Catriona Laing, the UN Special Representative for Somalia, had a meeting with regional President Ahmed Abdi Karie ‘Qoorqoor’ in the state of Galmudug earlier Saturday. Laing complimented Galmudug’s accomplishments in preparing for municipal elections and regaining land from Al-Shabaab insurgents during her visit.
Laing praised President Qoorqoor for the warm welcome offered to her group during a news conference with him. She expressed her delight at finally making the trip after a previously arranged visit in June was cancelled.
Laing reported having excellent conversations with Qoorqoor on a number of important matters. She praised him for his dedication to a broad-based public discourse on the public Consultative Council process. Laing stressed the importance of involving the Somali people in the state-building process, including opposition organisations, civil society, elders, women, and youth.
The UN envoy also praised Galmudug’s progress in local democracy, noting that preparations for district-level one-person, one-vote elections are well underway. She emphasised the UN’s commitment to supporting the regional government in conducting the elections.
Laing complimented Qoorqoor on regaining area from Al-Shabaab insurgents in terms of security. She did, however, emphasise the necessity of stabilising such communities following military operations, including the deployment of police forces and the provision of essential amenities so that locals may reconstruct their lives. She was glad to discover that 400 local police officers had been formed and offered UN assistance with future stabilisation programmers.
Finally, Laing stated that work was being done to establish a UN office in Galmudug’s capital, Dhusamareb, in order to enhance the relationship between the international organization and regional authorities. She promised to expedite the procedure in order to open the office as soon as feasible.