IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsMahiga: Somali Famine a Tragedy, But Also an Opportunity

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mahiga: Somali Famine a Tragedy, But Also an Opportunity

Speaking on September 20th in the latest in the series of SRSG meetings at IPI, Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, noted that the country had been without a government and in a state of continuing conflict for nearly 20 years, but said there were three recent developments there that made him optimistic about the future.

“The first one is there is a new opportunity of a more inclusive political process which is unfolding in a manner that has never unfolded before,” he said.

“The second,” he said, “is that the security situation in Mogadishu and Somalia is better today than it has ever been in the past 21 years.”

“The third is an irony,” he said.

“The famine is a tragedy, but the famine has given us an opportunity that feeds positively on the political process and on the security situation; first of all, because it refocuses attention on Somalia. As you said, there is not much attention. Secondly, because the famine has contributed to the weakness of the Al-Shabaab, that helps on the area of security.”

With this improvement and the recent withdrawal of the Al-Shabaab insurgents from large parts of the capital, Mr. Mahiga said that the UN was able to establish more and more of a presence in Mogadishu, though it still had to operate out of Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya.

“But to monitor what is happening, there is still a problem, “he added. “Access is conditional; security is tenuous. And this is where our biggest challenge is.”

Moderating the discussion was IPI Senior Adviser John Hirsch.

 Read transcript

Listen to Global Observatory interview with Augustine Mahiga >>

Watch video of event:



more coverage of the event from Media Beat>>

The Global Observatory

Oil Rich but Lacking Institutions, Libya Struggles to Build a State: Q&A with Dr. Younes Abouyoub
With violence on the rise, Libya's road to democracy and statehood needs stronger institutions, better political dialogue, and a stronger UN mandate.

Key Global Events to Watch in August
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.

August 05, 2014
Accra Meeting Examines Effective Governance in Challenging Environments
Despite undeniable progress, the continuous peace and security reverses witnessed across Africa illustrate the persistent gap that exists between aspirational good governance norms and principles and their actual implementation.

July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.

View More