIS.

The ambassador called for proactive exploration on how to continue providing support to Somalia to avoid a security vacuum and highlighted the funding shortages faced by ATMIS and follow-on arrangements.

"China hopes that the traditional developed country donors will respond to the Secretary-General's appeal and actively close the funding gap," he said.

Dai also underscored the importance of maintaining overall regional stability.

He pointed out that Somalia is a crucial country in the Horn of Africa, and peace and stability in Somalia and good neighborly relations among regional countries serve their interests.

"We have consistently advocated upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and supported the efforts of the federal government of Somalia to safeguard national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity," he said.

In support of regional stability, China introduced the initiative of peaceful development in the Horn of Africa in 2022.

"China is ready to work with the countries of the Horn of Africa to jointly make the Horn of Africa an area of peace and cooperation with development and prosperity," Dai said, referencing the senior officials meeting of the Second Horn of Africa Peace Conference held in Beijing on Monday.

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