Somalia: UN Extends UNSOM Term for Another Year


The Security Council decided (Wednesday) to extend until 31 March 2020 the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), as previously set out in resolution 2158 (2014), and requested the Mission to maintain and strengthen its presence throughout the country, as the security situation allows.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2461 (2019), the Council urged the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States to accelerate an inclusive political settlement and requested UNSOM to continue supporting that effort in close cooperation with partners.

Through the text, it urged the Federal Government and the Parliament to finalize and adopt an election law by mid-2019 and ensure that upcoming elections in Federal Member States are conducted in line with Somalia’s international obligations and commitments.

The resolution underlined the importance of UNSOM’s political, technical, operational and logistical support, in collaboration with the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), to the Government for the delivery of inclusive, peaceful, free and fair one-person-one-vote elections.  It also urged the Government and the Federal Member States to increase the representation and participation of women and youth at all decision-making levels.

On security matters, the Council urged the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to accelerate implementation of key security reforms, with support from UNSOM, UNSOS and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).  It also urged the Federal Government to resume implementation of a transition plan — with clear target dates — for transferring security from AMISOM to Somali security institutions and forces.

The Council strongly condemned recent attacks in the region by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab and encouraged the United Nations to continue working with the Federal Government and AMISOM to strengthen security at the Organization’s compound in Mogadishu, where an attack on 1 January injured three United Nations personnel and contractors.

Expressing concern about all violations of humanitarian law and human rights, including by Al-Shabaab and affiliates linked to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), the Council called on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law and take all precautions to protect civilians and minimize civilian deaths and casualties.

In addition, the Council requested the United Nations, the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to consider the adverse implications of climate change and natural disasters, among other factors, on their programmes in Somalia.  It also requested the Secretary-General to provide information in that regard in his future reports.

Speaking after adoption, the representative of United States, said preambular paragraphs 15 and operative paragraph 21 should have focused on risk management regarding drought, desertification and food security, rather than any causes such as climate change.

Welcoming the unanimous adoption of the text, Somalia’s representative said it provides essential assistance to the Federal Government in such areas as governance, economic development and security.  He expressed great appreciation for the Secretary-General’s personal commitment and assured him of Somalia’s full cooperation with the United Nations system.  Emphasizing that the work of the United Nations is based on respect and cooperation between the Organization and host countries, he said he is confident that the Council, the international community and all other partners agree that Somalia’s problems require Somalian solutions and that increased local ownership of the issues facing the country is crucial.  More than ever, the people of Somalia want their country to take its rightful place among nations, he said, adding that his Government firmly believes that its legitimacy and the impact of its decisions depend on the wishes and interests of its people.


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