Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the Situation in Somalia
Statement23 May 2022
Thank you Madam President,
Thank you Special Representatives Mr. Swan and Mr. Madeira for your remarks today. I also want to thank your teams for their commitment and tireless efforts over the last year and a half in supporting Somalia through this election process. We appreciate that very much.
I would like to begin by commending the people of Somalia and their leaders on completing elections. We know there were regrettable delays, but the peaceful transition of power that we are now witnessing is critical to creating the stable political environment needed to tackle Somalia’s longstanding challenges.
It is important also to pay tribute to ATMIS and to the Somali security forces for providing security for this entire electoral process. This was not without cost. I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in recent months, including African Union peacekeepers.
To the incoming parliament, I would like to wish you well in living up to the expectations of the Somali people for peace, prosperity and good governance. I congratulate Sadia Yasin Haji for being the first women to ever hold the role of deputy speaker. Although certainly it is regrettable that the goal of 30 per cent women was not met in these elections. I want to encourage the incoming administration to build on their electoral promises and ensure the meaningful participation of women throughout the new administration, including at senior decision-making levels.
To the new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, I offer sincere congratulations. I was struck by the positive and conciliatory tone of his acceptance speech and his urging of the country to look to the future. This is exactly what Somalia needs now. There is no doubt that a lot rests on his shoulders but the UN and Somalia’s partners will continue to be there to support him in addressing both Somalia’s long and short term priorities.
Among the most urgent will be the dire humanitarian crisis in Somalia. As we have heard, millions of people are at risk now from climate-induced shocks, including the devastating drought gripping the country, and looming famine – there is no time to lose.
There will need to be critical political decisions taken in the coming weeks to ensure that Somalia’s most marginalized and affected communities are protected from hunger and death. We in the international community of course must also step up our support.
Equally, the human rights of all Somalis, and in particular women and girls, must be prioritized, protected and respected. As the Secretary General has told us, increasingly many are the victims of abhorrent sexual violence. I call on the new President to recommit to complying with Somalia’s obligations to prevent violations against its own citizens, end impunity for perpetrators, and to support survivors.
Al-Shabaab systematically targeted these elections and it is to Somalia’s great credit that, despite this, in the end the Presidential election went ahead on 15 May as planned. Now that the elections are over, we must look forward.
The African Union, the Somali Government and its forces, and all partners need to refocus on implementing ATMIS’s mandate and addressing the Somalia Transition Plan. A key element will be strengthening Somalia’s national security architecture, and ensuring genuine security sector reform, in order for Somalia to gradually take full responsibility for its own security. The EU will remain steadfast in our support for Somalia’s security throughout this next phase.
And last but not least, I urge the new administration to steer the country and its politics on a path of dialogue, inclusivity, and consensus that delivers for the Somali people. Strengthening national reconciliation and forging an equitable political settlement are fundamental to progressing state-building measures, including finalizing Somalia’s Constitution and establishing a Constitutional Court.
The time for dispute is over: as the Somali National Framework for Reconciliation describes it, now is the moment to turn attention to “repairing the broken Haan” [milk jug], to protect all citizens equally, and to weave a new future for Somalia out its wonderful diverse parts.