17 April 2017 – The United Nations and other members of the international community today commended Somalia’s Federal Government and the Federal Member States for agreeing to form a National Security Council, as well as decisions taken on priorities such as fighting corruption and drought response.

These decisions follow two days of consultations held in the capital, Mogadishu, led by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and other senior officials.

“This agreement marks a major milestone for Somalia. It is a cornerstone of the federal state building process and is a basis upon which strengthened security can be built,” said Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Somalia, referring to the creation of a National Security Council.

President Farmajo will head the National Security Council, whose members will include regional leaders.

Mr. Keating, who is also the head of the UN political mission in Somalia (UNSOM), said that the international community is committed to supporting the Government’s priorities.

He made the statement on behalf of the UN, noting that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), Italy, Ethiopia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States all express their support for the outcome of the consultations.

The political leaders also agreed to aid drought-stricken Somalia avert a potential famine. About half of the Somali population is in need of assistance, including 330,000 children.

Also today, the UN reported that an explosion occurred near Mogadishu, potentially targeting a convoy from the World Food Programme (WFP). At the time of the incident, the convoy was returning from an area outside of Mogadishu to provide life-saving emergency food to people impacted by the drought.

A UN spokesperson told journalists in New York that the occupants of the vehicles – including WFP staff and a visiting journalist – were “all safe, although two private security guards escorting the team were wounded.”