16 October 2012 - Security Council - Situation in Somalia - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

Naturally, I too thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-
General, Mr. Augustine Mahiga.

In recent months, Somalia has been able to achieve
historic milestones that would have seemed impossible a
year ago. They have adopted a provisional Constitution,
designated a Parliament and its President, elected a new
President of the Republic, and, lastly, designated a new
Prime Minister. We now look forward to the upcoming
appointment of a Government. In Somalia, therefore,
there is new hope. The international community must
stand with the Somalis and support them as they
build a new State, all the while respecting Somalia’s

With the completion of the transition, consolidating
gains is now a top priority, so as to ensure that the
progress of recent months will not be undone. To that
end, as the President of Somalia underscored in his
statement at the mini-summit on Somalia held on the
sidelines of the General Assembly, making the country
secure and stabilizing its territory are the immediate

Making the country secure requires ongoing
military effort. I will return to that later. But it also calls
for a political strategy. Throughout Somalia’s territory,
particularly in the areas liberated from Al-Shabaab,
establishing inclusive federal and civil administrative
institutions is of priority. But after 20 years of the
absence of federal power in a country where clan
allegiances have been key, those institutions will need
to be accepted by the population and thereby gain their
legitimacy. To that end, we encourage Somali authorities
in their desire to open a dialogue with all Somalis by
undertaking a process of national reconciliation. All of
the components of Somalia should be represented in the
institutions that will be put in place at the federal and
local levels.

In that context, a civil political presence in support
of Somali authorities is vital. The United Nations has
the necessary experience and expertise in that regard.
We therefore hope that it will speed up its deployment
in Mogadishu and swiftly plan the modalities for its new
presence in the liberated territories, in concert with the
African Union and Somali authorities. We look forward
to the results of the review in terms of strengthening
the United Nations political presence, but we do not
want to lose precious time.

On the security front, the successes of AMISOM
and the Somali security forces in recent months have
made it possible to regain territory throughout the
central and southern parts of Somalia, and thereby
weaken Al-Shabaab. The reconquest of the south
has been stepped up with the taking of the ports of
Marka and Kismayo, which has denied Al-Shabaab
its major strategic bastion and a considerable part of
its resources. Those results need to be commended,
even as the Ugandan, Burundian, Kenyan, Djiboutian
and Ethiopian troops continue to pay a heavy price to
liberate Somalia from Al-Shabaab.

Despite the recent gains, the presence of AMISOM
is still necessary in order to assist the Somali National
Security Forces in ensuring lasting security in the

In that context, France supports the renewal of
AMISOM’s mandate for one year at the current ceiling
on troop strength. A midterm assessment of the nature
of its presence is to undertaken based on the reviews to
be carried out in close cooperation between the United
Nations and the African Union prior to the end of the

We therefore share the analysis of the African
Union, which, in its last progress report (S/2012/764,
annex), underscored the necessity of finding lasting
financing for AMISOM. I would like to recall that,
since 2007, the European Union has provided ongoing
support to the Mission in the amount of €442 million.
We will renew our financing to pay salaries for
AMISOM soldiers in 2013. However, those resources
are limited, given the current AMISOM troop strength
and the needs that have been expressed with respect to
other parts of the African continent. Other donors will
have to complement the contributions of the European
Union so that the soldiers of AMISOM will be fully
underwritten in 2013.

In the medium term, the setting up of a credible
Somali security force should be our priority so that it
can take over from AMISOM at any early date. That is
needed in order to establish the political credibility of
the new Government and is the only way to guarantee
lasting control of the territory of the country. That effort
needs to be the strategic priority for the international
community in Somalia in the medium term.

France and the European Union are fully committed
to the process, together with the European Union
training mission, which is training Somali soldiers,
strengthening the establishment of a command structure
and consolidating the chain of command. The strategic
review that is beginning in Brussels will decide how
that mission will continue — we hope that it will cover
two years — and will determine how to develop it to
meet the needs of Somalia. The efforts of that mission
to strengthen security on land will be complemented by
another mission to develop the coast guard in Somalia.
Let me conclude by addressing the human rights
situation and the humanitarian situation in the
country. The recruitment of child soldiers, the killing
of reporters and extrajudicial executions continue to
be a source of concern. In addition, 4 million people
still need food assistance. The United Nations, like
the non-governmental humanitarian organizations, is
providing vital support to people affected by famine
in the region. Unimpeded access to humanitarian
assistance must be guaranteed.

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Dernière modification : 26/02/2015

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