France is concerned by the expansion of COVID-19 in Somalia and across the region [fr]
Situation in Somalia
Statement by Mr Antoine Michon, Political Coordinator at the Permanent Representation of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 21 May 2020
I would like to thank our briefers for their useful presentations and highlight three points regarding the situation in Somalia.
First of all, France is concerned by the expansion of COVID-19 in Somalia and across the region. We welcome the measures taken by the Somali authorities to combat the spread of the COVID-19 with the support of UNSOM and other partners.
France is also mobilized, in coordination with the European Union and the African Union, to support our African partners in their response to the pandemic.
The EU has thus dedicated around 27 million euros to Somalia and is also implementing a humanitarian air bridge to Africa that France fully supports.
Moreover, France has strongly advocated for a collective effort to consider a moratorium on the service payments of the debt of African countries.
France has also mobilized 1.2 billion euros to support our African partners in four priority areas: health, economic recovery, humanitarian assistance, and scientific research.
Secondly, France considers that Somalia is now at a critical juncture, both regarding its political situation and the process of preparation of its security architecture post-2021.
On the political front, all Somali actors must continue to work for the preparation of peaceful, inclusive, transparent and “one person, one vote” presidential and legislative elections in late 2020 or early 2021.
This requires a broad consensus on the electoral framework and we therefore encourage the Somali authorities to address remaining issues regarding the electoral law with the assistance of UNSOM.
In this context, France also calls on the Federal Government of Somalia and all Federal member States to urgently resume their dialogue. This dialogue will be key for the holding of the upcoming elections but also for other critical reforms, especially in the security sector. In this context, we strongly condemn clashes in the Gedo region that are guided by political interests at the expense of the security transition.
Somalia is also at a critical juncture on the security front, as Somali institutions are set to take the lead of the security responsibility by 2021.
In this context, we welcome the resumption of joint operations led by AMISOM and the Somali national army against Al-Shabaab in the Lower Shabelle. We call on Somali authorities to extend these operations to other areas, to update the Transition plan, and to accelerate the establishment of a plan for the generation of new Somali forces and the integration of regional forces into the national army. The latest report of the Secretary-General shows that more progress is urgently needed on this front.
Lastly, France thinks that Somali authorities and their key partners, including the European Union, the African Union and AMISOM troop contributing countries, must now seriously engage in the discussions on international support to the security sector in Somalia after 2021.
The European Union has shown its readiness to actively participate in these discussions and is in favor of a more transactional approach. In this context, we think that the current model of international security support to Somalia cannot be taken for granted and that all options must be put on the table, including alternative options to AMISOM.
In particular, we want to make clear that the current model of the financing of AMISOM by the European Union is not sustainable. If the European Union will continue to support the security sector in Somalia, this support will be dependent on the establishment of accountability mechanisms, the participation of the European Union in strategic decisions, and the financial contribution of other partners. More generally, the European Union has also initiated a brainstorming process on its broader cooperation with Somalia, including through the strategic reviews of its three missions: Atalanta, EUTM Somalia and EUCAP Somalia.
I thank you.