Somalia: France welcomes adoption of the Mogadishu Declaration [fr]
Debate Somalia/Eritrea - Statement by Mr. M. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 18 February 2016
France, like others, pays tribute to former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was a great leader both of the United Nations and la francophonie. His passing fills us with sorrow, and we extend our condolences to his bereaved friends and family.
I thank the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea. I wish to make three points.On the political front, we welcome progress made with the adoption of the Mogadishu Declaration of 16 December, as well as the agreement on the electoral model for 2016. As underscored by the Group of Experts, these agreements are tenuous. The electoral reform has not been concluded. In many provinces, local and political rivalries impede discussions on the federal model. The recent fighting that bloodied the city of Galkayo demonstrates the fragile nature of progress in the protection of civilians and national reconciliation. We must remain vigilant and continue to work with the Somali authorities for the implementation of these agreements and the ongoing commitment of all in stabilizing Somalia.
On the military front, we welcome the courage and commitment of the soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali security forces leading the fight against Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab is on the decline, economic activity is increasing, and these are encouraging signs. However, that terrorist group is far from being vanquished. We pay tribute to AMISOM soldiers and Somali citizens who lost their lives in the latest attacks. It is worrisome to read that, in certain places, Al-Shabaab is enjoying the support of local populations in launching its attacks. Our shared goal is to continue relentlessly the fight against that terrorist group, but military action is not enough. As it is the world over, hearts must be won to rally people on behalf of stabilization and reconstruction projects for Somalia, rather than the morbid objectives sought by Al-Shabaab.
Thirdly, I wish to make a few comments on sanctions, because the sanctions regime is a decisive tool in supporting the political process and the fight against Al-Shabaab. The work of the Monitoring Group is decisive in that respect. Threats to the fragile process in Somalia are genuine. There are many who are interested in perpetuating war. They need to be identified and punished. Al-Shabaab and certain other individuals continue to finance their own activities through various types of trafficking, helping to destroy the country a little more every day and diverting financial resources to their own profit. These flows and this traffic must be identified and halted. Arms trafficking is, of course, a major factor of destabilization. We cannot overemphasize the importance of the arms embargo and of the need to ensure its scrupulous implementation, as well as the important role of the Somali Government in following up the flow of weapons.
On all of these points — and this is hardly a comprehensive list — France welcomes the high-quality work undertaken by the Monitoring Group and encourages it to continue along this path.
I wish to say a final word on Eritrea. We note the fact that the Monitoring Group found no evidence that Eritrea is participating in the financing or support of armed groups in the Horn of Africa. Nevertheless, we believe that conditions have not yet been met for the lifting of sanctions, as requested by the authorities of Asmara. We await frank and sincere cooperation on their part with the sanctions committees, particularly on the matter of Djibouti prisoners. This is the first stage of a gradual evolution of the sanctions regime. We do not understand what the Government in Asmara has to hide or what is stopping it from fully cooperating with the Monitoring Group.
The international community, the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union have invested much for peace and stability in Somalia. The action of the Sanctions Committee and the Monitoring Group is a game changer, and France guarantee its full support as they continue their work.