tv Future of Somalia CSPAN April 27, 2014 2:20am-4:01am EDT
on the newasy pass jersey turnpike. it takes the form of sensors that are all around us. andainly, surveillance cameras that select data and then send it somewhere else. it is are all part of the internet of things. it is the embedding of computers into our real world. >> the deputy editor of the futurist magazine, patrick tucker, on a world that anticipates your every move, tonight at 10:00 eastern and sunday night at 9:00. and join in the
discussion at book tv.org. and live, sunday, may 4, look for our next in-depth guest, former gang member turned author and poet. includes the following. this weekend on c-span two. >> somalia will hold elections in september 2016. after his remarks, the ambassador takes questions from the audience on somalia's relationship with its neighboring countries, the influence of the african union, and humanitarian efforts in the region. the discussion is about an hour and 40 minutes.
>> welcome to the united states institute for peace. i am johnnie carson, senior adviser at usip, and i will serve as this morning's moderator for our program on somalia. i am also extraordinarily pleased to be able to introduce our guest this morning, ambassador nicholas kay, who is the head of the united nations assistance mission in somalia, and also the un secretary general's special representative for that country. somalia is undergoing a slow and steady political and security transformation.
for most of the past two and a half decades, somalia has been used and held up as a classic example of a failed state. a country without a functioning government, economy, or security apparatus. a lawless country, incapable of protecting its people, its borders, or its natural resources, and a country that has generated problems for its regional neighbors and also for the international community. a mere five years ago, at the beginning of 2009, the situation in somalia appeared to be at its lowest point, and many observers had clearly written it off. ethiopian troops who have been
fighting against extremists have been driven out of the country. the transitional federal government, at the time led by president on dell yusef ahmad, was in chaos. he was about to step down. and a group called al-shabaab, a radical element of the islamic courts union, was spreading its rule across the country, including the capital, mogadishu. they had control of probably less than one square mile of the city in and around villa somalia. but the past five years have seen an enormous amount of change and enormous amount of progress. today, the transitional federal government is no longer there. the former president, hassan sheikh, stepped down.
there is a new provisional constitution, a new president, new prime minister, and tremendous and growing international support. on the military side, led by uganda, but also including troops from martinique, kenya, and as far away as sierra leone. we have seen al-shabaab pushed out of mogadishu and many of the major towns and cities in south-central. at the same time, we have seen a sharp decrease in the level of piracy off the coast of somalia in the red sea. there has been change, and somalia looks different from the way it did five years ago, 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. today, we have with us the
person who is most responsible for the conduct of the united nations' operations on the ground in somalia today, ambassador nick kay. ambassador kay has a distinguished diplomatic background, a former british ambassador to the sudan, and also later to the democratic republic of the congo. i can think of no better person to be conducting the business of the u.n. and the international community than ambassador kay. experienced, wise, and knows how to operate in very tough political and security environments.
in my last position at the department of state, nick and i were colleagues. we talked on a weekly basis, and sometimes, on a daily basis. we have traveled across central africa together doing difficult lifting on the drc, rwanda, uganda, and other places. so it is a great honor for me to be able to ask ambassador kay, a good friend, to talk about how he sees the current situation in somalia, and whether the slow,
steady progress that i mentioned is, in fact, real, or is it a mirage? where is it today, where do we expected to be the next year and the year after? it is my pleasure to invite ambassador kay to make some remarks. >> thank you very much, indeed, johnnie, for those kind words, and thank you to usip for inviting me. it is great to be in this magnificent building. a great pleasure to see so many of you here continuing the
strong interest in somalia. i also see in the audience several familiar faces as well. some of whom have served with me in somalia in the missions, or visited recently. i'd like to technology a former british ambassador. suzanne is in the audience as well. allen is a former colleague. i feel i am amongst friends, so i will speak frankly and freely, deeply conscious that this is also being webcast. and that my job probably hangs on the line. [laughter] >> i'm not going to speak from a script, although i have an extreme a good grip prepared by my team in the united nations, but i would just elaborate a few comments off-the-cuff, as it were. very much look forward to opening questions and discussions. i am always here and traveling, listening as much to speak, because there is a lot of collective knowledge and wisdom
in the room, which would be rash of me to leave today without having fully exploited. so i look forward to that part of the meeting. the title that i think i was given is great, because i did not have to think of it, but a very good title. somalia, progress and peril? i'm not sure, but sort of which captures what johnnie was saying in his opening comments. i have spent a lot of my time having to field the question, how is it going with somalia, are you optimistic? all of those rather difficult questions. it is a difficult set of questions because -- i could stop now. essentially there is progress,
and that progress is in peril. both of the above are true. there is not an either or option. september 2012, johnnie and i were both doing our respective jobs in our foreign ministries, supposedly overseeing lots of sub-saharan african business. we were all related -- i think we were all elated -- i think there is no doubt about that -- at the end of the transition in september 2012. the selection of hassan sheikh, not a former warlord, someone who came with good credentials. it really felt like the dawn of a new age. hopes were very high. i imagine, unrealistically high. now, 18 months later, the fact that those high hopes are now
tinged with harsh realism, it is only normal and natural. i do not think we should be particularly surprised. the going is tough the last 18 months. the federal government coincided with the end of the u.n. mission, the beginning of our mission in june. i have traveled a little bit of the road with hassan sheikh mohamud, and i can attest it is pretty tough going. what is tough about it, really comes as no supplies. -- as no surprise. we are more or less in the same boat as the international community and the federal government. we are faced with the same sets of challenges.
at the top of the list probably is security. this is a challenge. al-shabaab is a determined, ruthless enemy with a lot of intent and quite a lot of capability, and they use it against the federal government and against the united nations, and anybody from the international community who is there to help.
very nondiscriminating. i do not discriminate between humanitarians and political missions, they do not discriminate between nationalities. the turks are very high on their list of targets as well as western non-muslim countries as well. so we are all in the same boat, facing those challenges, an enemy that is determined to derail international support and assistance for somalia. and determined to destabilize the government of somalia. so we share that challenge with the federal government, they find it very difficult to move around mogadishu. they find it difficult to move outside of mogadishu. we as the international community find it. we all travel in these wretched armored vehicles with pickups full of guys with kalashnikovs to protect us. we are very much in the same boat there. we also face the same challenge of the week or 30 well nonexistent institutions, as johnnie said, the prototype of every failed state in the world, i think, somalia was. the phrase was coined to describe somalia. 24 years of nonfunctioning
states, nonexistent institutions on the whole. state presents, control, even in mogadishu, let alone around the rest of the country, very weak as well, but that presented a challenge to the international community. lack of capacity, human capacity, very, very weak within the ministries, institutions in mogadishu. two or three good people at the top of every ministry and then nothing but made it really, on beneath it, really, on the whole. that is the challenge for a government wanting to deliver an ambitious program of jobs, health, education to their people. it is a problem for international partners trying to help them to do that. poverty. lack of resources. and that is a challenge that faces us as internationals, faces the country as well. it is often easy to forget just how poor somalia is. economic figures are very shaky in terms of reliability, but one
that always sticks in my mind is this is a government trying to run a country nearly the size of afghanistan, 9 million people, huge needs in terms of education, infrastructure, everything, and how much money does it get from its own resources to do that? it survives entirely off the revenue from the ports in mogadishu, and in a good month, the government gets $10 million a month from that. that has gone up. it used to be about $5 million 12 months ago. economic indicators are sort of positive, but that is the only money the government has to run itself. i am sure most department stores on the corner of any washington street here have a higher revenue than the federal government of somalia.
so, are there problems that we share and face together? corruption, no doubt about it. again, in the absence of a functioning state institutions last 22 years, in great competition for resources and survival, then yes, corruption has been endemic, and it is still there in the system as well. it is a problem that the federal government faces trying to root it out, and we as internationals, face that challenge, too. and then, clans, factionalism, huge, partisan political structures which, again, have built up in the absence of states, functioning institutions, lack of a democratic system, people have had to rely on clans much more
in the past 20 years. again, that face a challenge for the federal government, and for us. lots of challenges. what i find, in a way, slightly remarkable, why were we so hopeful in september 2012? why was there this great bubble of optimism? all we have done now is put on our realism hat -- why did we ever think there would be no corruption after september 2012? why did we think there would be no clan feuding and fighting after september 2012? why did we think they would suddenly have a government and administration that could deliver services and benefits? why on earth did we think it was suddenly going to be like that? i think we were perhaps going
through collective euphoria or we were all making the wrong stuff. smoking the wrong stuff. i don't know. >> we are where we are. we see a series of challenging conditions in the country. are we making progress? >> i think we are. i will go through the heading of security, politics, international engagement. i will come back to the negative stuff as well. i will hopefully wrap up with a little bit of what do we do. >> running rapidly to progress,
and daughters in harm's way in a way that most do not do. they are also fighting very bravely. both are taking losses and casualties. that's an important part of the equation, what's happening. when i arrived last year and one of my questions was why has the offensive against al-shabaab stopped? why were towns no longer being taken? the last i was told was a lack of resources. they understand these things better. yes, the answer was amazon was overstretched. the security council approved just over 4000 extra troops as well as more and abler's. -- more enablers.
significantly, it authorized the un to give nonlethal logistics to the somalian national army. those are two significant developments that have played to this initiative on the third of march to get underway. it has been pretty successful in the last six or seven weeks it has been going on. populations tend to have been retaken from al-shabaab, many of them not involving direct fighting. one or two had to be fought for. this is quite an ambitious operation happening in a geographically spread area. several sectors are involved,
and it's benefiting from ethiopian forces being incorporated as part of that. at this stage i understand they are consolidating, and there is likely to be a second phase. it's good that government authority extends to significant towns and villages where it wasn't before. it's good because al-shabaab has been deprived sources of revenue. it's good because al-shabaab have been denied training bases. you may have seen on al jazeera tv a few months ago there was an al-shabaab training camp -- quite impressive. they have 200 or 300 people being trained to be suicide
bombers. i am not impressed with the curriculum and even less impressed by the person who mentioned my name as being one of the people the students were secretly focusing on. that training camp now is a somali national army base. they have been liberated. al-shabaab has been removed. this is good. being deprived of revenue, being deprived of training facilities, places where they can operate with impunity. this will go up. >> it brings challenges as well. there is no doubt this operation is presenting second-order challenges. al-shabaab has left the town so they control the countryside. they are interfering with traffic and stopping food from
reaching these places. there is a great onus on helicopters and air supplies to resupply amazon forces, and we don't have enough helicopters. i won't be the first srsg that you have heard bemoan the lack of helicopters, but it's a serious issue we are facing now, and this is not just civilian transport helicopters, which the united nations does need, but they have virtually no military helicopters whatsoever and therefore have no capability of protecting their supply routes from the air, and it's
remarkable to me and deeply disturbing that no african union member states have come forward with helicopters for the african union mission. i shall be in new york tomorrow repeating the same message that without that military air support amazon are in peril. that is going on. meanwhile, you will have seen consequence of the offensive. al-shabaab have increased activism in mogadishu. that was predicted. it has been happening over the last couple months, and yesterday and today they have
assassinated a member of parliament each day in mogadishu. a reminder from them they are still capable, a reminder they are determined to undermine the government, create the impression the government has no control. i think this will continue. i'm not a great tactician. i guess if i was an al-shabaab terrorist and under pressure being chased out of towns and villages i controlled, what would i try to do? i would try to lend some kind of strategic punch in mogadishu, unseat the government, particularly the international community, if they could force the international community to retreat, that would be a strategic success. i think we can expect them to continue to try to do that in the coming weeks. security is a mixed richer. -- a mixed picture. in general al-shabaab is under pressure and progress is being made, but it throws up challenges. and it throws up risk of a backlash from al-shabaab, particularly in mogadishu. it might be elsewhere as well.
within the region they may also try to conduct it. political progress. are we doing that? yes and no. the big-ticket items are somalia has committed itself to doing three things. one, forming itself into a federal state, and that means grouping together some of the regions federal member states. secondly, having a constitution that enshrines what a federal state is. a final constitution which will be submitted to a referendum, and thirdly, to have democratic one-vote elections across the whole country in 2016.
those are big-ticket challenges. any of those would be quite a challenge for most countries. doing all three of those in the context i described at the beginning for somalia is outrageously ambitious. however, is it doable? i still firmly believe it is. we have to in a half years. i think we will have a much clearer idea of whether it is doable by the end of this year, because there is a draft framework of actions for 2016 the government is preparing with a very tight timetable of exactly what needs to happen, and there is no real margin for
slippage. parliament has gone back. it has to in those several key pieces of legislation, so we will know quite soon whether this outrageously ambitious project is going to be doable or not. at this stage there is no reason to say it can't be done. meanwhile, apart from having this different than of action -- plan of action, there is an outbreak across somalia of free-market process to become federal member states, so on the ground people are taking the initiative to set up their own federal states without waiting for a federal government led
process, but we have currently a dispute with those advocating three regions and those advocating six region state, which is a difficult issue. we still have the implementation of the interim administration of agreement, which is taking time to work through, and then we have had other freelance initiatives were they declared they wanted to be a state. it was a few weeks ago when it seemed like more or less every day a new president was appointed somewhere. it seemed to be a growth industry with the self-appointed president. that's fine. what's encouraging is the federal government has been taking more of a proactive and
leading role on this. it can't be directive, and it can't be imposed on mogadishu. it has to impose the feelings at the local level, and there are different stakeholders, but there has to be some structure to it, especially if they are going to reach the timetable of by the end of this year forming the new provisional federal map of somalia with all the provisional interim member states. we are supporting and encouraging a slightly more structured approach to this. we will see how we get on. i am cautiously optimistic we can reach that goal by the end of this year of somalia's having
decided the new federal map. to the international engagement progress, i think there is progress worth remarking. johnnie alluded in his opening comments that somalia is a unique land of internationalism. it has been quite experimental in many ways. we have the african union doing the fighting. we have the united nations giving the report and the mandate from the security council. it is quite an innovative model. but it's working. it's delivering the results that were hoped for and expected. that's unique on that side.
there is a second unique bit which has come into play last september in brussels, which is they are embracing fully comprehensive new deals based on principles of partnerships between a fragile state and the donor community. again, progress is being made. the architecture is there. the funding mechanisms are being established. the multi-partner trust funds. they have at least 200 million identified. this will start sending flagship projects the government has
identified, and at last i hope people will start to see where the beef is, but there has been frustration setting up the architecture and work lands for the new deal. that i hope is about to change over the next few months. more progress, economic and financial governments. with weak institutions, prevalent corruption over the last two decades, and an economy that is vibrant but unregulated.
there is now a finance minister in washington for the meeting a couple weeks ago. he comes with the experience of running save the children east africa. he has very good work plan for introducing taxation, which will make him the popular man in mogadishu but also in washington. and is working closely with the development bank. it's a new mechanism that came about after the crisis caused, but it is showing encouraging signs of being a valuable wealth for creating the environment we need. i mentioned in the beginning it
rapidly goes to buy notes on those. i think, and i was saying before, pitting one of the biggest perils and one of the messages i have been given in washington to -- i think one of the biggest perils and one of the messages i have been given in washington is the peril of the international community aking a dive on somalia.
there are many competing crises and areas for attention, whether the central african republic, south sudan, syria, ukraine, clearly somalia is not hat level. i do worry if the international interest visibly drops, not only will resource mobilization drop and it does need resourcing, but also it will give space and latitude to somali politicians and leaders perhaps to revert to some of their less attractive and productive ways of ehaving. i think it requires senior international attention and high-level donations. there will be one in ovember.
it needs continuing messaging from international political leaders, not just encouraging the government, not just reassuring somalis but at times giving pointed messages to those who might seek to spoil the progress being made. it is estabilizing the overnment. the second peril, the umanitarian one. just over two years ago, two and a half years ago, somalia was in the headlines because there was a dreadful famine. nearly 500,000 people died. we are not in that position
now. it has recovered. however, it's showing worrying signs, indicators of potential food insecurity. some of it related to the offensive that happened, isplacement of people. we don't know the impact that will have on planting or harvesting. that is an element always, and the result of al-shabaab lockading food supplies to downs. all of that, there is a worst-case scenario that could lead to severe food roblems. all of that against the ackground of the first peril of international attention, and most demonstrably, in terms of funding for the humanitarian activities.
the consolidated appeal for humanitarian this year is $933 million. as of yesterday only $111 million was found, so that was 12% funding. wsp and others are laying off staff because they don't have the funding. all of that in the context where we don't know but may be faced with a severe food insecurity issue, so i am concerned the humanitarian risk is a perilous one. we forget sometimes the scale of humanitarian needs in somalia linked to poverty, the conflict, etc., but on any one day, there are at least 50,000 children who are severely undernourished and at risk of death. it's about one of the worst countries in the world to be a child.
your life expectancy is very low. currently the unit is feeding just over one million people every day in somalia. -- the u.n. is feeding one million people every day in somalia. these figures would cause shock horror were they and other countries. in the caves of somalia people become immune to this. - in the case of somalia people become immune to this. the first peril is not thinking ahead. it is linked to what i just said. we get a little trapped in the same old same old. this is a persistent country with problems with overnment.
sometimes you can't spot the opportunities when they happen, and you are not ready to xploit them. we are potentially in that situation with transformation of government extension of authority made in 25 new districts. we are not necessarily in as good a shape as we should be in order to exploit those opportunities of delivering stabilization affects. simple things like enabling the government to be able to visit -- they can't go to these places unless they have air transport, mostly helicopters, and they say, we don't have enough of those or they are in short supply. more funding for the federal government to be mobile and to get around this country is definitely needed.
the final peril i think for me personally and i think more widely is for the international community getting the security balance wrong, making a miscalculation on security. hat do i mean by that? i am deeply conscious that if we make a mistake in our security presence and posture and suffer a significant attack, this is likely to lead to us withdrawing from somalia. we are only tentatively on the ground in mogadishu and exposed june 19.
we had compound attacks. we lost some colleagues. some of the programs since june have been based in nairobi and not on the ground in mogadishu. we are about to reverse that and reintroduce the programs on he ground, but i am deeply conscious that is one of the wrist, and there are scenarios in which if we take further significant losses, that would have further strategic effect n our mission. we lost colleagues two weeks ago. another harsh reminder this is fairly lawless place in which we operate, and are you in
colleagues are going through every day some personal risk. we have to encourage other member states to be present in mogadishu more and more. i encourage the u.s. to be present but at the same time leaving its right we should be there, that we should stay, that we should accept the risks. i am conscious that there are risks and if we get hit very badly it might have an impact. those are some perils but keep e going. we keep to the plan. we have very good mandates. we should continue to support hat. we have a new deal compact, which is a good framework. we should stick with that and make
that work and make sure we deliver in the next few onths. and we have a good robust security operation presence, and we need to fund that and keep that sustained as well. otentially we do plan a. >> thank you very much for giving us a very broad and omprehensive up eight on developments in somalia. -- update on developments in somalia. i know we have a large audience today and there will be lots of questions.
'd like to start off the iscussion by asking several of my own, and the first one pertains to neighbors. can you give us some indication of the ongoing political and security relationships that exist between mogadishu and kenya, ethiopia, djibouti, and how are those relationships evolving on the political and security side? >> sure. i think the regional relationship is absolutely
vital. the neighbors are quite important. they have the capacity for good or ill. currently, i think the relationships are strong. particularly noteworthy in the last two months is a strengthening relationship with ethiopia. which has led to -- enabled the ncorporation of egypt. controversially, given the istory of ethiopian engagement in somalia, which has not always been happy or well received by somalis, there has been a strategic change in approach both from ethiopia and the government in somalia to each other. that is positive. they are committed to working for achieving stability.
somali led government. ethiopia sees it in its strategic interest to have a strong, stable somalia. i think that is encouraging. what is unique about the thing -- in defiance of often normal practice, it is normal for neighboring countries to take part in peacekeeping countries, it is entirely constituted by neighboring countries. ethiopia, djibouti. there is a special envoy who is now being very active on the political file supporting the prime minister and trying to take forward the limitation of the agreements. it is welcome is taking a leading supporting role for the federal government. we know kenya is an important partner. the headline is dominated by the detention and return of somalis from nairobi. certainly from the hr point of view we have expressed our concerns about those to ensions and the need for compliance with international aw and practice.
it is welcome is taking a leading supporting role for the ederal government. we know kenya is an important partner. the headline is dominated by he detention and return of omalis from nairobi. certainly from the hr point of view we have expressed our concerns about those to tensions and the need for compliance with international aw and practice. refugees should certainly not be deported. those in kenya should have the right to be refugees in kenya.
>> can i ask you about another eighbor? that is the regional government. there is a new president there. who had formally been a prime minister in the previous transitional federal government. the former president has stepped aside. what is the relationship between somalia -- >> great, johnny. in my lexicon, it is not a neighbor. it is a part of somalia and in he process of agreeing and
coming to a settlement on the nature of the federal relationship. it is encouraging at the moment, with the president's background as a natural and federal politician, possibly even the vision of returning to a national federal role -- what that means is he is very nterested in getting the puntland mogadishu relationship back on track. the prime minister is intending to visit soon. ossibly the speaker of
it is likely to lead the way on the conversation. >> before we open this up, let me ask you a larger question. what is the continuing appeal in somalia for al-shabaab? who joins al-shabaab these days? why are they able still to continue bring in recruits? >> good question. probably we still don't collectively understand it as well as we should. he united nations has no intelligence capability. no ability to look behind the scenes and understand these things as some member states can. my general sense is they have relied on a combination of some coercion, some intimidation. also some amount of economic opportunity that they offer to people without any other conomic opportunity.
mixed into that, some local politics where potentially along clan lines or others, there is interest in supporting hem. the numbers -- there is no evidence the numbers are growing. one would intuit they are reducing, particularly under the pressure they are under. the feature i have seen is 000. not a huge number of people. but i think that is probably a guesstimate many of those will be foot soldiers who are eminently persuadable when the time comes to rehabilitate. we have been putting emphasis to establish rehabilitation centers. there is one in mogadishu. shortly, in kismaya.
they go through the judicial system. emerging judicial system. those of less concern are trained in the vocational skill. i am very convinced that eventually there will be a political discussion. some of the hardest of the heart may never be open to that ind of discussion. i am sure some others will be. i'm not sure the time is right at the moment. i'm sure the assembled knowledge in the room will attest to the fact that most conflicts and in some kind of olitical settlement.
>> if you don't mind, we will open up to the audience. one question on the left-hand side. >> i am dave buffalo, a military advisor. or rule of law, when al-shabaab controls territory, it imposes its radical form of islam at the end of a kalashnikov. in order for somalia to stablish rule of law, it requires police and courts. if we, the somali federal government, do not help stablish that rule of law in these liberated areas, we will
lose the people by replacing al-shabaab control with chaos. what are we doing to help focus on the rule of law and what could or should we be doing? > thank you. >> want to take a couple? >> thank you, ambassador. i work for the digital outreach of the was department of state. in regard of somalia and counterterrorism. you mentioned about realism. to be honest, it is very difficult to see the vision toward national elections. what is your assessment and strategic movement if that is ot the case?
a lot of somalis are talking about the notion of somalia -- that is what we see on social media. my second question is with regard to somali american gentleman, who is in britain and in belgium. i know his family. he has five children and a wife. he is in prison. i don't understand what is going on. he is not charged. o you have any consideration talking to the belgian authorities? >> thank you, we will take
those questions. >> what to be done about rule of law. and whether al-shabaab has more accessible justice. eah. i think the immediate challenge is in the newly recovered areas, where it is obviously important that there should be some reasonable administration and rule of law in the aftermath of al-shabaab leaving.
the stabilization plan is one that relies on traditional justice systems and looking for traditional leaders in those areas to dispense justice rather than have a five-star system imported from mogadishu, which is not politically accessible or practical in any way. we are trying to build at the picture of what is happening on he ground. the initial report suggests using a combination of traditional elders and administrators and the somali national army, at least in the aftermath. there is a need for the training of police in these places. again, the idea is to train ocally recruited police rather than sending them from mogadishu.
parliament has a list of about 16 draft bills for one person or another -- each of those is priority. they need to get through them. his is a parliament that has only gotten through four laws in the last 18 months. again, very ambitious. but prioritization will be necessary. the trusteeship, i have not heard anything about the trusteeship. but i probably don't follow the same social media as you do. plan a is to support elections. n that, it acknowledges that elections may not be possible in all the territories. there will need to be alternative arrangements. at this stage, 2.5 years after hat, it is impossible to predict how much of the territory will or will not be under government control.
if you extrapolate from the last six weeks, dramatic steps are being made but we don't now. the planning is to plan on elections everywhere but be realistic and know there are ome areas where and not be ossible. and some alternative mechanism might be needed. if a country was going to be doing any one of the three things that smalley has decided to do, any one of those things ould be a major challenge. holding elections in a country
and if you unpack what holding elections means there are important issues to do with political parties. there has to be a law establishing political parties. a highly fraught issue. what is the role of religion? will they be allowed in any way? the regional, national, political dynamics. a lot to sort out. overall, i still think somalia -- it sounds like a huge generalization and potentially condescending -- my general sense is somalia is well acted to this kind of thing after 23-24 years of fighting. politically, people have turned
the page and do not want to fight. particularly the younger generation. somalis love discussion, they love language and words and argument. i think are well-suited to a resolution of problems by political processes. they have many traditional approaches to reconciliation and dispute resolution, which have worked throughout the years in one way or the other. sitting under a tree in solving the problem is something that
many somalis will say, leave us to do that and we will do it. hugely culturally condescending of me, but i do think there is something there which is grounds for optimism and encouragement. and the last-minute as well. somalia, in many countries, it is particularly good at getting up to the wire and then pulling off what seems to be impossible. i still think there is a chance to do that. >> we will go back and forth. jim, you had your hand up. >> i am formally dod and co-conspirator with ambassador carson. question about the somali diaspora. in various times in the past two decades, it has either been a
positive influence or a complicating factor. is there a strategy for engaging the diaspora, whether in the gulf or europe or north america. what might the components of such a strategy be? >> we will take the gentleman in the blue shirt. >> doug brooke, consultant. my question is on sector reform. are the troops and police being properly paid and so on? >> we will take those two. >> and i also remember the question as well. i'm afraid i do not know what the former president of the region is doing.
i will ask my colleagues. but it does not sound like a human issue. but i will inform myself about it. diaspora, yes -- is there a strategy? yes, i think it is distinct and important. about a third of the population is outside of somalia. 3 million or so. some are very concentrated in specific areas. in terms of engaging them, i don't love that i have a strategy. i have had meetings in minnesota and london and nairobi. abu dhabi. i think it is important to talk
to them and hear. diaspora is always a question of dichotomy. there are two schools of thought, two visions. diaspora are either forces for change in good, they have modern approaches and modern exposure to institutions and ways of doing things. a great asset and a resource for their countries. that is the good. certainly plenty of evidence of that, with the young diaspora returning to mogadishu. then there is the other version. they become a little bit stuck in time.
a little bit more extreme and fixed in their views than the communities back in the home country. the clan feuding and divisions sometimes seem to exist deeper in the diaspora and they inflame it back in somalia. in ways which are unhelpful. more exaggerated than the communities on the ground. there is misinformation, rumors, stories that are changed and exaggerated any telling -- any telling between in the incident that happens. by the time it is re-told in minneapolis, is a very different story. i think they can -- it is a mixed thing.
of working groups and committees that are tasked -- training working groups, logistics working group. and the police. a lot of coordination necessary when there are so many actors doing little bits. it is a concern to me because i don't think, when you add up all the little bits, they yet add up to a sufficient whole. this is an under resourced area. it will be a costly process. i don't think internationally we have gathered sufficient resources to do that. it will be timely for a stock taking of the plan and the strategy. good strategies and plans from the london conference last may. how far have we got? what more is needed? that probably needs to be done by a smaller group of countries. those who were most directly involved. those who are involved on the military side. the united states. the european union. the u.k. to some extent. turkey. the uae i have probably forgotten some others. italy will also play a bit. at least half a dozen. these are not comfortable bedfellows, or traditional bedfellows. the uae is more accustomed to doing things slightly on its own. some of the others, including the u.s., are very focused on what they are doing. others, perhaps the eu, it requires a bit of coordination which is happening. paying is a better story. the army has been paid by turkey for the last i nine months. they are giving direct support to fund the army salaries. most of which are being received. there is sometimes a delay. most of the gets through. that is important. a process of doing biometric registration and payment system, but that has not been put in place yet. italy has done quite a lot on the stipend for the army. police, too.
being recruited. amisom is helping to recruit 2400 police this year. with a biometric payment system in place. payments in general, again, progress is happening. civil servants are now being paid through special financing facility financed by norway. they are identified, registered, and paid against a biometric system. the first flagship program, the world bank is establishing. it will be for teachers. that will be reinforcing the program called go to school, which is aiming at enrolling one million children in school. it has started with 250,000 since it began in september. as well as recruiting teachers and the opening of new school buildings for the first time across somalia.
first time since 1991. the schools are in south-central as well as puntland. we should always remember that despite all those challenges, corruption, etc., despite all that, progress is being made and can be made. a lot of the things, the solutions. biometric payment systems. these were introduced in afghanistan, and other countries. we have been through that chain of payments.
the international community collectively has got a lot of experience, positive and successful experience, helping states recover from conflict and fragility. we need not to be too downcast. we know how to do this. we have seen it done before. it can be done. >> we are going to take a couple more questions from both sides. you had a question? the gentleman in the brown jacket. >> i am allen from the wilson center. can you talk about the prospects for somaliland? >> lawrence freeman. africa desk.
the new deal in the u.s. was from roosevelt and was very heavily oriented toward infrastructure, economic development, energy, and putting people to work. can you say something about how this is -- you mentioned finance and world bank, are there projects to build roads question to build roads? grow food. this is of primary importance. people lose faith. they were not given jobs. as a result, the fault line develop ethnically. it was a lack of dividend and desperation on the people. maybe you could say something about that. in terms of real economic development. >> thank you. we will come back to you.
>> somaliland. good question. somaliland, as we know, is in a unique position. it is deeply entrenched in its own view and claim of independence. it is also singularly not recognized as an independent state. so the international legal position is extremely clear. every security council resolution re-affirms the integrity and sovereignty of somalia. but there is a government deeply entrenched in its personal sense of independence. my general sense is that situation is likely to prevail for quite some time. as mogadishu, somalia, south-central address the issues of drawing up the new federal constitution, having eventually elections in 2016, all of that will happen with somaliland outside of that.
i suspect that that will prevail. that said, there are talks brokered by turkey going on. they are being institutionalized. those talks are looking at areas of mutual interest. more at the technical level. they may progress to political level discussions as well. it is good the turkish government is putting the time and effort into supporting that. for amisom, i have been to somaliland once. shortly after i began the mission back in june or july, a very good visit. well-received and looked after. impressive developments they are making. then i went for a last meeting of the program with the president. he was very polite and charming. he told me not to come again. [laughter] because, he said, you are the head of the united nations assistance mission in somalia. i think you will find, you have the wrong country.
your mandate from the security council to promote federalism, constitution, elections -- how dare you do that here. i can entirely understand from their side of the telescope why they said that. why they felt that. i think it is slightly regrettable, because amisom does many other things. we are supporting security sector reform. a justice. doing a large amount of human rights rebuilding. all these things would be of interest to somaliland.
my hope is -- we did not fall out. i respect their view on this. there will come a time when we will sit down and talk it through again. i am always open to that conversation. >> i totally agree. i think it is a huge missing link and component. if you ask the president, what does he want? he says, can't somebody come in and do 30 kilometers of the road? that would make a difference. conversations would help. he is very keen on infrastructure projects. the answer so far is leaders,
the ifi's who would traditionally do this kind of thing are not yet engaged and looking at that kind of project. but i'm hoping they well as they become more comfortable with the conditions in somalia. which brings us back to security again. the world bank has been intrepid. for a international financial
institution, they are being very intrepid. they are taking office space in mogadishu. they are prepared to engage and work on the ground. not all the other ifi's are so intrepid yet. it is linked to security. financial governance and management. the need to change a little bit the dial and dial-up major infrastructure and economic generating projects. >> we will take two questions. here in the front, and in the gentleman in the blue jacket. >> my name is akmed. i lived most of my adult life in the u.s. thank you, ambassador, for your work. i met you briefly in september in mogadishu. i am still hopeful. i am hopeful that you will do
an election in 2016. my question is, is there a program or effort to bring about peace among the tribal groups? we know that many countries, like in south africa, there was a model that they used to bring closure and heal. we need to heal. what is the u.n., the international community doing? can you touch upon that? >> thank you. i am mark with refugees international. within the broader humanitarian context, the challenges there. it huge number of displaced people are living in mogadishu. many have been evicted as land prices have increased. when i was there in september, they were working closely to prevent evictions.
they were short-term and forcible. i want to know if there has been an update on that in terms of finding anything. thank you. >> thank you very much. truth and reconciliation, there is interest in it from the federal government as well. the parliament, too. they are looking into a truth and reconciliation commission and draft law.
what i'm not 100% sure about is how universal within somalia is the appetite for all of this. it is a delicate area. at the moment, the reconciliation that is happening is happening more or less as a part of the federal zone process. disputes and differences need to be reconciled within the clan and local contexts. going towards forming interim regional administrations. i'm not 100% sure what the appetite more generally is for holding people for account to -- for some of the terrible things that have happened. it is very difficult to say. i would say my impression is the
general consensus is we shouldn't be holding people to account. we should turn the page. some of the dreadful things that happened are so dreadful -- and following that avenue of holding people to justice for what has happened would be de-stabilizing. i think that is a view that is not universal. there are people who have been detained. a very divisive figure. his clan thinks he should be released and given a government pension. only some of the clan think that. others feel he is responsible
for the deaths of many innocent people. should be, in their words, put up against the wall and shot. inevitably, there is quite a range of deep feelings and emotions on this issue. the plan at the moment -- it is the national vision 2016 strategy. the opening of clinical space, political parties. which is seen as a process of real reconciliation. we will see. links to land as well. some of it is fundamental
disputes about land. sensitive issues like the river valley. it is not surprising in a country that is relatively dry, there's a lot of disputes over those bits of land that are relatively wet. over the last 24 years, people have moved. land has been occupied. >> appropriated in some cases. how that is sorted out is an open question. there is work being done on it, including the fao. i think there is more that is going to be need to done. things to the problem, -- unfortunately, there was a confrontation between people,
authorities, disputing ownership over land. some of which was occupied by idp's. some of them were cut in the shooting. the local authorities were armed and uniformed people. they prosecuted their claim for that bit of land. it was a nasty incident. what was not was the somali national army somehow turning on idp's. it was all about a dispute over land. i have no doubt that the
difficulty of their operating, particularly since the difficulty of the attack on their compound, has made it hard for them to work. with central government authorities and the mayor of mogadishu in terms of making and implementing a plan for the proper treatment of idp's. a lot of idp's have been moved in mogadishu by the local authorities. in adherence with the strategy and plan that the unhcr had worked up with the local authorities. they were able to do that because they were not so present on the ground. >> that is our last question and response.
i think the ambassador has given us a broad and comprehensive overview of both the progress and the perils that he sees with respect to developments in some only in somalia. we can all measure the progress. i think you have outlined some of the clear things that have been done. the warning flags for difficulties ahead are also quite clear. nick, i want to personally thank