Joint A3 statement on the Briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)

Joint A3 statement (Ghana, Kenya, Gabon)

By H.E Michel Xavier BIANG,

Ambassador, Permanent Representative

May 23, 2022

Security Council


Madam President,


1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 members of the Security Council: Ghana, Kenya and my own country Gabon.


2. We welcome the report of the Secretary General and thank the Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM and the representative of the African Union for their informative briefings on the situation in Somalia and the activities of UNSOM and ATMIS.


Madam President,


3. On 15 May 2022, Somalia elected, for the second time H.E. Hassan Cheikh Mohamoud who won against the outgoing President, M. Mohamed Abdoullahi Mohamed, in an election whose organization had been expected for over a year.


4. We congratulate the outgoing President, who showed leadership in accepting the results of the ballot, but also the Somali people and the parliament members, for their patriotism in the smooth conduct of the elections.


5. The commitment of the Somali security forces and ATMIS was decisive for the successful holding of these important deadlines due to the security means that were deployed to secure the presidential elections.


6. We welcome the African Union's and IGAD's engagement in Somalia in support of the country's efforts to deepen democratic governance, promote national reconciliation and restore peace, stability, and security.


7. We hope that a government will be quickly put in place and that it will address the many and complex challenges facing the country.


8. This election is a historic opportunity to ease political tensions between federal and regional authorities and also the political parties.


9. The implementation of necessary reforms in the domains of economy, justice, Constitution, and human rights is an urgent matter for the new Somali authorities.


10. Somalia is at a turning point in its history. The momentum that the new president will generate is crucial for the country, which must urgently address the stabilization of the security situation, the resolution of the humanitarian crisis, while working towards national reconciliation.


Madam President,


11. The stabilization of the security situation in Somalia and more particularly the fight against terrorism and Al-Shabaab are matters of great concern to our continent.


12. On the security front, the Shebab have continued to carry out deadly attacks in recent months, demonstrating their strong capacities of nuisance and adaptation.


13. On May 3, 2022, heavily armed radical Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked a military base of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping force killing a dozen Burundian soldiers of the African Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).


14. In March 2022, they had already attacked the diplomatic concessions located in Mogadishu airport.


15. We condemn in the strongest terms all attacks carried out by this terrorist group.


16. We echo the view of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union which ensures the full commitment of the African Union to effectively promote peace, security, and stability in Somalia through ATMIS operations.


17. We pay a heartfelt tribute to the ATMIS personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties by paying a heavy price in the fight against the Shabab.


18. Faced with this escalation of violence, all measures must be taken to ensure the protection and respect of the status of ATMIS staff.


19. The Somali authorities now more than ever need the support of all international partners to stem the scourge of terrorism in their country.


20. Terrorism is an international security issue, the Shabab regularly slaughtering civilians, indiscriminately targeting women and children, and the dreadful threat they pose to Somalia has crossed borders into the countries of the Horn of Africa.


21. This contagion effect of the terrorist threat must end. The reconfiguration of ATMIS is an opportunity for the region to curb it.


22. It is essential to provide ATMIS with sustainable and predictable funding to enable it to carry out its mandate and thus preserve the security gains made so far in Somalia and ensure peace for the countries in the area.


23. The financing and implementation of an effective Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Programme is crucial for the building of the Somali State given the existence of numerous militias scattered throughout the country in addition to terrorist groups.


24. The reinforcement of the capacities of the Somali Forces, in terms of equipment and training, is urgent in order to enable them to fulfil their regalian duty of securing the territory.


25. We invite all international partners to support Somalia in this critical phase of the country's history.


Madam President,


26. We are deeply appalled by the situation of children in Somalia, some of whom unfortunately face all forms of violence.


27. We strongly denounce these practices against children that aim at recruitment, use, abduction, murder, mutilation, sexual abuses.


28. Such treatment is not tolerable, and we call for respect for international humanitarian law and human rights.


29. Schools and hospitals are places of life that should not be under attack.


30. We call on international partners and Somalia to take all necessary measures to combat the use of mines and explosive devices on children so as not to further darken their future.


31. It is essential to build a state of law in Somalia and to bring justice to all victims of abuses, especially children who are victims of atrocities as a result of the action of terrorist groups.


Madam President,


32. We are deeply concerned about the state of the humanitarian situation in Somalia.


33. In addition to the security challenges, there is the issue of climate change, whose harmful consequences of which are already hitting the most vulnerable countries violently.


34. We recall that Somalia is facing one of the worst droughts in decades and with eroded population survival mechanisms, they continue to flee the arid areas.


35. This deterioration weather conditions is leading to the displacement of thousands of people. In the first week of March, more than 17,000 people were internally displaced due to drought in the Southern Bay region of central Somalia.


36. With the worsening drought, nearly 6 million people, or about 40% of the country's population, are facing food insecurity and are in fact threatened by famine. This situation is exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which has caused an increase in food prices.


37. We urge international and regional donors and all partners of Somalia to increase their support for humanitarian assistance.


38.The Somali people are counting on us, the international community, and the Somali government; to provide sustainable solutions to the problems that affect their daily lives. Our inaction will increase the vulnerability of these populations with an increase in displacement and inter-community land tensions.


39. In this regard, the A3 commend the outstanding work of humanitarian organizations that, at the risk of their lives, provide continuous support to the people of Somalia.


40. We call on the Somali government along with ATMIS and other partners to continue their efforts for peace and stability in Somalia.


41. In conclusion, Ghana, Kenya, and Gabon reiterate their support to the Government of Somalia and our full support to UNSOM and ATMIS for a sustainable peace in Somalia.


Thank you.

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