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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > March
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 3, 2005


Somalia: Restoration of Governance

The United States values the leadership of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the African Union in establishing the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. The United States strongly supports the establishment of a functioning central government in Somalia capable of bringing the Somali people out of this long period of civil conflict and addressing the international community’s concerns regarding terrorism.

The Transitional Federal Government is now at a crossroads. We urge the Transitional Federal Government to quickly address the challenging tasks of relocating to Somalia and beginning a gradual process of establishing effective governance. The Transitional Federal Government can only establish legitimacy within Somalia through a process of peace and reconciliation, not through force of arms. The Transitional Federal Government can only succeed with the full support of the Somali people through the establishment of national administration and provision of services to the Somali people. We hope the Transitional Federal Government will reach out to all Somalis, religious or secular in orientation, who disavow the use of violence.

The United States shares the concerns of the international community and many Somalis regarding the introduction of foreign troops into Somalia. The African Union and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development would likely play an important role in a peace support mission for Somalia at the appropriate time. Such a mission, however, must be carefully evaluated and have the support of the Somali people. In order to support this process, all nations must honor the United Nations arms embargo for Somalia.

Somalia’s neighbors have legitimate national interests that are best protected by the successful establishment of a stable and effective central government in Somalia; however, any external force should exclude troops from those countries. To include troops from neighboring countries at this time could pose an insurmountable obstacle to the Transitional Federal Government’s ability to gain the support and trust of the Somali people due to the perception within Somalia that some neighboring countries may be biased towards one or more elements of the Transitional Federal Government.

We urge all Somalis involved in the creation of a new Somali government to focus on the needs of the Somali people while respecting the peace, governance and security that exists in areas not currently participating in the reconciliation process. We hope all Somali participants will continue their efforts towards the reestablishment of effective governance in Somalia through a sustained process of reconciliation and dialogue. It is in the interest of the international community to support the establishment of regional stability and the peaceful return of governance to Somalia.

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