The stability and security of Somalia remains a priority [fr]
Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 13 September 2018
I would like to begin by thanking our briefers for their statements, and in particular by commending Mr. Michael Keating for his leadership, clear mindedness and the perseverance he demonstrated as Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia for nearly three years. I also welcome the presence of the Executive Director of UN-Women at today’s meeting. I join others in welcoming the new Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, Ambassador Taye Atske Sellassie Amde.
The stability and security of Somalia remains a priority for France. We are all aware of what is at stake concerning regional security and, more broadly, successfully combating terrorism at the international level. In that context, France attaches particular importance to the gradual transition of the country’s security responsibility to the Somali security forces, which must be part of a clear and precise timetable and adhere to the national security architecture . At the high-level security meeting on Somalia in May, we welcomed the finalization of the transition plan of the Somali Federal Government. It is now essential that progress be made in the implementation of the plan in the pilot areas. We welcome the recent transfer of security responsibility for the Mogadishu stadium, which must enjoy the necessary security guarantees. Needless to say, the transition will succeed only if the national security architecture becomes a reality in Somalia. Its implementation must be stepped up, especially with regard to the various areas highlighted in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/800), including the integration of regional forces into national security forces, the delineation of responsibilities between the various federal and regional security services and defining the chain of command.
The second key element to ensuring the transition’s success is the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which continues to play a primary role in Somalia’s security, given the persistent threat posed by Al-Shabaab, and, in that regard, we pay tribute to the Mission’s troop-contributing countries. We know that, in order for it to succeed, AMISOM must be reconfigured to support the Somali transition plan in accordance with the request of the Security Council via resolution 2431 (2018), adopted in July. Although the Council decided to postpone reducing the AMISOM troop ceiling until February 2019, continuing the gradual, organized and conditioned drawdown of AMISOM remains important. It is also essential to abide by the new deadlines pursuant to resolution 2431 (2018). I would mention in particular the AMISOM operational readiness assessment and the technical evaluation, which should review the status of the Mission’s reconfiguration.
Clearly, AMISOM must continue to be supported throughout the transition. Nevertheless, France believe that the European Union can no longer continue to finance the bonuses of AMISOM soldiers alone. As the reports of the Special Envoys of the United Nations and the African Union on funding AMISOM point out, it is now essential that new partners contribute to financing the Mission. More generally, in keeping with remarks made earlier, all partners in Somalia must improve coordination, as was underlined at the Somalia Partnership Forum held in Brussels in July.
The third, and most basic, key to success involves the country’s political and economic integration and unification. Somalia must face up to major challenges, such as deepening federalism, the constitutional review, the holding of the 2020-2021 elections, based on the one-person-one model, and pursuing an economic reform agenda. In that regard, we welcomed the outcome of the meeting of the National Security Council held in Baidoa in June, which marked the resumption of discussions between the Somali Federal Government and the federal member states. We are, however, concerned about the communiqué issued on 8 September by the Presidents of the five federal member states announcing the suspension of talks with Mogadishu. We therefore call on all Somali actors to resume their dialogue around crucial issues as soon as possible, including devising the electoral model and sharing revenue generated by natural resources. We also call for the cessation of all outside interference in the internal affairs of Somalia.
Overall, concerning the political process, in keeping with what Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said earlier, I should like to stress the importance that France attaches to greater women’s participation. As we know, the full and effective participation of women in political processes is a prerequisite for ensuring lasting peace and reconciliation.
I thank Michael Keating for having pointed out that Somalia is an example of a situation of vulnerability to climate events. The Security Council must keep that reality in mind. With respect to that issue and to the participation of women, I agree with the suggestion made by the Permanent Representative of Sweden that it could be useful for the Council to have access to analytical data on these conflict-related factors.
I conclude by welcoming recent regional developments, such as last week’s signing of a cooperation agreement between Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the holding of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development summit yesterday, marked by the return of Eritrea and the consultations held upstream between the Djiboutian and Eritrean authorities. These developments open real prospects for the stabilization of the entire Horn of Africa and, we hope, for Somalia too.