Remarks by SRCC Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif at the United Nations Security Council debate on Somalia
United Nations Security Council Debate On Somalia 12 September 2013 New York, USA
I want to thank you, on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dlamini Nkosazana Zuma, for this opportunity to brief the Security Council on the situation in Somalia and in particular, our efforts aimed at supporting the Somalia Federal Government in its efforts to consolidate security and put Somalia on the path to recovery and reconstruction.
Before I proceed, Mr. President, allow me to also offer Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra’s regrets and apologies for his inability to personally join you in today’s session.
From the onset, I would like to reiterate the appreciation of the African Union to all the Member States of the Security Council for your support to our efforts in addressing the instability in Somalia. Over the last couple of years, and in particular, since the deployment of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), we have received significant support from the Security Council. Indeed, your support has been invaluable and it has contributed to the very positive and tangible results we are now recording on the ground in Somalia.
I am sure that Council members are well aware of the recent positive developments in the political and security situations in Somalia.
We are experiencing a good momentum in Somalia presently despite many challenges. On the political front, the African Union is encouraged with the speed and determination with which the Somali Federal Government has moved with regards to the implementation of the Six Pillar policy framework. On 16 June, the Federal Parliament formally launched the Constitutional Review Process, expressing its commitment to a broad process that would involve civil society. Additionally, a law establishing a Constitutional Review Commission was passed on 3 July, and the process of selecting its Commissioners is underway.
On 28 August, the FGS and the Jubba administration under the mediation of the IGAD Chair, Ethiopia, signed a historic agreement, paving the way for the resolution of a political impasse which had been holding up progress and risking to reverse the hard won gains. Following the agreement, the leader of the Interim Jubba Administration travelled to Mogadishu where he held talks with the President and Parliamentarians from the Jubba regions. He also called on those who had been displaced by the fighting in June to return to their homes.
In continuing with the positive momentum, the FGS convened in Mogadishu from 2-6 September for the Vision 2016 conference, the first of many national consultations on the transition towards democratic legitimacy. The conference deliberated on the Constitutional Development, options on models of Federalism, reform and good governance, the electoral process and party politics and political outreach among others. On 7 September, H.E President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud inaugurated the first ever anti-radicalization conference in Mogadishu vowing that his government will fight radicalization in Somalia.
We commend the FGS for its efforts and call upon all Somali stakeholders, including those in the Diaspora, to give the required support to the Federal Government in this regard. On our part, the African Union will remain steadfast in supporting the Federal Government to make sure that it continues extending its authority so that come 2016, we will be in a position to organize general elections that will hopefully see the participation of a large majority of Somalis.
On the security front, in spite of the gains we have recorded in Somalia against Al-Shabaab in 2012 and into early 2013, the African Union would like to emphasize that Al shabaab retains the capacity to destabilize and derail our efforts. In May 2013, Al Shabaab adopted asymmetric tactics that are increasingly sophisticated, very well prepared, rehearsed, resourced, and executed at will as demonstrated by the 7 September 2013 suicide attacks against the popular Village restaurant in the Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, killing at least 18 people. The extremists also continue to enjoy freedom of movement in about 50 per cent of South-Central Somalia, particularly in rural areas from where they continue to organize, train and access logistics, including weapons and munitions notably through Haradheere and the ports of Cadale and Baarawe.
As the Security Council is aware, the current phase of AMISOM military operations has been guided by the Joint AU-UN Strategic Concept adopted by both the AU PSC and the UN Security Council, in January 2012. The Strategic Concept had in fact considered a troop level of 35,500 troops for the successful implementation of the military campaign. Eventually, based on a number of strategic considerations, including the provision of force enablers, specifically helicopters and APCs, the continued ENDF support and provision of immediate operational logistics support to the SNSF, the Strategic Concept recommended the middle path option of raising the troop ceiling to 17,731 troops.
However, two of the strategic considerations have not been realized: AMISOM remains without all the required force enablers and the SNSF remain without much required logistical support. In addition, the UN support package, which is anchored on the UN procurement procedures for traditional UN peacekeeping operations, has been challenged by the prevailing security conditions in Somalia, resulting in slow responsiveness to AMISOM operations. It is worth mentioning here the slow roll out of the Forward Logistic Hubs, the relatively low budgetary allocation and the inability of the support package to match the operational tempo. Additionally, the serviceability of the equipment donated by donors and its maintenance, the responsibility of which lies with UNSOA, is low and varies between fifty to sixty per cent at any given time, taking into account the existence of a large number of APCs that need major repairs or replacement.
Under the present conditions, AMISOM is geographically stretched and has reached its operational limit, making it difficult to undertake further expansion operations without risking the present gains. It was the expectation of the AU that UN Security Council resolution 2093 (2013) will address this situation.
While reiterating AU’s appreciation to the Security Council for the support extended so far, I call upon the Security Council to take the necessary steps, in line with the AU PSC communiqué of 27 February 2013, to address the needs of AMISOM and the SNSF in order to enable them consolidate their control over recovered territories, continue to extend State authority and empower the SNSF, so that they can assume primary responsibility for the defense and security of their country. In the meantime, the African Union is taking the necessary steps to mitigate the challenges on the ground, notably by repositioning forces within and outside Sector boundaries to cater for current operational realities.
The requests made by the Peace and Security Council remain relevant today as they were last year. In this regard, I look forward to the recommendations of the benchmarking exercise undertaken by the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission in the context of paragraph 19 of UN Security Council resolution 2093 (2013), with the hope that the exercise will result into concrete and action-oriented recommendations to enhance the capacity of AMISOM and the SNSF so as to create conditions that would make it possible to support the long-term stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia.
I will conclude by reiterating the appreciation of the African Union, the peace loving people of Somalia and Africa as a whole, to the Security Council for your untiring, resilient and courageous efforts in resolving the situation in Somalia. I want to also express our appreciation to the Secretary-General and the various departments of the Secretariat, for the partnership with the African Union and AMISOM. The African Union recognizes and appreciates, fully, the support of the international community to Somalia.
I thank you all.