Statement by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, at the London conference on Somalia, 23 February 2012, London

Honourable Chairperson and Prime Minister,
Honourable Heads of State,
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
Honourable Ministers,
Representatives of International Organisations
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to express at the outset South Africa’s appreciation to the Government of the United Kingdom for hosting an international Conference of this magnitude on Somalia, a country that has not known peace and stability for a period of more than two decades.

This gathering reaffirms our determination as members of the international community to support Somalia in its quest for a well deserved peace.

We acknowledge and welcome representatives of Somali entities present at this conference, and salute their respective efforts towards finding lasting peace in their country.

Chairperson, South Africa sincerely hopes that this gathering will lend support to the processes that are already in place in Somalia. We hope that the meeting will give renewed impetus to what the TFG and Somali people - supported by IGAD, the AU and the UN - are striving to achieve in Somalia.

The adoption of the Kampala Accord and September 2011 Roadmap as well as the outcomes of Garowe I and Garowe II meetings, including efforts geared towards the completion of the constitution building process, are all strong indicators of the determination of the Somali people to reach peace amongst themselves.

South Africa shares the view that the 20 August 2012 deadline set as the expiry date for the Transitional Federal Institutions should be met, and that we should continue to work towards the realisation of this objective and beyond.

We acknowledge the role and contribution of IGAD and its member countries to the resolution of the Somali crisis. We pay tribute to their nationals who lost their lives in the struggle for peace in Somalia.

We are pleased that the AU Peace and Security Council remains seized with the Somali situation.

South Africa commends the UN Security Council for steps taken so far towards lasting peace and stability in Somalia.

Chairperson, the South African Government has in its own humble way responded to the humanitarian crisis confronting Somalia by contributing US$ 1.1 million.

South African also provided logistical support in transporting 18 tons of essential food and anti-malaria medication to Mogadishu on 16 August 2011. This last consignment brings the total to 112 tons of assistance delivered to Somalia by South Africa in a two week period.

South Africa participated at the AU Pledging Conference in Addis Ababa on 25 August 2011, where it pledged an amount of US$ 280.000 to a dedicated AU fund for Somali humanitarian assistance.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), at its Summit of last August, pledged humanitarian assistance to Somalia, and South Africa is providing transportation for this consignment.

As South Africa, we are in the process of finalising further assistance to Somalia for, among others, the provision of social services, health facilities, school infrastructure, and small business development.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, South Africa stands ready to play its part in supporting all efforts that can help bring lasting peace, security and stability to Somalia. We hope that this meeting will not be a single-day event, but instead the beginning of a process that will continue and support the ongoing international efforts until a peaceful and prosperous Somalia is realised.

I thank you.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa