Joint statement by the A-3 during UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Somalia
JOINT STATEMENT BY THE A-3 (GABON, GHANA & MOZAMBIQUE) DURING THE BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SOMALIA THURSDAY, 19TH OCTBER 2023
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the members of the A-3.
We thank Ms. Catriona Laing, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and AU SRCC Mohammed El Amine Souef for their briefings. We also welcome the participation in this meeting of the Permanent Representative of Somalia.
We would want to begin by commending President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his remarkable efforts in advancing Somalia’s key priorities and state-building efforts through a consultative and inclusive political dialogue. His convening of the National Consultative Council, which brought together federal and state leaders, demonstrates a commitment to fostering unity and inclusivity in Somalia.
Despite some Federal Member States choosing not to attend the NCC meetings, we welcome the convening commitment and strongly encourage the ongoing efforts to promote and facilitate constructive dialogues, as they play an essential role in addressing the challenges faced by Somalia in its state-building goals. We believe it is through such inclusive dialogues that diverse views can be heard and considered, bearing in mind the ultimate goal of consolidating peace and the stability of Somalia for a brighter future.
Similarly, we welcome the initiatives taken to resolve conflicts and promote dialogue between Somalia and “Somaliland.” The engagement by the Federal Government’s Special Envoy for Somalia-Somaliland dialogue with political and civil society stakeholders is commendable.
These efforts are crucial in fostering understanding and finding common ground between the two parties. We encourage the continuation of these conversations and urge all stakeholders to actively participate in them in order to achieve a peaceful and mutually beneficial resolution. We express our deep concern over the recent conflict in Las Anod and the surrounding areas. The violence and escalation of hostilities have resulted in civilian casualties and the displacement of innocent people. In this regard, we call on the “Somaliland” administration and the Dhulbahante clan elders to engage in meaningful communication and mediation efforts to reach a peaceful outcome that can foster a climate conducive to stability and reconciliation in Las Anod and the surrounding areas.
The A3 affirms its commitment to supporting any measures that can advance peace, stability, and reconciliation in Las Anod and its environs, while standing in solidarity with the affected communities. We sincerely hope that by working together, the conflict can be quickly resolved, and the impacted communities enabled to start the process of healing and rebuilding their lives. We express our deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of those who have fallen victim to terrorist attacks and pay tribute to all peacekeepers who risk their lives.
Despite the ongoing offensive against Al-Shabaab and the successful liberation of some areas from the terrorist group, the security situation in Somalia continues be tense and worrying. The persistent use of IEDs by Al-Shabaab has resulted in a high number of casualties. Specifically, its 255 IED attacks have caused 692 deaths. Attacks with indirect fire, including rocket strikes have also been directed against important national institutions including the Aden Adde International Airport, the Presidential Palace, and UN facilities, resulting in several injuries and deaths. In light of the ongoing phased withdrawal of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) these incidents are deeply concerning and highlight the urgent need for sustained support in addressing the security challenges faced by the country.
The Federal Government of Somalia has requested for a three-month technical pause of the drawdown of ATMIS troops. The AU Peace and Security Council, recognizing the importance of continued support to Somalia in their pursuit of lasting peace, security, and stability, has signalled it support for the request.
The A3 is in accord with the justification provided by Somalia for the technical pause of the drawdown and stands in solidarity with their aspirations for peace and security. We consider it important to continue the provision of support to the Federal Government of Somalia to preserve the hard-fought gains made over the year in stabilising the country, especially during the implementation of the technical pause.
In this regard, the A3 calls upon all stakeholders, particularly this Council, the private sector, donors, and Somalia’s bilateral partners, to help mobilize the necessary resources for the successful implementation of the three-month pause for the concerned ATMIS personnel as well as for the smooth transition of the relevant security responsibility to Somalia’s Security forces. We also in this context urge the lifting of the arms embargo to support their efforts to combat the threats in the country.
On the economic front, we commend the Federal Government of Somalia for the progress made under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). Despite facing challenges such as droughts, flooding, a severe impact of climate change and economic shocks, Somalia has shown remarkable resilience and determination. The successful implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, establishment of the Universal Social Registry, and the adoption of important legislation like the National Audit Bill demonstrate the government’s determination to improve the economic fortunes of the people.
We encourage all partners to expedite debt relief agreements to provide Somalia with the necessary international development finance, while urging the government to continue their post-HIPC reforms, particularly in the area of good financial governance, for sustained progress and prosperity.
On the humanitarian front, Somalia, like other countries in the Horn of Africa, is grappling with a severe crisis exacerbated by the consequences of climate change. The vulnerable populations within the nation are facing the devastating impacts of drought, conflict, and flooding, which have further deepened their plight. We are deeply concerned about the current humanitarian situation, particularly due to the significant funding shortfall for the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan. With only 37.4% ($942.6 million out of $2.6 billion) of the required funding secured, the ability to address the urgent needs of 7.6 million people is severely constrained. We urge the donor community to help bridge the funding gap to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people.
In concluding, we reaffirm our commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia. We will continue to stand with the good people of Somalia in their pursuit for peace, security and national development.
I thank you.