BRIEFING ON SOMALIA
TUESDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2022 (10:00AM)
STATEMENT BY THE A-3 (GABON, GHANA & KENYA)
1. I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the A-3, namely Gabon, Ghana, and Kenya.
2. We would like to thank SRSG, James Swan, Ambassador Francisco Madeira (VTC), Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson for Somalia, and the Head of Delegation of the European Union, Amb. Olof Skoog for their comprehensive briefings. We also welcome the participation in this meeting of the representative of Somalia under Rule 37.
3. We thank the Secretary-General for his report and welcome the progress made by the Federal Government and all stakeholders in Somalia on the agreed priorities of the Somali Transitional Plan (STP), especially, the successful election of one-third of the members of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament of Somalia. We notethe successful election of the 54-member Upper House of Parliament last November, with 22% women representation, as well as the election of the 124 members of the Lower House, with 60 seats outstanding.
4. We also welcome the decisions of the National Consultative Council Conference held in Mogadishu in early January 2022 and encourage the steadfast commitment of all stakeholders to ensure that the Lower House elections are held by 25th February, 2022, as per the agreed timelines.
5. The exceedingly long electoral process is detrimental to efforts to consolidate peace and rebuild the economy. We urge all political actors and leaders in Somalia to show true leadership and patriotism by putting the country’s interests first, to de-escalate rising political tensions, and to refrain from provocation or use of force that could undermine peace and stability in the country. The path of the constitutional framework must be maintained, and actions of the Federal Government of Somalia focused on its timely implementation.
6. While commending the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for the progress made in their fight against Al-Shabab and other armed groups, and in providing the much-needed security for the elections and other stabilization efforts, we are deeply concerned about Al-Shabab’s continuing ability to attack and pursue negative political agenda against the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its interests including the electoral process.
7. We, therefore, call on the Council as well as all international partners to assist both the Somali Federal Government forces and AMISOM to improve on their operational capabilities, which is essential to Somalia’s stabilization and peace building efforts, and critical to defeating and dismantling Al-Shabab, its affiliates and other terrorist networks, which still control a large swath of territory in Somaliawith several funding streams.
8. Al Shabaab, like other terrorist groups operating in the Sahel, West and Southern Africa, has a transnational character. It is key for more efforts be undertaken to limit its ability to strike regional and international targets, and to undertake operations outside Somalia. The Council should show a willingness to differentiate national stabilization tools from those intended to limit the threat of international terrorism.
9. Al Shabaab’s use of foreign fighters, its cells in foreign countries, affiliation with Al Qaeda, and its transnational aims should be distinguished from its criminal and political dimensions in Somalia. The Council’s ability to do this may give some members of the group greater incentive to distance themselves from its international aims and operations.
10. 10. As we prepare to engage on negotiations for the transitional mission in Somalia at the end of March 2022, we encourage the ongoing discussions on the future of AMISOM to fully consider the views of all stakeholders, including the Troop Contributing Countries, and look forward to the submission of a clear and agreed proposal to the Council by 7th March 2022, covering the areas of the concept of operations, the strategic plan and the logistics support plan. The A-3 will engage constructively guided by the position of the African Union.
11. We note the ongoing discussions on the financing modalities and logistical support for the transition mission in Somalia and encourage predictable and sustainable funding, including through assessed contributions to address the financial requirements of the mission for the duration of its mandate until the security responsibilities are handed over to the Federal Government of Somalia.
12. While commending the Council for its proactive approach to addressing humanitarian issues in Somalia, we wish to highlight the dire humanitarian situation in the country, as a result of drought-induced destitution and natural disasters, especially in the southern, central, and parts of north-eastern Somalia. We call on national and international humanitarian and development organisations to scale up their efforts in these areas.
13. We reiterate our call for increased humanitarian assistance to Somalia that is urgently needed to assist the increasing numbers of civilians in need, and to address the rising food insecurity, alleviate drought-induced displacement, and save lives and livelihoods.
14. We acknowledge and commend the work of all peacekeepers, security personnel and personnel of the United Nations, the African Union, Regional Community Organizations, and Civil Society Organisations that are working in Somalia, for their sacrifice and commitment in ensuring that the country is able to stand on its feet and take charge of its own development aspirations.
15 In conclusion, the members of the A-3 (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya) reaffirm our respect for, and commitment to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Somalia and urge the Council and other relevant partners to continue to take this into consideration as we work towards bringing lasting peace and stability to Somalia. We encourage the Federal Government of Somalia to enhance its leadership role over the transition plan to guide all relevant partnership support. I thank you.