10 March 2011 - Security Council - Somalia - Statement by Mr Gerard Araud, Permanent representative of France to the United Nations
I should like to thank China for having convened this debate on Somalia, which will launch a process of reflection on ways of stabilizing the country and achieving peace as the expiration of the mandate of the transitional federal institutions approaches. I should like also to thank Mr. Mahiga and Mr. Diarra as well as the Prime Minister of Somalia for their respective contributions. I also align myself with the statement to be made later by the European Union.
The Transitional Government, allied factions and militias and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have launched an offensive against the Al-Shabaab rebels. We welcome the efforts deployed and the sacrifices made by the contingents involved and the success achieved on the ground in Mogadishu and in southern Somalia. The Ugandan and Burundian forces are bravely carrying out their mission within AMISOM and have paid a heavy price in recent weeks. France, for its part, has taken on the transportation and care of a number of wounded AMISOM soldiers.
That offensive will contribute to weakening the extremists and ensuring security in a large part of Somali territory and of the capital. However, this military approach cannot be a solution in and of itself; it must be part of a broader political strategy.
From this perspective, we cannot but acknowledge that the progress made has been insufficient. The transitional federal institutions have fuelled counter-productive institutional rivalries. They have not been able to increase their representativeness, nor have they managed to provide the people with the minimum level of services they require.
We must, however, welcome the first initiatives of the new Government. A budget has been submitted to the Parliament, security for civilians has been set as a priority objective, the fight against corruption has been strengthened, and civil servants are now being paid. This represents important progress that must be acknowledged and strengthened.
We need a new political strategy for Somalia.
What must its priorities be?
First, a renewal of the institutional framework, as the State cannot continue to have transitional status. In order to prevent the absence of an institutional framework in August, the Somali authorities must undertake the finalization and adoption of a constitution. The transitional federal institutions, in particular the Parliament, must be reformed in order for all stakeholders of Somali society to be represented, in keeping with the Djibouti Agreement and on the basis of the most inclusive dialogue possible with all parties, including the provincial administrations, representatives of civil society and those militias that are willing to renounce violence. Along those lines, we deplore the unilateral decision taken by the transitional Parliament to extend its own mandate. We commend the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Mahiga, for the work undertaken in the area of consultations and encourage him to revitalize the mechanisms for agreement set out in the Djibouti Agreement. A dialogue with the regions — Puntland in particular — and with allied groups, including Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a, must be relaunched.
The second priority must be security and the provision of basic services for the Somali population. The Somali authorities must assign priority importance to working to benefit the people. Support for the transitional institutions must translate into tangible achievements on the part of the Somali people.
How can these objectives be attained?
First, the role of the United Nations will be key. A strengthened, permanent and coherent presence of the United Nations will be required in Mogadishu. We call upon the United Nations agencies and programmes to deploy urgently their resources in the service of the people and the accessible territories. The work of the United Nations must take the form of concrete achievements that will benefit the Somali people; much remains to be done in this respect.
We are also aware of the lack of resources of the Somali Government. The financial support of the international community, as called for by the Prime Minister, reflects a practical need in a political context and must be forthcoming.
Finally, to seal the partnership between the Somali institutions and the international community, a new, joint road map focused on the respective objectives of the Somali institutions and the United Nations, including a timetable, could be created. Such a tool would allow for the creation of a coherent, agreed-upon strategic framework for the post-transitional period. Regular follow-up would be essential. Support by the international community for Somali institutions must be commensurate with the concrete results obtained.
I should like to conclude by addressing the issue of piracy. The report submitted by Mr. Lang (S/2011/30, annex) has recalled the urgency of finding solutions with respect to the judicial and penal treatment of pirates. Given what is at stake for the international community and for the region, we welcome the intention of the Russian Federation to submit, in the near future, a draft resolution to the Security Council aimed at the implementation of the proposals made in the report seeking to place Somalia at the centre of a mechanism aimed at combating impunity.