|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6975th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Welcomes Recent Launch of United Nations Assistance Mission
in Somalia, Described by Secretary-General as ‘Fresh Start’
Presidential Statement Urges Swift Establishment of Presence in Mogadishu;
Somalia’s Minister Says: ‘Let’s Be Under No Illusion that the Road Is Clear’
The Security Council today welcomed the launch on 3 June of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, which, the Secretary-General says in his latest report, is a “fresh start” in United Nations engagement in that strife-torn nation, as it is based on a vision underpinned by current needs and opportunities and reinforces the scope for new partnerships and funding requirements.
In a statement read out by Mark Simmonds, Minister for Africa of the United Kingdom, whose delegation holds the Council’s rotating presidency for the month, the Council underscored the importance of the new Mission, known as UNSOM, quickly establishing a “significant presence” in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and beyond to support the Federal Government’s peace and reconciliation agenda and plans to strengthen the armed forces and police, rebuild the judiciary, and improve public financial management.
Further to the text, the Council expressed its full support for the communiqué of the 7 May Somalia Conference held in London that backed the Somali authorities in achieving those aims. And, it reiterated its expectation that UNSOM would become an integrated mission by 1 January 2014. It called on such international partners as the African Union, the Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD) and the European Union to cooperate with the new entity.
While the Council welcomed recent progress in security, it expressed concern in its statement that the gains were fragile, and underscored the importance of addressing outstanding issues that were vital for Somalia’s long-term stability.
Voicing his support for UNSOM was Jan Eliasson, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, who said the entity would be an integrated Mission, offering “one door to knock on” for Somalia’s engagement with the United Nations. He called on the Council to give UNSOM the requisite resources to carry out its mandate. Mr. Eliasson lauded the Somali Government, launched eight months ago, for establishing a political programme and plans for stabilization and peacebuilding, as well as a process to review the Provisional Constitution ahead of elections planned for 2016.
He encouraged all partners to support those efforts and outcomes of the Somali aid conference in London last month, during which donors had pledged more than $300 million. “We should all agree on a framework for future coordination, building on the London II Conference and on the side meeting on Somalia at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development,” he said, welcoming the launch of the “New Deal” and development of a new aid compact, with Somalis at the centre.
Similarly, Mr. Simmonds said the international community had a “collective responsibility” to ensure continued support for Somali peacebuilding. “We cannot be complacent,” he said, stressing that if Somalia was allowed to backslide, the consequences would contribute to regional instability, piracy and terrorism. There was very real suffering each day, and the world could not stand by and risk another famine in the country. Further, recent attacks by Al-Shabaab showed that the group remained determined to kill innocent civilians and halt progress.
To counter such threats, he urged support for the President’s six-point plan and for ensuring that commitments made in London were both carried out and aligned with Somali priorities. In addition, Somali security forces must have clear oversight, which would allow the Government to fulfil its role of protecting public order. Work to develop the country’s security forces must be in step with the Government’s plans. Human rights concerns also must be addressed, especially as Somalia remained one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.
Council members expressed optimism for sustainable peace and stability in what had previously been described as a failed State. But many felt the gains were fragile and reversible, as the militant group Al-Shabaab still controlled large swaths of territory and remained intent on destabilizing liberated areas. Clan rivalries and foreign influences also highlighted the risk of destabilization. Still, members noted the Somali President’s willingness to ensure stability and development, and respect for human rights, and they voiced support for his six-pillar plan aimed at tackling the most urgent issues.
Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Adan, Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the Council’s support was critical to bringing about a politically, economically and socially stable country. There had been “encouraging” developments since her last briefing to the Council on 14 February, notably the Federal Government’s implementation of its six-pillar policy framework and recovery of routes previously held by Al-Shabaab.
“Let’s be under no illusion that the road is clear,” she cautioned, stressing that those groups still threatened peace, millions of people still lived in refugee camps and Somalia still lacked education, sanitation and other basic services. The most pressing goal was to end, once and for all, the threat of conflict that bubbled beneath the surface of so many communities.
Echoing those concerns, Ethiopia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the IGAD countries, said security challenges remained, and the situation in Kismayo must not be allowed to distract attention from the fight against Al-Shabaab. IGAD Heads of State were doing their part. In May, they had held two extraordinary sessions laying out basic principles to expedite national reconciliation, including Government leadership in the reconciliation process, respect for the Provisional Constitution, and defeating Al-Shabaab as the primary focus of the Somali Federal Government, as well as of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and regional and global partners.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Guatemala, Togo, Argentina, China, Australia, France, Rwanda, Luxembourg, United States, Morocco, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Azerbaijan and Pakistan.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2013/7 reads as follows:
“The Security Council welcomes the Somalia Conference held in London on 7 May, co-chaired by the President of Somalia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Security Council fully supports the conference communiqué. At the Conference, the international community underlined its support to the Federal Government of Somalia and its plans for strengthening its armed forces and police, rebuilding the justice sector and improving public financial management. The Council expresses its gratitude for the pledges of assistance made by Member States in London.
“The Council welcomes the launch on 3 June of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM), and reiterates its support for the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr Nicholas Kay. The Council underlines the importance of UNSOM quickly establishing a significant presence in Mogadishu and beyond, in view of the urgent need to support the Government of Somalia on its peace and reconciliation agenda, and expresses its commitment to support the Secretary-General in this regard. The Council expresses the importance of UNSOM supporting a Somali-led peace and reconciliation process. The Council takes note of the closure of the former United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and thanks former Special Representative of the Secretary-General Augustine P. Mahiga and all UNPOS staff for their service to Somalia.
“The Council reiterates its expectation that UNSOM shall be an integrated mission by 1 January 2014. The Council stresses UNSOM’s role in supporting the Government of Somalia in coordinating international support and calls for cooperation from international partners and organizations including the African Union, the Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD) and the European Union.
“The Council welcomes sustained international engagement on Somalia. In that context the Council welcomes the intention of the European Union to hold a conference on Somalia in Brussels in September. The conference will help deliver tangible peace dividends for all Somalis as well as signalling a new partnership between Somalia and the international community on political reconstruction and economic development. The Council also takes note of the recent special meeting on Somalia in the margins of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
“The Council underlines its gratitude to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its strategic partners for their efforts, alongside the Somali armed forces, who have been working to provide the security space for progress towards peace and stability in Somalia. The Council takes note of the African Union Peace and Security Council’s communiqué of 10 May on the situation in Somalia. The Council pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of all AMISOM personnel and extends its gratitude to the people and Governments of troop-contributing countries and strategic partners. The Council welcomes the intention of the Secretariat to conduct a joint review of AMISOM with the African Union and emphasizes the importance of both organizations working closely together in this exercise.
“The Council is grateful for international support to AMISOM, including from the European Union for its valuable contribution to AMISOM’s budget. The Council reiterates its request for new and existing donors to support AMISOM, including through the provision of uncaveated funding for AMISOM to the United Nations Trust Fund.
“The Security Council welcomes the recent progress which has been made in security but recognizes these gains are fragile. The Council underlines the importance of international support to the Federal Government of Somalia in building professional, accountable and capable security forces as part of a comprehensive approach to security sector reform in Somalia, including reform of the justice sector, human rights and establishing the rule of law.
“The Security Council remains concerned at the fragile security situation in Somalia, and the threat that Al-Shabaab continues to pose to peace and security. The Council reiterates its condemnation, in the strongest terms, of the recent attacks which targeted civilians supporting the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia.
“The Council reiterates the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia addressing outstanding issues which are vital for the long-term stability of Somalia including: political reconciliation; the development of a federal system; the constitutional review process and subsequent referendum on the constitution; and preparations for elections in 2016. The Council underlines the importance of effective engagement between UNSOM and the Federal Government of Somalia on all these issues. The Security Council reiterates its call for the full inclusion of women in all political processes.
“The Council stresses its respect for Somalia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity. The Council underlines the importance of constructive engagement between the Federal Government of Somalia and local and regional administrations. In this regard, the Security Council takes note of the reopening of the Dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and ‘Somaliland’ in Ankara in April 2013. The Security Council encourages the parties’ continued commitment to the Dialogue.
“The Council stresses the importance of developing peaceful and cooperative relationships between the States of the region. The Council takes note of the Government of Somalia’s efforts to rebuild good-neighbourly relations to enhance collective security. The Council takes note of the 24 May Communiqué of the twenty-second IGAD summit in Addis Ababa. The Council shares the concerns of IGAD on the situation in Kismayo, and in that context calls on all parties to refrain from any actions which may threaten the peace and stability of Somalia. The Council welcomes the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to lead reconciliation efforts in the Juba Regions, with the support of UNSOM, IGAD, and other appropriate actors. The Council expresses its intention to keep the situation under review.
“The Council emphasizes the need for the international community to provide well coordinated, timely and sustained humanitarian assistance to the millions of Somalis who remain in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian support; and development assistance with a focus on livelihood recovery and building community resilience to support Somalia’s transition to sustainable peace and economic development.
“The Council expresses its deep concern at reports of continued violations and abuses of human rights in Somalia by all parties to the conflict, including reports of grave violations and abuses against children. The Council also expresses concern at reports of sexual violence perpetrated against internally displaced persons by organized armed groups and members of the Somali armed forces. The Council calls on the Government of Somalia to ensure that all perpetrators of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law are held fully accountable, in line with the relevant provision of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
“The Council welcomes the Government of Somalia’s signing of a Joint Communiqué with the United Nations on the prevention of sexual violence in Somalia, which took place in the margins of the Somalia Conference. The Council underlines the importance of full and swift implementation of these commitments including the visit of the team of experts and subsequent recommendations for action. The Council welcomes the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitments to eliminate the killing and maiming of children, and to end the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflict. In this regard the Council underlines the importance of full and swift implementation of the two action plans signed by the Government of Somalia.
“The Council remains concerned by the threat posed by piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia. The Council stresses the primary responsibility of Somalia in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea. The Council welcomes the substantial reduction in the number of successful piracy-related attacks brought about by effective counter-piracy measures through increased national, bilateral and multilateral initiatives and regional cooperative mechanisms, and recognizes the need for counter-piracy efforts to continue, because these gains are reversible as long as the conditions ashore are conducive to piracy activity at sea. The Security Council encourages the Government of Somalia to adopt and implement anti-piracy legislation without further delay.
“The Security Council reiterates the urgent need for the competent authorities to investigate and prosecute not only suspected pirates captured at sea, but also anyone who incites or intentionally facilitates piracy operations, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who illicitly plan, organize, facilitate, or finance and profit from such attacks. The Council keeps under review the possibility of applying targeted sanctions against such individuals or entities if they meet the listing criteria set out in paragraph 8 of resolution 1844 (2008).
“The members of the Security Council will keep the situation under close review.”
As the Security Council met this morning to discuss the situation in Somalia, it had before it the Secretary-General’s latest report on that country (document S/2013/326), which covers major developments that occurred in the three major tracks of the United Nations activities in that country ‑ political; security; and humanitarian, recovery and development, and human rights ‑ during the period from 16 January to 15 May 2013. It provides a final update on the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), ahead of its closure on 3 June, and on plans for deployment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), authorized under Security Council resolution 2102 (2013) of 2 May.
JAN ELIASSON, Deputy Secretary-General, said he and the Secretary-General had been following developments closely. The country still faced many challenges, and he cautioned the international community not to allow any reversals of hard-won gains. This week’s successful launching of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, in Mogadishu, was a major milestone. The Secretary-General’s new Special Representative, Nicholas Kay, had already met Somalia’s Speaker of Parliament and the Prime Minister. UNSOM would support political dialogue, peacebuilding, and human rights protection. But successfully meeting the major peacebuilding challenges depended primarily on the Somali Government’s efforts, notably to establish a well-functioning federal structure and nurture peaceful, cooperative relations with its neighbours, based on mutual and complementary interests.
He said that the Federal Government of Somalia, eight months since its formation, had established its political programme and presented plans for stabilization and peacebuilding, as well as begun reaching out beyond Mogadishu to realize its vision of a federated Somalia, thereby demonstrating commitment to dialogue with other regional administrations. A process had been launched to review the Provisional Constitution ahead of elections planned for 2016.
“I commend the Government for its efforts, which deserve full and continuous international support,” he said, stressing that creating a federal State in Somalia was “a complex and demanding task”. He noted the recent rise in tensions in Kismayo following the declaration of a regional state in early April. On 15 May, 500 delegates to a conference in Kismayo selected a president of what was called “Jubaland State of Somalia”, but that administration was regarded by the Federal Government as illegal and unconstitutional. The process had also been criticized for being insufficiently inclusive. Since then, six other candidates had declared themselves president of the new entity. While there had so far been no reports of military confrontation, the situation remained volatile.
Such issues could only be resolved through dialogue among the Somalis, he said. Somalia also needed the support of its partners, neighbours and friends. The efforts of the leaders of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia to develop cooperative relationships were essential and must continue. The widespread recognition that a strong and stable Somalia was in the interests of all should guide regional efforts to address outstanding issues and potential sources of friction. In that regard, he supported the statement of the extraordinary Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) last month, which recognized the lead role of the Federal Government in addressing the situation in Kismayo. The Summit also recommended that the Government convene a reconciliation conference, with the support from IGAD and the United Nations.
Meanwhile, AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) had a critical role in ensuring security and freedom of movement for all those engaged in the peace process, he said. It would work with UNSOM on political strategy, peacebuilding and stabilization, as well as on protection of human rights. The new Mission’s impact would also depend on effective security arrangements in close collaboration with AMISOM. But AMISOM was reaching its operational limit in terms of holding and expanding areas under its control. To sustain the momentum of the past year, the Mission needed more resources for ground and air mobility, including helicopters and armoured personnel carriers, as well as the means to reconfigure its forces. “I urge Council Members to give positive consideration to these requests,” he said, adding that the Administration remained open to discussions on long-term options for the security track, together with the African Union and the Federal Government.
In follow-up to the Security Council's request, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would undertake, jointly with the African Union and in close consultation with the Somali Government, an exercise to review AMISOM’s deployment and establish benchmarks for the possible future deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation, he said. Over the long-term, Somalia must assume its own responsibilities through integrated, accountable and effective security institutions. That required a well-funded and coordinated strategic approach. He welcomed the pledges of support of more than $300 million made at the London II Conference and appealed to donors to live up to their commitments.
He strongly encouraged all partners to continue their dialogue and to work closely together for Somali State- and peacebuilding. Somalia would need sustained, generous international support to continue on the path of progress. That would mean a clear commitment to the Federal Government to rapidly develop its plans and build its capacities. “We should all agree on a framework for future coordination, building on the London II Conference and on the side meeting on Somalia at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development,” he said, welcoming the launch of the “New Deal” and looking forward to the development of a new aid compact, with Somalis at the centre, accompanied by unified funding mechanisms.
UNSOM had already set up its Headquarters in Mogadishu and would establish its presence across the country, notably in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab as well as in Garowe and Hargeisa, he said. The Mission would support political dialogue and advise the Government on peacebuilding and State-building, including coordination of international assistance. UNSOM would be an integrated Mission, offering “one door to knock on” for Somalia’s engagement with the United Nations. He appealed to the Council to support UNSOM and help it fulfil its mandate, also by providing the necessary resources to the Mission itself and to Somalia. He called on all to come together in support of the new Government in its efforts to bring peace and stability to the people of Somalia.
MARK SIMMONDS, Minister for Africa of the United Kingdom, said his Government had chosen to make Somalia a priority for the Council, following the 7 May London Conference. Indeed, Somalia had been through a “dramatic shift” over the last year, with a new Parliament and Government achieved in the most representative process in a generation. The economy was recovering and the diaspora was returning. There was a sense of hope. The Conference also had seen a united international community to support the next phase of recovery. For its part, Somalia had shared plans to reform its police, justice and public management systems, plans which participants had recognized.
He went on to say that the Council could be proud that AMISOM had the resources it required to succeed in guiding the United Nations towards its deepest engagement in Somalia in two decades. “We have collective responsibility to ensure that this continues,” he said. The new Assistance Mission would make the United Nations efforts more coherent, providing Somalis “one door to knock on”.
Such gains would not have been possible without the African Union’s contributions, he stressed, paying tribute to all efforts by Somali, Ethiopian and AMISOM personnel. The United Kingdom looked to the United Nations and the African Union to work together in a complementary manner for the good of the Somali people. It was in the interests of Somalia, the region and the international community that momentum was maintained. “We cannot be complacent,” he said, stressing that if Somalia was allowed to backslide, the consequences would contribute to regional instability, piracy and terrorism.
He said there should be no illusions about the sustained efforts required from Somalia and its partners. Somalia lacked public services and clean water supplies. There was very real suffering each day, and the world could not stand by and risk another famine in the country. Further, recent attacks by Al-Shabaab showed that the group remained determined kill innocent civilians and halt Somalia’s progress. To counter such threats, he urged support for the President’s six-point plan and ensuring that commitments made in London were both carried out and aligned with Somali priorities. It also was imperative that AMISOM and the United Nations work closely and that AMISOM had the tools to fulfil its mandate.
Further, he said Somali security forces must have clear oversight, which would allow the Government to fulfil its role of protecting public order. Work to develop the country’s security forces must be aligned with the Government’s plans. Human rights concerns also must be addressed, especially as Somalia remained one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.
Ultimately, political progress would be the key to long-term stability in Somalia, he said, welcoming the Government’s commitment to holding elections in 2016 and efforts to resolve outstanding constitutional issues. He also commended IGAD and Somalia’s neighbours. The United Kingdom was pleased to have hosted talks between Somalia and Somaliland last June and looked forward to the next such meeting in Turkey. He also welcomed the European Union’s plans to host a conference on Somalia in September, which would foster long-term partnership.
“Somalia has come a long way since the days of extremism and tyranny,” he said, stressing that the next year would be pivotal. The Federal Government must be supported in realizing improvements in security, policing, justice and public financial management. Coordination within the international community must also be improved. Along with the Council, the United Kingdom would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Somali people to achieve a brighter future.
JOSÉ ALBERTO BRIZ GUTIÉRREZ (Guatemala) said the London Conference had set an important precedent in reaffirming the leadership of Somalia, which had co-hosted the event, and in recognizing the nation’s great efforts to leave behind two decades of crisis. He hoped Somalia would implement the joint communiqué’s recommendations, reached with the United Nations, regarding the prevention of sexual violence.
Welcoming the designation of Nicholas Kay as UNSOM’s Special Representative, he hoped the Assistance Mission would create a constructive relationship with the Government to face the national reconciliation challenges, distribution of power and resources in the region, reconstruction of State institutions and enhancing of human rights. He agreed that security sector reform was a priority and recognized the national security plan presented by the Somali Federal Government as vital to consolidate the armed and police forces. Stabilizing Jubaland also was crucial, and it was important that the embargo on carbon was implemented. He also hoped the Somali coast would soon be a source of revenue for the Somali population.
KODJO MENAN ( Togo) said the situation in Somalia was radically different than a year ago. The security situation had improved and the country had entered a transformation phase with new institutions now working to implement the six pillars of the Government’s programme to promote national unity. Such efforts must be supported. Progress in the political and security fields was huge, as were the challenges to be met. The London Conference had been an opportunity for taking stock of the political situation, insecurity, justice and public financial management. Participants had agreed to provide coordinated and sustained support, and those plans must translate to actions on the ground.
He welcomed the European Union’s intention to hold another conference on Somalia, which he hoped would lead to further commitments. The challenges ahead required a comprehensive approach towards political reconciliation, the development of a federal system, revision of the Constitution and preparation for 2016 elections. Events in the south had crystallized the challenges of national reconciliation and he urged all to not lose sight of internal rivalries, which played into the hands of Al-Shabaab. Good neighbourly relations must be promoted. AMISOM had made huge efforts to promote peace, forcing Al-Shabaab out of several territories, but that group still posed a threat, which required Somalia to build its own security institutions. The arms embargo, once lifted, would allow for building inclusive security forces, and he called for expanded support for AMISOM. It was also essential for Somalia define a comprehensive approach to the security of its maritime areas and to acquire the means to try those involved in piracy.
FERNANDA MILLICAY (Argentina) welcomed the consolidation of Somali Government efforts to create democratic State institutions, but she was aware of complexity of that task, which required inclusive dialogue and broad consensus. She welcomed the recovery of certain areas of Garowe and Hargeisa, but felt the security situation remained fragile, owing to asymmetric attacks by Al-Shabaab. While she welcomed the second London Conference on Somalia and the national security framework, the difficult human rights situation was deeply worrying. She pointed to extrajudicial executions of journalists and the recruitment of children, particularly in camps for the internally displaced in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab, members of the national forces and their allied militia were also responsible for the human rights violations, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. The Government must commit decisively to fight impunity.
Continuing, she said she welcomed the holding of the national conference, which recommended legislative and institutional reforms. She recognized the United Nations work to end the murder, use and mutilation of children, and the delivery of 41 former child soldiers to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Also welcome had been the 7 May Joint Communiqué between the Somali Government and the United Nations on the prevention of sexual violence. Still, 2.7 million Somalis depended on humanitarian assistance, which must reach its destination to avoid a worsening of the situation. Humanitarian workers must be respected. She recognized the efforts of the African Union through AMISOM. That strategic partnership with the United Nations was crucial, she said, underscoring the need for sustainable, predictable financing for AMISOM.
LI BAODONG (China) said Somalia had a historic opportunity to transit from turmoil to stability. He lauded the recent breakthrough in the political process, which had launched State-rebuilding. Also welcome were improvements in the security and the humanitarian situations. But Somalia still had long way to go to achieve stability, as the gains made remained fragile. Somalia must make greater efforts, and the international community must provide strong support to help the Government enforce the Provisional Constitution and six-point policy outline and speed up institution-building. National reconciliation was the only way for Somalia to achieve long-term stability. He urged the various parties to renounce violence and defuse their differences through dialogue. The international community should support efforts of regional organizations and countries, and UNSOM would play a vital role towards that end. The international community also should increase support for UNSOM, giving it predictable and sustainable funding. He hoped for its rapid deployment, and he called for support for the London Conference outcome.
GARY FRANCIS QUINLAN (Australia) stressed that Somalia was at a pivotal time in history ‑ a time of great hope and optimism, but also a time at which gains remained fragile. Opportunities were significant, with Somalia’s most representative Government in 20 years in place. It had outlined strong plans for security, justice and financial management. The new United Nations Mission had a strong mandate to assist the advancement of peace and reconciliation in that nation and coordinate donor support. It responded to the Government’s call for “one door” to knock on.
But challenges were immense, he said. Towards 2016 national elections, the country needed to build up State institutions, advance reconciliation, develop a federal system and undertake a constitutional review. UNSOM should flexibly respond to the Government’s needs. Establishing a federal system would not be easy, and inclusive processes would be needed to build consensus. Relationships between the central Government and regional administrations also would be critical. AMISOM was clearly overstretched and unable to continue the commendable progress it had achieved in recovering territory with its current resource levels. Time had come for an in-depth analysis of that mission’s needs regarding force numbers, configuration, enablers and financing. Australia supported efforts to ensure that “the page is turned, gains are consolidated and Somalia continues down its current path towards peace, stability and prosperity”.
PHILIPPE BERTOUX (France) said Somalia had made clear progress over the last year, with the political transition offering hope for re-launching the economy. But gains remained fragile and reversible. Al-Shabaab controlled significant territories and continued to destabilize liberated areas, while AMISOM did not appear to be in a position to win new territories. Clan rivalries and foreign influences showed that the crisis was fraught with risk for destabilizing the south and undoing months of progress. “We cannot let the opportunity slip to extricate Somalia from the vicious cycle in which it has been locked,” he said, urging that Ethiopia’s withdrawal be carried out in a coordinated manner with AMISOM.
Further, Ugandan and other forces must be deployed, he said. There must also be a focus on budgetary considerations, as the European Union was the foremost financial contributor and new donors were needed. In the long-term, the capacity of Somali forces must be strengthened, and he encouraged States to echo the European Union’s training initiatives. A politically negotiated solution must be found for the situation in Kismayo and he urged all parties to work towards national reconciliation. Somalia’s neighbours must also make efforts, and the new Assistance Mission would contribute through its good offices mandate.
EUGÈNE-RICHARD GASANA (Rwanda), noting that Somalia had previously been described as a failed State, said his country was now “reasonably optimistic” about its future, amid progress towards sustainable peace and stability. The President had shown his willingness to ensure peace, stability and development while promoting human rights. Rwanda supported the six-pillar plan aimed at tackling the most urgent issues, pressing for the international community’s support. While Somali security forces had improved the situation, the fight against Al-Shabaab was far from over.
He went on to urge the Council to consider positively African Union requests to provide additional resources to AMISOM, noting that funding must include enablers and force multipliers. It also was imperative that the Federal Government undertake security-sector reforms aimed at building an army and combating Al-Shabaab. National ownership was critical for the current peacebuilding phase. Going forward, Rwanda urged the Government to establish regional administrations and engage in political outreach, always aiming for dialogue. Rwanda would continue to support the country, which was “ready to own its destiny”.
SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) said Somalia had entered a new era. The authorities enjoyed the legitimate trust of the population and the country was on the right path of political security and progress. However, considerable challenges remained. Somalia authorities should set up a federal system, revise the Constitution and prepare for elections in 2016. Women should be fully involved in that process. The reconciliation process in Kismayo was also vital. Specific attention must be given to the regional dynamic to strengthen trust among States in the Horn of Africa. She welcomed efforts by IGAD to support stability in Somalia. Despite the remarkable efforts of the Somali security forces and AMISOM, Al-Shabaab still controlled a large part of the country.
Citing some recent positive developments, she welcomed the Somali Government’s efforts to develop its police force and judicial system, and added that the Government must be in a position to coordinate the action of international donors and it must be in control of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. She shared the Secretary-General’s concern that AMISOM had reached its limit in controlling freed areas. She welcomed efforts by the African Union and AMISOM to improve the security situation on the ground, which would also help to combat piracy. Luxembourg would continue to assist, by providing surveillance aircraft to the Atalanta mission through the European Union. She was concerned about sexual violence, particularly occurring in internally displaced persons’ camps. Those responsible must be brought to justice. She welcomed the Somali Government’s commitment to end the recruitment, murder and mutilation of children and urged the security sector to put in place mechanisms to support that.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) welcomed creation of UNSOM and looked forward to its expanded presence in key locations throughout the country. With a fully integrated country team, UNSOM would indeed give the Government “one door to knock on”. But much work remained. Despite tactical successes, Al-Shabaab had not been defeated, and many rural parts of the country remained vulnerable. He looked to security forces to maintain control. Member States, for their part, must fulfil their obligations under the targeted sanctions in the areas of the arms embargo and the charcoal ban.
At the 7 May London II Conference, he said the United States had announced almost $40 million in new assistance to support development and justice reform in Somalia. Long-term stability depended on a responsible security sector, good governance and the rule of law. AMISOM’s training of Somali national security forces was critical. He encouraged United Nations entities and donors to continue to support economic development, including efforts to resolve land disputes. Greater attention should also be paid to youth unemployment.
He was concerned by continuing human rights violations. He lauded the Joint Communiqué between the United Nations and the Somali Government to end that scourge. He was concerned about Somaliland’s decision on 14 May to ban United Nations air flights, which could impede humanitarian aid deliver. The situation in Jubaland was particularly worrisome, and he looked to Somalia’s neighbours to help resolve that.
LOTFI BOUCHAARA (Morocco) welcomed significant progress in Somalia and the new dynamic to build a unified State, saying that would not have been possible without the efforts of the Somali people. Still, the challenges ahead required significant support. Political and security achievements would enable Somalia to create a federal system and hold elections in 2016. The London Conference had maintained momentum for strengthening security, justice and public financial management, which would ensure Somalia’s viability. Security remained fragile amid the continued threat of Al-Shabaab, but easing the arms embargo should strengthen the Somali security forces, allowing Somalis to ensure peace throughout the country.
He went on to say that such efforts required all parties to contribute to political stability and the creation of a sustainable economy. Welcoming the Assistance Mission, he urged enhanced coordination of international assistance, saying that national ownership of Somalia’s reconstruction should be a guiding principle for all assistance. The President’s six-point plan allowed for enhancing stability on the basis of a national Somali vision. The approach to piracy must take into account the deep-seated causes of such behaviour. He also urged enhanced international support to help Somalia overcome its humanitarian crisis.
ALEXANDER A. PANKIN (Russian Federation) said the situation in Somalia remained tense, requiring military pressure on Al-Shabaab, which continued to threaten peacekeepers and security forces alike and carry out terrorist activities, including in Mogadishu. His Government was alarmed at the spread of Al-Shabaab’s influence to the north, stressing that AMISOM’s gains must be expanded by acting “energetically” to prevent a military vacuum and by taking over positions abandoned by extremists. There was no doubt about additional assistance for AMISOM, given its growing area of responsibility.
He said that freely flowing weapons and charcoal provided financial and other fuel to Al-Shabaab, and stressed that the security sector must be strengthened to prevent a political vacuum after the militant group’s departure. No less important were national reconciliation efforts, including the reintegration of former combatants. Positive momentum had been seen in fighting piracy, but a comprehensive strategy should be implemented by restoring order on land, suppressing the financial channels for piracy and carrying out targeted sanctions. He voiced hope that the Assistance Mission would be deployed in a timely manner, underlining that the main responsibility for national stability lay with Somalia.
SUL KYUNG-HOON (Republic of Korea) said Somalia was at a critical juncture. He noted signs of hopeful progress, but also daunting challenges. The Government should continue setting up well-functioning State institutions and resolving constitutional issues. Clan-based rivalry in Jubaland continued to threaten federalism in Somalia and risked inciting conflicts. He encouraged the Federal Government and regional authorities to seek a more constructive dialogue. Addressing the security threats from Al-Shabaab was vital, and although the group had been weakened by AMISOM, there was still a risk that political and security gains could unravel. The Federal Government should continue security-sector reform efforts and tackle abuses of civilians by Somali national security forces. He recognized the efforts by AMISOM and regional organizations to sustain AMISOM’s operations.
He said that strict adherence to the sanction regime was vital. The international ban on charcoal was a useful measure to prevent the flow of revenue to Al-Shabaab and, thus, the continued production and export of charcoal was worrisome. Staunching arms flows to terrorists should be supported at all costs. As chair of the Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee, the Republic of Korea would do its utmost to ensure adherence to the sanctions regime. He welcomed the Joint Communiqué between the United Nations and the Federal Government of Somalia to end sexual violence. The Republic of Korea was seeking ways to bilaterally support Somalia’s national plan. The international community should support Somalia’s long-term sustainable economic development.
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV (Azerbaijan) commended the recent approval by the Council of the Secretary-General’s vision for a new fully-fledged United Nations Mission in Somalia, calling it a renewed commitment to the creation of a political and strategic environment for a Somali-owned peacebuilding process. On a national level, he said that the six-pillar policy priorities defined by the Somali President were a solid basis for a comprehensive and multidimensional strategy, particularly in political and national reconciliation, swift and effective implementation of the security-sector reforms, economic recovery and development. In the same vein, it was critical to effectively address the threats and challenges posed by terrorists and armed opposition groups, particularly Al-Shabaab, including through supporting and implementing measures against those internal and external actors who attempted to undermine Somalia’s peace process.
In that vein, he said it was urgent to support both the Somali National Security Forces and AMISOM through additional investments and resources. He further stressed the need for “consistent strong commitment” by the Security Council and the broader international community in promoting dialogue between the various actors as well as in combating piracy, armed robbery and hostage-taking off the Somali coast. Full respect of international law was critical, he added.
MASOOD KHAN (Pakistan) welcomed the continuing transition towards peace and stability. The four-year strategic plan and the six-pillar policy of the Government demonstrated its leadership to rebuild the country. Efforts to create federal State institutions and reach out to the various subregional organizations would consolidate democracy and hopefully pave the way for a final constitution and the holding of national elections in 2016. Towards that goal, the United Nations good offices were vital. Still, there were daunting challenges. The establishment of local and administrative institutions and the return of refugees and internally displaced persons needed adequate resources. Security and stability were threatened, most notably by the recalcitrant Al-Shabaab. Somalia needed sustainable international support to meet those challenges.
In that connection, he expressed appreciation for efforts by the United Kingdom to hold the London II Conference. Somalia should not be allowed to backslide under any circumstances. Vast areas were now under the Government’s control, thanks to AMISOM, which had made crucial gains in all sectors of its operations. International support was needed to maintain that high level of success, particularly force enablers and multipliers. AMISOM must establish a significant presence in the country. UNSOM, among other tasks, should help Somalia and the international community in combating piracy. The recent reduction in piracy-related incidents off the Somali coast was encouraging, but the global community should not lower its guard. Pakistan would continue to support Somalia bilaterally and as part of the contact group addressing the piracy.
FOWSIYO YUSUF HAJI ADAN, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somalia, said there was no doubt about the collective desire for a peaceful and thriving Somali nation. The Council’s support was critical to bringing about a politically, economically and socially stable country. Welcoming the formation of UNSOM and congratulating Mr. Kay on assuming his duties on 3 June, she noted “encouraging” developments since her last briefing to the Council on 14 February, most notably, the Federal Government’s implementation of its six-pillar policy framework.
In addition, security was improving, she said, with Somali forces, AMISOM and their Ethiopian allies recovering routes previously held by Al-Shabaab. Somalia would not have been where it was today without the support of AMISOM and troop-contributing countries, whose ultimate sacrifices for peace in Somalia would be indelibly recorded in her country’s history. Many areas had been recovered from Al-Qaida, while Al-Shabaab had lost finances, territory and morale.
“Let’s be under no illusion that the road is clear,” she cautioned, stressing that those groups still threatened peace, millions of people still lived in refugee camps and Somalia still lacked education, sanitation and other basic services. The most pressing goal was to end, once and for all, the threat of conflict that bubbled beneath the surface of so many communities.
Citing gains, she said famine had receded, the economy was starting to revive and piracy had declined. After more than 20 years of anarchy, Mogadishu was enjoying relative calm, as the President devised security, development and employment initiatives, including for former pirates and militia groups. The Federal Government was reforming the justice sector, developing the police force and revolutionizing public financial management.
On the foreign affairs front, she said the Federal Government had scored several goals. Recognition by the United States had opened other doors to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The United Kingdom had opened an embassy, and ambassadors of other countries were queuing up to hand in their credentials. Further, the diaspora was engaged in rebuilding the country. “Our collective vision sees Somalia at peace with itself and its neighbours,” actively contributing to regional and international issues, she declared.
Indeed, Somalia was regaining its place among the community of nations, she said, as seen during the London Conference and the private-sector investment conference held the next day. Another conference in Nairobi organized by Somali diaspora groups had been well-attended. She also welcomed the upcoming Brussels conference in September organized by the European Union. Among its assets, Somalia boasted rich natural resources, the longest coast in Africa, the highest availability of livestock and eight million hectares of agricultural land.
However, its long-term social viability depended on laying down policy foundations and confidence-building measures that would allow the private sector to flourish, she said. Somalia needed to establish the rule of law and a justice system, as well as strengthen its security forces, which currently lacked training and equipment. They also lacked discipline and professionalism, with rogue individuals acting with impunity. That could not be tolerated, and monitoring and accountability structures must be put in place.
In that context, she said the Federal Government would not tolerate any human rights violations. It was committed to abolishing the use of child soldiers, preventing sexual violence, implementing the 7 May Joint Communiqué and carrying out gender-sensitive policies to ensure legal protection for all women from exploitation.
On the Juba regions, she welcomed the recent IGAD communiqué, which recommended that Somalia convene a reconciliation conference with the Authority’s support and consult with the Juba regions to develop a road map for the creation of both an interim administration and regional administrations, with IGAD playing a supportive role. The Federal Government was committed to leading such efforts. It also had sent a mission to Kismayo to advance national reconciliation.
Regionally, she said she had spent more time with Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister than any other Foreign Minister, in terms of the depth and breadth of cooperation. The countries had launched a joint cooperation commission to coordinate the implementation of bilateral agreements. Somalia had signed similar agreements with Ethiopia. In sum, she thanked the Council, the European Union, IGAD, African Union and others for their continued support, as well as participants at the London Conference, which had pledged more than $300 million. “Winning the peace will take patience and great skill,” she said.
TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), speaking on behalf of the IGAD countries, said that “there is absolutely no doubt that Somalia is on a very encouraging trajectory.” Issues that were of concern today in Somalia bore little resemblance to the challenges that the country faced not long ago. However, some security challenges remained, as Al-Shabaab had not been totally defeated. In that respect, the situation in Kismayo must not be allowed to distract attention from the fight against the extremist group, he stressed.
It was obvious that the Somali people had decided to embrace their new Government, but more work was needed on the part of both the Federal Government and the international community. The London Conference had been extremely significant, as it imputed a more coordinated international support to Somalia and outlined critical areas where further input was needed. Ethiopia supported the development of a longer-term sustainable financing architecture for Somalia, including a World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund. In the meantime, partners should undertake serious efforts to make use of the special financing facility and the Rule of Law Fund as mechanisms to channel funding to enhance the Government’s service delivery capacity.
In May, IGAD Heads of State and Government had held two extraordinary sessions, during which they had stressed the need for accelerated efforts at national reconciliation in Somalia, he said. They had laid out five principles in that respect, namely: leadership of the Government in the process of reconciliation; respect for the Provisional Constitution; all-inclusive consultative process; a supportive role for IGAD based on the principles of the Somali Government; and fighting Al-Shabaab as the primary focus of the Somali Federal Government, AMISOM, and regional and international partners. The logic behind the emphasis on fighting Al-Shabaab was that any loss of momentum ‑ let alone any reversal of gains made so far ‑ would easily herald the unravelling of the situation, which had sparked hope and confidence.
* *** *For information media • not an official record