|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5957th Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL RENEWS AUTHORIZATION OF AFRICAN UNION MISSION IN SOMALIA
Recalls Willingness to Consider United Nations Peacekeeping Mission,
Subject to Political Progress, Improved Security Conditions on Ground
The Security Council this morning renewed its authorization of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for a further period of six months.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1831 (2008) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council authorized the Mission to take all necessary measures, as appropriate, to carry out its mandate, as set out in resolution 1772 (2007), underlining, in particular, that the Mission could take all necessary measures, as appropriate, to provide security for key infrastructure and to contribute to the creation of security conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance. (See Press Release SC/9101)
Further to the text, the Council urged Member States to provide financial resources, personnel, equipment and services for AMISOM’s full deployment.
The Council encouraged the Secretary-General to continue to explore with the African Union Commission Chairperson, in coordination with donors, ways of strengthening United Nations logistical, political and technical support for the African Union, building the Union’s capacity to carry out its commitments towards supporting AMISOM, and assisting AMISOM’s full deployment, to the extent possible, with the goal of achieving United Nations standards.
In the preambular portion of today’s resolution, the Council welcomed the signature on 19 August of the agreement between the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Alliance of the Re-Liberation of Somalia, and noted that it calls for the United Nations “to authorize and deploy an international stabilization force from countries that are friends of Somalia, excluding neighbouring countries”.
The Council further noted that the communiqué of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 29 June further called for the United Nations to deploy a peacekeeping operation in Somalia that would support long-term stabilization and post-conflict restoration in the country. The Council recalled its “willingness to consider, at an appropriate time, a peacekeeping operation to take over from AMISOM, subject to progress in the political process and improvement in the security situation on the ground”.
At the opening of the meeting this morning, Council President for the month, Jan Grauls ( Belgium), paid tribute to the United Nations staff that had died in the attack on the United Nations compound in Baghdad in 2003.
The meeting was called to order at 11:05 a.m. and adjourned at 11:12 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1831 (2008) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular resolution 733 (1992), resolution 1744 (2007), resolution 1801 (2008), resolution 1811 (2008) and resolution 1814 (2008), and other relevant resolutions, namely resolution 1325 (2000), resolution 1502 (2003), resolution 1612 (2005), resolution 1674 (2006) and resolution 1738 (2006), and the statements of its President, in particular those of 14 June 2007 (S/PRST/2007/19) and 19 December 2007 (S/PRST/2007/49),
“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,
“Underlining the importance of providing and maintaining stability and security throughout Somalia, and underscoring the importance of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of militia and ex-combatants in Somalia,
“Reaffirming its condemnation of all acts of, and incitement to, violence inside Somalia, expressing its concern at all acts intended to prevent or block a peaceful political process, and expressing its further concern at such acts and incitement continuing,
“Recalling that cooperation between the United Nations and the regional arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of peace and security, as are appropriate for regional action, is an integral part of collective security as provided for in the Charter of the United Nations,
“Welcoming the communiqué of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 29 June 2008, which states that the African Union will extend from 17 July 2008 the mandate of its Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) for an additional six months,
“Emphasizing the contribution that AMISOM is making to lasting peace and stability in Somalia, welcoming in particular the continuing commitment of the Governments of Uganda and Burundi, condemning any hostility towards AMISOM, and urging all parties in Somalia and the region to support and cooperate with AMISOM,
“Welcoming the signature on 19 August 2008of the agreementbetween the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Alliance of the Re-Liberation of Somalia and noting that this agreement calls for the United Nations to authorize and deploy an international stabilization force from countries that are friends of Somalia excluding neighbouring States,
“Further noting that the communiqué of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 29 June 2008 calls for the United Nations to deploy a peacekeeping operation to Somalia that will support the long-term stabilization and post-conflict restoration in the country,
“Recalling its willingness to consider, at an appropriate time, a peacekeeping operation to take over from AMISOM, subject to progress in the political process and improvement in the security situation on the ground,
“Underlining that the full deployment of AMISOM will help facilitate the full withdrawal of other foreign forces from Somalia and help create the conditions for lasting peace and stability there,
“Determining that the situation in Somalia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to renew the authorization of Member States of the African Union to maintain a mission in Somalia for a further period of six months, which shall be authorized to take all necessary measures as appropriate to carry out the mandate set out in paragraph 9 of resolution 1772 (2007) and underlines, in particular, that AMISOM is authorized to take all necessary measures as appropriate to provide security for key infrastructure and to contribute, as may be requested and within its capabilities, to the creation of the necessary security conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance;
“2. Affirms that the provisions set out in paragraphs 11 and 12 of resolution 1772 (2007) shall continue to apply to the mission referred to in paragraph 1 above;
“3. Urges Member States of the African Union to contribute to AMISOM in order to help facilitate the full withdrawal of other foreign forces from Somalia and help create the conditions for lasting peace and stability there;
“4. Urges Member States to provide financial resources, personnel, equipment and services for the full deployment of AMISOM;
“5. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to explore with the AU Commission Chairperson, in coordination with donors, ways and means to strengthen United Nations logistical, political and technical support for the AU, to build the AU’s institutional capacity to carry out its commitments in addressing the challenges it faces in supporting AMISOM, and to assist AMISOM’s full deployment, to the extent possible and as appropriate, with the goal of achieving United Nations standards, and, in this regard, takes note of the proposals set out in paragraph 32 of the Secretary-General’s report on Somalia of 16 July (S/2008/466),
“6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
The Security Council had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia, dated 16 July (document S/2008/466). It focuses on, among other things, the ongoing political process between the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia.
According to the report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia unveiled its reconciliation strategy in March, aimed at promoting reconciliation between the Government and opposition groups. A strategy paper detailing the Government’s reconciliation programme was met with positive reactions from Somali stakeholders, except for the Al-Shabaab group. It is understood that the United Nations will facilitate the process.
The report says opposition leaders identified key areas to be addressed by the international community: dealing with the presence of Ethiopian forces in Somalia and tackling ongoing human rights violations. Indeed, Somalia is marked by a culture of impunity, with “the rights of Somalis being violated every day”. In addition, the Transition Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia also signed a joint declaration calling on their supporters to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access and the delivery of humanitarian aid. They also reached agreement on a cessation of hostility by both parties for an initial period of 90 days, starting 30 days from the signing of the agreement.
The two parties further agreed on the possibility of the submission of a joint request to the Security Council to authorize and deploy an international stabilization force within the coming four months, the report says. In addition, they agreed on the possibility of convening an international conference aimed at supporting the reconstruction and development of Somalia within the next six months. “Hardliners” within the opposition condemned the agreement, although leaders of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia expressed their commitment.
As for progress made on tasks requested by the Council in its resolution 1814 (2008), namely the establishment of necessary security arrangements for the relocation of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), the report says a planning team, to be led by a senior United Nations official, will carry out an inter-agency security assessment mission by the end of the third quarter of 2008. It is thought that host-country or third-party security forces will be required to provide the outer layer of security for the control of perimeters, and the wider areas within which United Nations personnel may work, live and travel, including safe and secure airfield facilities and infrastructure.
The report says that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has been subject to attacks, and that the Mission continues to face serious financial and logistical constraints. In a letter of 20 February, former African Union Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konaré requested the United Nations to provide $817 million to complete AMISOM’s deployment. In response, the Secretary-General put forward two conditions for assistance: that United Nations support for AMISOM would be geared towards assisting the African Union to build its capacity to address challenges in supporting AMISOM, and that AMISOM be deployed on the basis of United Nations standards to allow for the most effective “blue-hatting” of the Mission, should the Security Council decide to establish a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia.
In the meantime, the United Nations Secretariat stands ready to continue its interactions with political parties in Djibouti to establish the necessary requirements for the deployment of a peacekeeping operation, the report says. If there was limited political progress, the United Nations says it will only establish a mission if a system of maritime support was formalized to protect the shipping of humanitarian aid. If the political parties were to sign a code of conduct that would facilitate a withdrawal of the Ethiopian Armed Forces from Somalia, a United Nations peacekeeping mission would then be deployed after a “stabilization force” had first paved the way.
The report also outlines development activities carried out by United Nations agencies, describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation where it is thought that 3.5 million people could need assistance by the end of 2008. Attention is also drawn to the recent spate of piracy in Somali territorial waters, where 14 incidents of piracy in the first half of 2008 alone were making Somali waters among the most dangerous places in the world for vessels. The Governments of Denmark, France and the Netherlands were commended for providing military escorts for humanitarian vessels. Other Member States were called on to continue those naval escorts, which had provided crucial assistance for the safe maritime delivery of humanitarian goods to Somalia since November 2007.
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