Stabilization and the return to durable peace in Somalia are a priority [fr]
Statement by Ms. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargée d’Affaires a.i.
Security Council - 21 August 2019
I thank our briefers for their very informative presentations. In particular, I congratulate the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Swan, on beginning his functions in Somalia and reaffirm France’s full support. I also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Patten, for her visit to Somalia and for her efforts, together with all parties, to combat such violence.
Inviting Special Representatives who are responsible for thematic issues to briefings on specific conflict situations is a good practice that we must continue.
At the outset, I underscore that we welcome the cooperative attitude adopted by the Somali federal authorities with the new Special Representative. We hope that those good relations will be pursued and make addressing all subjects possible, particularly those related to respect for human rights and the rule of law. We also hope that those good relations will be extended to all United Nations entities, especially the sanctions committee Panel of Experts.
I will make three points.
1/ First of all, with regard to the political situation in Somalia, France remains concerned about the deadlock in relations between the Somali Federal Government and the federal member states, which poses a major obstacle to carrying out the tasks crucial to achieving lasting peace in Somalia. In particular, I would note, first, the organization and holding of the 2020 or 2021 elections; secondly the constitutional review process and the needed agreement on power-sharing and the allocation of revenues emanating from natural resources; thirdly, the implementation of the security transition plan; and, fourthly, the implementation of the national security architecture and the integration of regional forces into the Somali National Army. It is therefore urgent that dialogue on those matters be resumed.
Furthermore, France is concerned about tensions relating to the electoral process scheduled to begin tomorrow in Jubaland, despite mediation attempts by the Special Representative, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. In that regard, we call on all parties to show a spirit of compromise to reach an agreement on a single, transparent and universally accepted electoral process. We also call on all parties to refrain from violence and rely on dialogue to resolve their differences.
2/ Secondly, concerning the security situation, France remains concerned about the frequency of attacks by Al-Shabaab, particularly in Mogadishu. In that context, we welcome the operations carried out by the Somali National Army with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Lower Shabelle, which have enabled taking back key cities from Al-Shabaab. We also encourage the Somali federal authorities to intensify their force generation efforts so that they can pursue those operations, as well as accelerate the implementation of the security transition plan to transfer security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali security forces.
With regard to AMISOM, France remains committed to meeting the deadlines set out in resolution 2472 (2019), adopted in May, including with regard to the reduction of the troop ceiling by 1,000 military personnel by 28 February 2020. While we believe that the reconfiguration of AMISOM must take place gradually in the most stable areas of the country, we deem it imperative that the decisions of the Security Council be respected. That desire has also been expressed by the Somalis. The transition plan they have developed will allow them eventually to master their own destiny.
Moreover, the European Union intends to continue its support for AMISOM, given its important role in ensuring the security of Somalia, through significant financial support in the amount of €400 million for the period from 2019 to 2020, as well as €20 million destined for the Somali security forces. Nevertheless, we continue to believe that that support must be part of the frameworks involving the transition and mutual commitments that each party must respect. All things considered, the European Union cannot continue to finance the bonuses of AMISOM soldiers alone. The Security Council must therefore send a clear message to Somalia’s other partners on the need to contribute to funding AMISOM.
3/ Thirdly, and lastly, concerning the humanitarian situation, respect for human rights and the fight against sexual violence continue to be areas of concern. We are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Somalia, which has worsened owing to the drought facing the country. That situation attests once again to the importance that we must continue to attach to the impact of climate change in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
We are also deeply concerned about the persistence of numerous human rights violations and acts sexual violence committed in Somalia. In that regard, we stress the importance of cooperation among the various Somali ministries to ensure that justice is done, that it is accessible to all and that victims are provided with assistance. We also call on all local and religious leaders to commit themselves to ensuring that the sexual offences bill is adopted and effectively implemented throughout the country.
In conclusion, I reiterate that stabilization and the return of lasting peace in Somalia for the benefit of all Somalis remain a priority for France.