In Somalia, it is urgent for the political dialogue to resume [fr]
Statement by Mr. Antoine Michon, Political Coordinator of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 21 November 2019
I would like to start by thanking our briefers for their statements. I also want to express our sadness on hearing of the death yesterday in Mogadishu of the human rights defender Ms. Almaas Elman. We offer our condolences to her family, especially Ms. Ilwad Elman, who was with us the day before yesterday (see S/PV.8668), as well as to the Governments and peoples of Somalia and Canada. We hope that the full circumstances surrounding her death will be brought to light. I would like to highlight four points today.
First, with regard to the political situation in Somalia, France remains extremely concerned about the deadlock in relations between the Federal Government of Somalia and some federal member states, which represents a major obstacle to the completion of critical projects for Somalia. As the Special Representative said, it is therefore urgent to see that dialogue is resumed, particularly between the Federal authorities and the authorities of Jubaland, Puntland and Galmudug. That dialogue should in no way be conditioned by time pressures surrounding local elections to the detriment of national interests.
Secondly, regarding the 2020-2021 elections, France welcomes the commitment made by the Somali Federal Government at the Somalia Partnership Forum to adopting a new electoral code by the end of this year, which is a fundamental step in the process for elections to be held at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021 in line with the principle of one person, one vote, as Ms. Ibrahim recalled, and with the full and effective participation of Somali women.
Turning to the security situation, France remains concerned about the frequency of attacks by Al-Shabaab, particularly in Mogadishu. In that context, we want to emphasize the importance of continuing to implement the plan for transitioning security from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to the Somali security forces. The operations conducted in Lower Shabelle were a step in the right direction, but efforts must now continue in coordination with regional forces, AMISOM and international partners. Of course, it is also extremely important that the Somali Federal authorities continue their force-generation efforts.
With regard to AMISOM, France is paying close attention to the issue of respect for the deadlines fixed by the Council, in particular the reduction of the troop ceiling by 1,000 military personnel by 28 February 2020. We believe that AMISOM’s reconfiguration must be a gradual process and conducted in the most stable areas of the country. It is therefore essential that the Council’s decisions are fully complied with. In addition, I would like to reiterate that the European Union’s support for AMISOM is part of a cooperation framework based on mutual commitment. Our significant efforts hinge on tangible results on the part of Somali’s Federal authorities, both in terms of the security transition, which I have already mentioned, and on the resumption of dialogue with federal member states. This was the approach taken in the run-up to the signing of the Mutual Accountability Framework at the Somalia Partnership Forum, which we commend.
Finally, France remains concerned about the serious humanitarian situation and the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. I particularly have in mind the acts of violence against the civilian population, including sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children, crimes that we know are perpetrated by terrorist groups but also, regrettably, sometimes by the Somali security forces. It is therefore essential to ensure that such violations cease and that those responsible are prosecuted. The reintegration of survivors of such violence is also essential to ensure a return to lasting peace.
Before concluding, I would like to reiterate the importance France attaches to smooth cooperation between the Somali Federal authorities and United Nations entities generally, especially the Panel of Experts of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992), concerning Somalia, which we hope will be able to conduct a visit to the country as soon as possible.