The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Liu Jieyi (China):
On 19 April 2016, the members of the Security Council were briefed by the President of Somalia, His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, on political progress in Somalia. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, and the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Ambassador Téte António, also briefed on the situation in Somalia.
The members of the Security Council expressed their full support for Special Representative Keating and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
The members of the Security Council commended President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the federal Government of Somalia for the political progress made in Somalia in the last four years, in particular the agreement on a model for the electoral process planned for August 2016, which should be a stepping stone to one-person, one-vote elections in 2020. They commended the federal Government’s commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in the upper and lower houses of Parliament for women. The members of the Security Council called on the Parliament to endorse swiftly the implementation plan decided by the National Leadership Forum as soon as possible. They underlined that a peaceful, transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016 will mark a historic step forward for all Somalis and will be fundamental for the country’s continued progress towards democracy and stability.
The members of the Security Council recalled their expectation that there shall be no extension of the electoral process timelines in Somalia. The members of the Security Council called for progress on the constitutional review process and for the completion of the federal State formation process to be accelerated. They underlined the importance of good faith cooperation between federal and regional authorities in Somalia on these issues.
The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the fragility of the security situation in Somalia. They reiterated their strong condemnation of attacks and recruitment of children by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab and paid tribute to African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army for their efforts in reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab. The members of the Security Council underlined the importance of the continuation of offensive operations against Al-Shabaab by the Somali National Army and AMISOM, in a well-coordinated manner and in line with the qualitative improvements requested in Security Council resolution 2232 (2015), and in full compliance with international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians.
The members of the Security Council were briefed by the African Union on the financial, operational and logistical challenges facing AMISOM. They underscored the importance of enhancing command and control and improving coordination within AMISOM, as well as the swift appointment of a Force Commander, as contained in the conclusions of the Summit of the Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries of AMISOM in Djibouti on 28 February, and called for the swift and full implementation of these commitments.
The members of the Security Council paid tribute to the work of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano José Madeira. They underlined the importance of ongoing cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, including through regular briefings by the SRCC to the Security Council.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the efforts made by the federal Government of Somalia to strengthen the capacity and accountability of Somali security institutions, including the completion of the national threat assessment and draft national security policy. They urged the swift completion of the national security policy and national security architecture. The members of the Security Council welcomed the federal Government of Somalia’s steps to establish professional, inclusive and accountable security forces, with sound financial management. They expressed their full support for this process, encouraged the Government to intensify efforts and urged Member States to contribute to this process. The members of the Security Council reiterated that security sector reform is critical to enable Somalia to assume control of its own long-term security.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia and the humanitarian impact of El Niño, they urged all parties to facilitate timely, unhindered and safe access for humanitarian actors and to find durable solutions for the 1.1 million Somalis internally displaced and appealed donors to increase support to the humanitarian appeal for Somalia.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for peace, stability and development in Somalia.