tv Talk to Al Jazeera James Swan Al Jazeera November 28, 2020 7:30am-8:00am +03
trying to design has decided which target things which are specific to the genome of this particular organism and don't have the terrible knock on effects for other insects. for example, in the environment i was on workers in several countries have gone on strike over pay and safety conditions. garment workers in bangladesh are demanding pay the completed orders that were cancelled due to the pandemic. trade unionists in the u.k. are calling for a parliamentary inquiry into what they call dehumanizing working conditions. torching. i was there with me the whole romney reminder of our top stories. a prominent scientist at the center of iran's nuclear program has been assassinated near the capital tehran, the vehicle carrying out most in fact, as a day was ambushed by gunmen in the city of upside. iran says it suspects israel of involvement. it to go more there at 1st the car carrying him was shot at and at
about 15 seconds later, innocent pick up truck that was loaded with explosives last about 15 to 20 meters away from his car. inflicting moons on him that led to his death. ethiopia's government is denying that the prime minister has rejected talks with the grain leaders. 3 african union special envoys met in addis ababa. he told them he'd only speak to representatives operating legally in the region. on thursday, the army was ordered to move in on to gray's. we gen capital. and the u.s. justice department is amending its execution rules. so death sentences no longer have to be carried out by lethal injection. it would clear the way for other methods such as poison gas and firing squads. several federal executions are being judge will be for president elect and death penalty opponent joe biden. takes office a mass rally has been held in iraq's capital in a show of support. following shia cleric mcdonagh outsiders bid to run in parliamentary elections next june. thousands of people gathered in tahrir square, which was once the focus of anti-government protests and in southern iraq. 3 people
were killed in violence between sudras and anti-government protesters around 50 people were injured. farmers in india have gathered outside the capital, new delhi to protest against new agricultural reforms. police have allowed thousands to stage a peaceful march as a designated side. the farmers want the government to scrap laws which could end guaranteed prices for their projects. and there's anger in chile over the government's attempt to revoke a pension fund bill. protesters want access to their retirement funds to help them through the economic crisis. but the president is opposed to the idea saying, withdrawals will damage the country's pension system. those are the headlines. more news in half an hour with me here on ars is there. but next it's talk to al-jazeera . to stay with us. in about half an hour, al jazeera and
world war 2. see, it's a land rich in history that dates back more than 5000 years. and ancient sophisticated civilization that's into so much been issued. a wall of conflict, tough laid. they may just popped in these regions. history, it was ok pied by egypt from us, britain and italy in the 18 hundreds, and all the disputes with kenya and ethiopia. in the 1900. then there was independence, polish 5 goals, and that was the united nations has played a central role in efforts for peace in somalia since the downfall of presidency out . but in january, 100-9001 prompted political chaos and threats. instability across the horn of africa region. but almost 30 years on the somali people still live in turmoil.
hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced. and as multiple parties continue to fight over control of the country, many see the somalia to be the you and greatest diplomatic failure. so how much longer before we can say peace has finally been achieved and some of the special representative of the u.n. secretary general and head of the assistance mission of somebody. james swan talks to a special representative of the united nations secretary-general false madia. mr. james swan, thank you for talking to and to say, thanks for inviting me. i missed this one. this is the, the 2nd time this is not the 1st time. it's the 2nd time you deployed to a somebody, a special representative. the 1st time was a few years ago for the u.s., government and now for the u.n. what made you return to somalia?
and you know, what can you tell us about, you know, the experience of go to somalia and trying to solve that most difficult problem in africa. thank you very much. thanks for having me. as we come to the end of 2028, this is a timely opportunity to talk about somalia, because 2021 will be a critical year for somalia. we are expecting an electoral process that will lead to a parliamentary election as well as a presidential election. we are also anticipating that 2021 will be the year of security transition. as the somali government and security authorities take the lead responsibility for the security of the country. also in 2021 that will be important for somalia to continue with its economic reforms particularly so that it can realize the full benefits of the debt relief process which it started on
successfully in 2020. and then finally, 2021 is going to be an important year in terms of remaining vigilant about the humanitarian situation. $5200000.00, people in somalia, about a 3rd of the country's population remain in need of humanitarian support. and we need to keep them in mind as well. but as i returned to somalia, after really some 25 years of working on somalia in different capacities, beginning in the 1990 s. and then through the 2 thousands and into the 2010, somalia remains a compelling assignment for anyone interested in diplomacy in development or in the security sector, it is rebuilding from 2 decades of tragedy really as a collapsed state. and all of us want to work for it to achieve further progress in
the coming years. one doesn't know where to start in this respect because you know what you said. we're talking about future prospects for somalia next year. what's going to next year, but we have been working on somalia. the un has been working in somalia for 30 years. why the only thing that is bright in somalia now is something that is going to happen next year and not something that happened during the last 30 years. what milestones has the u.n. actually achieved during the last 30 years? i think there has been considerable progress. certainly over the past decade to 12 years, beginning in the late to thousands, we saw significant progress through the african union mission in somalia, which is a un financed operation. un supported operation, mandated by the security council. and certainly between 20092013, there were very substantial military gains against al shabaab, which created space for the political process also to advance. so the previous
transitional, federal government of somalia, which controlled only some portions of the capital city mogadishu as late as early 2011 by the end of 2012 with the help of amazon, the newly elected federal government of somalia was able to establish a presence in most of the federal member states and other important population centers. then through roughly 2012 through 201617, we saw stablish mind of institutions in the federal member states with these regional administrations taking shape and beginning to establish a presence and become more functional. we've also seen over the last several years, an increased focus on institutional capacity and delivery. so important
reforms that lead to somalia achieving decision point under the heavily indebted poor countries initiative in march. but we've seen important progress on security sector reforms such as biometric registration of military and police, such as direct payment of salaries to the security services to reduce risks of corruption. so there are many areas of progress that have been achieved during this time, but much more needs to be done. and again, somalia is recovering from a very little base that it descended to very sadly for its population in the 1990 s. and early 2000. so in 1993, a prominent u.n. official described somalia as the greatest fadia up to the time you don't give that
description to somebody and say you and project you have to look at the united nations in as many facets within somalia. i mean, we have more than 20 u.n. agencies, funds and programs that are providing both humanitarian assistance and development support to the somalis. so the un remains very much engaged in responding to the needs of the people. and in fact, u.n. assistance reached almost 2000000, somalis in need of humanitarian assistance, lifesaving assistance during the past year. in addition to those agencies, funds and programs. there is also a u.n. mission mandated by the security council called the united nations support office for somalia that provides the logistical support for the african union mission in somalia. the african union mission now has about $20000.00, military and police,
and it is supported financially, both through the un contribution and from bilateral contributions, notably from the european union, but also from others. so this is another component of un support to somalia. and then finally, we have the united nations assistance mission in somalia, which is a special political mission focused on coordination among the wider array of international partners in somalia. it's focused also on institutional support to the government and to the federal member states. and it's focused on so-called good offices trying to improve relations among somali political actors and other entities so that the country can continue to stabilize. so i think if we look back to the 1990 s. as a rather difficult period for somalia and for international partners trying to help,
i think the record is much improved on both accounts since then. well, arguably, you know, i mean some people say yes the only the different, the biggest difference between now and 1995 is that the u.n. is now capable of operating in somalia. you know, back back in the ninety's. it was not able because it had to pull out of somalia, totally. and that was considered by the somalis as the you know, as like, abandonment by the u.n. . i mean, and that's why many in somalia look at the u.n. unfavorably until now. but now we have this presence of the u.n. and other organizations, but still have the same problems. you know, we, i did got is gone. madam has gone, but now we have a shabab. we have, we had refugees, then we have refugees now by the millions, humanitarian assistance was needed, then it is still needed now by the millions. so i, even though there is this huge presence on these, you know, scores of organizations you talked about. the problem is still there, it's
a country that india does still have many significant problems. many of them are going to take time to address and to resolve like another 30 years. i certainly hope it will be sooner than that. and as i noted earlier, i think if we look at the record over the last 10 years, there has been significant progress, frankly, on the institution building side on the economic development and resource generation side. and certainly, compared to the situation a dozen years ago when the recognised authorities were present only in a few neighborhoods of the capital city. that situation has changed, but there is no doubt. there is a long way to go and more progress that's required. i think central to this will be continued stability and increased inclusiveness in the political system. that's why these elections that are scheduled in the coming 4 to 5 months will be particularly important. these will mot regrettably be for one person,
one vote elections, but they will be indirect elections in a process that has secured broad consensus among political leaders in somalia. and that consensus has included the federal president, federal member, state leaders, the upper house of parliament, the lower house of parliament, and main political figures, including 2 former presidents. so there is a strong consensus around the model for the electoral process to be followed. that said, it will be very important that that consensus be nurtured, preserved, and advanced as this electoral model is implemented. this process, as you talked about many described to you listed because when you can't travel between mogadishu and many other cities, when you can't tough this biometric process being completed, when you, when you, when that he does, don't,
don't trust each other when the country's in that situation, how can a one person one vote be achieved? many people think it will never happen. at least it will not happen any time soon. so you are talking about it, but at the same time you seem to defer to the possibility that it may not happen. well, indeed, this somali leaders have decided that it will not be a one person one vote election in this cycle. they have agreed on use of an indirect model in which, like, like in the past, like the similar do in the past with some refinements and improvements that we hope can be used to make it yet more inclusive and more transparent than has been seen in the past, how do you describe the relationship between the u.s. and the somali government will remember that last year the u.n. special representative, and that's why he, you replaced him. so i mean, who has the upper hand in? i mean, you will talk about national sovereignty, like, you know,
somebody government talks about national sovereignty but you know, how do you qualify that relationship? and how can you work in somalia, when the government is not co-operative all the time? and the look at the situation in, you know, in a different light. well, we have a strong relationship with the somali authorities and we also try to ensure that we have a strong relationship with other key actors in somalia, from civil society groups to advocacy organizations to federal member state leaders even to local authorities in multiple cases. so there is an effort to work with the national authorities, but also we understand that ultimately the beneficiaries of our activities are the somali people. and so we try to maintain a wide array of relationships and contacts in somalia and the african union mission in somalia. the military mission and to have the, the u.s.
or someone to tell you mission in somalia, what kind of oversight to do you have over these missions? do they coordinate with you? remembering that, you know, every time we have a news from somalia talking about it or strikes and civilians being killed a top and twice this year by, by offer come. and the u.n. is standing by. i mean, what is the u.n. doing to prevent that type of situation? do you really have some oversight and coordination with these vote, his armies operating in somalia? well, 1st of all, i think as we look at the situation, we need to recognize that longer term vision for somalia, i'm confident is not consistent with what somalis themselves want. and we see we current terrorist attacks. we see military operations that are harming the population. the youth, but in many ways al shabaab has attacked the youth. even in 2010, there was a tragic case of young somalis who had completed their medical training under
extraordinarily challenging. my question is about the u.s. army and the african union armies. killings of civilians does the un huff and the oversight on that. does the un condemn those incident? does the un investigate those incidents? can you give me just a case where the u.n. investigated an incident in which civilians have been killed by u.s. army, all the african union troops? yes, we in fact have a group that convenes co-chaired by myself and by the head of unicef in somalia, looking at the impact of conflict on the civilian population. so indeed, we have a team that records all of these incidents. we see just of course we see do investigate, we're talking about condemnation. we're talking about trying to prevent it from being repeated. we're talking about the u.n. imposing order or a mood or savant's of understanding between you and the american troops and the
african troops. so that you prevent further killing of civilians in your country. well, 1st of all with respect to the african union mission in somalia as it is the u.n. security council mandated mission. indeed, the african union mission is subject to the u.n. human rights due diligence, all due diligence policy. and in fact, amazon has on its staff human rights experts that indeed look into these cases. and we also examine them when we receive information indicating that there have been incidents. we advise amazon of that and seek their response on it. in the case of the united states and other bilateral partners, they are in somalia, bilaterally. they are not in somalia under a specific rule book. the u.n. under the u.n. is in somalia. under chapter 7 means they one is
a sponsible for the protection of somali civilians, even if there is another party that is the on a bilateral level. the u.n. is responsible for the protection of the billions because it is there under chapter 7 of the united nations charter is so these are also investigated and when there are cases related to bilateral partners, we also communicate that information to the bilateral partners so that they have an opportunity to look into the case further and to respond on these matters. could you tell us of any case where civilians have been compensated civilians who, whose relatives have been killed? has the u.n. actually gone into the details of trying to address any situation of collateral damage as they call it, you know, the killing of civilians. you have notified the parties, but that's not enough. in terms of their sponsibility of the u.n. . there is in fact an existing grid of compensation based on the nature of the, of what happened, whether it's a death or
a severe injury. and there is a basis on which then those who can establish that they have been victims of these cases are then compensated. you also supports the government in mogadishu. and we know that the government in mogadishu has been committing violations against human rights. and they arrest arbitrarily, they work against the freedom of expression, sometimes not only sometimes, but frequently, and that happened in somaliland. it happens also in mogadishu. do you try to convince the somali government, or to impose any kind of punishment? you know, if we can say that if, when they, when they violate human rights, do they try to prevent cases further cases of violations of human rights? by the, by the somali government, well again, we have a human rights due diligence policy involving any of our activities in regard to the somali authorities, or indeed other partner organizations with,
with which we're working. and so that tails validation that there are not human rights violations being committed. if there are cases in which we understand that such violations are occurring, then we have to take measures to ensure that u.n. support is not benefiting those who are involved in the violation. and we look to find ways to ensure that the people can still benefit from the support that we're seeking to provide. but those in the chain who may have been involved or plausibly believed to have been involved in human rights violations, do not participate in those decisions. or in those programs, the case of child soldiers in particular is very problematic, and many people are upset about it outside in the national you know, the misty international man, those organizations, they talk about the dial them in which child soldiers find themselves, they are forcibly recruited by al shabab,
and when they are captured by the government, they are tied to prison and sometimes, you know, killed or punished in the name in this severe manner so that in their own both sides, they are being, you know, hurt. what is the u.n. doing in this revolt? to protect those child soldiers? yes. well, 1st of all, again, we have a team that meets regularly co-chaired by myself and the head of unicef that look specifically at issues of children in armed conflict. we've also benefited from higher level attention out of new york with the special representative for children in armed conflict visited last year. particularly to highlight this as a requirement for further attention by the somali authorities also working through some of the agencies, funds and programs. we are supporting rehabilitation programs for child soldiers
who are or children who are able to escape from defect from armed groups, whether al-shabaab or others who can benefit from some reentry support, rehabilitation support both boys and girls. so there is both an advocacy component to this in terms of engaging the somali authorities, but also there is a program magic component terms of helping those along with other partners to to who are able to emerge as they reenter society. i do think this takes us back to our concerns over al-shabaab, and of course they do account still for most of the human rights violations that we see there. most of the civilian deaths continue to be as a consequence of al-shabaab, another. another point of contention between the u.s. and the and the somali government in the you support this government and
it is related to the human rights record of this government. this is a legislature about the sexual violations. i understand that the units on happy with the what is the criticism that you have against it? why is the government's not co-operative in this respect? it's important to go back a few years in, in 2018. the government's cabinet adopted a draft bill called the sexual offenses bill, which was widely consulted with human rights actors within the un and among others . and it was widely hailed by somali human rights activists as well as a progressive bill that would help to ensure maximum protection for women facing risks of sexual violence. or the refence says this was called the sexual offenses
bill. over the summer, a new draft bill called the law on sexual intercourse and related crimes, was discussed, was mooted, was, was considered if not formally introduced in parliament. and that bill appeared to be a significant step backward, including making it possible in some cases for forced marriage to proceed. and it clearly represented a significant retrogression from the bill that had been introduced previously. we engaged with the speaker of parliament and with other parliamentarians that bill the new law on sexual intercourse and related crimes, has not been introduced. we continue to believe it is not suitable and would not respond well to the needs of the somali women. and indeed,
the somali population in general, but at the moment it is not under active consideration in parliament. so the government has some, in the government has its own deadlines. it's, it seems to me places where there was no discussion with the un. there was no compromise. does that make you think that probably this government is not going to be very helpful in terms of achieving all of the goals that the yuan is planning? is somebody 1st in regard to these laws on the one on sexual offenses bill that was indeed introduced by the executive where it was turned back was in parliament by the leadership of parliament. so it's not a, an issue specifically related to the executive branch, but rather to the parliamentary leadership. in terms of the collaboration, again, with the somali authorities, our effort is to be aligned in terms of the institution building. with the somali
government, of course, it will be up to the somalis to determine how their leaders are selected and what policies they pursue in the future. the special representative of the united nations secretary general, mr. james swan, thank you very much for talking with us and thanks for having to maintain the intersection of reality and comedy and post revolution, tennessee. mission, to entertain, educate and prevent debate through satire, how weapon of choice and internet. look at what inspires one of tennessee is most popular comedians to make people laugh. my tune is yeah, hang on al-jazeera. december on al-jazeera. it's 10 years
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