Expressing Concern over Potential Humanitarian Impact of Looming Famine, Text Condemns Obstruction of Aid, Demands Unhindered Access
The Security Council decided today to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until March 2018, as previously set out in resolution 2158 (2014).
By the terms of resolution 2358 (2017), adopted unanimously, the Council underscored the importance of UNSOM’s support for Somalia’s political process and encouraged enhanced interaction between the Mission and civil society at the national and regional levels. It welcomed the commitment of the federal Government of Somalia to various national processes, including the immediate issues of allocating powers, sharing resources and revenues with federal member states and developing a political system and federal justice model.
Expressing grave concern at the worsening humanitarian situation and renewed risk of famine and its potential impact on Somalia’s people, the Council commended the efforts of United Nations agencies and other humanitarian actors and donors in calling the possible famine early and in scaling up life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations. It condemned any misuse or obstruction of humanitarian assistance, reiterating its demand that all parties allow and facilitate full, safe, rapid and unhindered access for timely delivery of aid to those in need across Somalia, including by dismantling illegal checkpoints and removing administrative hurdles. It underlined the importance of proper accounting for international humanitarian support, in line with humanitarian principles, and encouraged Somali national disaster-management agencies to scale up capacity, with support from the United Nations, in order to take up a stronger coordination and leadership role.
Strongly condemning all violations and abuses against children in armed conflict, the Council called upon the federal Government to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as actions plans signed in 2012. It underscored the need to strengthen the legal and operational framework for protecting children, including by ratifying or acceding to its Optional Protocols, also underlining the importance of respect for the protection of civilians, especially women and children, by all parties.
The Council expressed serious concern, however, at the ongoing forced evictions of internally displaced persons, calling upon the federal Government and other relevant actors to strive for lasting solutions, as well as conditions conducive to their voluntary, safe and sustainable return.
The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 10:06 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2358 (2017) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and statements of its President on the situation in Somalia,
“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and unity of Somalia,
“Strongly condemning recent attacks by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, expressing serious concern at the ongoing threat posed by Al-Shabaab, and reiterating its determination to support efforts, including through a comprehensive approach, to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab in Somalia, in accordance with applicable international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law,
“Paying tribute to the bravery and sacrifices made by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces in the fight against Al‑Shabaab, commending AMISOM and the Somalia security forces for the provision of security which enabled the 2016/17 electoral process to take place across Somalia, and recognizing that security provided by AMISOM remains critical at this stage,
“Commending the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) in supporting peace and reconciliation, conflict resolution, the State-formation process, the electoral process and the promotion and protection of human rights and compliance with international humanitarian law in Somalia,
“Expressing its full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNSOM, Michael Keating, and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and the Head of AMISOM, Francisco Caetano José Madeira,
“Welcoming the conclusion of the electoral process in Somalia and the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo on 8 February for a four‑year term, the swift appointment of a Government, the increased representation of women in Parliament and Government, the increased participation and representation of the people of Somalia in the electoral process and the peaceful transfer of power,
“Underscoring the need to maintain the momentum towards consolidating Somalia’s federal system in this regard, welcoming the commitments of the federal Government of Somalia to one-person, one-vote elections in 2021, underscoring the importance of formalizing the status of the federal member states as soon as possible, and further welcoming the commitment of the federal Government of Somalia and federal member states to reach an agreement on outstanding constitutional issues in close consultation with the Parliament,
“Welcoming the commitment of the federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states to pursue inclusive political dialogue to support the peaceful resolution of disputes that threaten internal peace and security, including the recent efforts of national and regional leaders, in particular those of Puntland and Galmadug, to reach a peaceful settlement in Gaalkacyo,
“Underlining that a capable, accountable, acceptable and affordable security sector, with full respect for human rights and the rule of law, is a crucial part of long-term peace in Somalia and noting that progress in improving Somalia’s security needs to be accelerated and prioritized,
“Welcoming in this regard agreement on the Somalia National Security Architecture endorsed by the National Security Council on 8 May,
“Welcoming the federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to conduct a conditions-based, gradual handover of security from AMISOM to the Somali Security Forces, including conducting joint operations with AMISOM in order to become the primary security provider in Somalia,
“Welcoming the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community’s commitment to a comprehensive approach to security in Somalia, and recognizing the need for non-military approaches as part of this approach in order to achieve long-term human security for Somalis,
“Welcoming the federal Government of Somalia’s active engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process, encouraging full implementation of all accepted recommendations, condemning the continued violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in Somalia, and underscoring the need to end impunity, uphold human rights and to hold accountable those responsible for crimes involving violations or abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law,
“Recognizing that this is a critical moment for Somalia, welcoming the New Partnership for Somalia and the Security Pact adopted by Somalia and international partners on 11 May at the London Conference on Somalia, underscoring the importance of effective implementation and mutual accountability, and emphasizing UNSOM’s central role to support implementation,
“Recalling the Conclusions on Children and Armed Conflict (document S/AC.51/2017/2),
“Expressing grave concern at the credible and renewed risk of famine in Somalia as a result of the severe drought in the context of ongoing conflict, welcoming the federal Government of Somalia’s response to the humanitarian crisis, and encouraging further cooperation with international and national humanitarian actors to relieve immediate need and build longer-term resilience, including for internally displaced persons,
“Welcoming the generous support of donors to the Somali authorities and the Humanitarian Response Plan, encouraging further contributions to humanitarian assistance efforts, and welcoming United Nations’ efforts to coordinate the drought response and support the Somali authorities,
“1. Decides to extend UNSOM’s mandate as set out in paragraph 1 of resolution 2158 (2014) until 31 March 2018;
“2. Takes note of the letter of the Secretary-General dated 5 May (document S/2017/404) on the strategic assessment of the United Nations presence in Somalia, and requests UNSOM to implement its mandate at both the national and regional level including through strengthening further and maintaining its presence in all federal member states subject to United Nations security requirements and as the security situation allows, in order to provide strategic policy advice on the political process, reconciliation, peacebuilding, State‑building and security sector reform;
“3. Underscores the importance of UNSOM’s support to the political process, including the provision of United Nations good offices functions to support the federal Government of Somalia’s peace and reconciliation process, in particular with regards to the consolidation of the State-formation, mediation, prevention and resolution of conflicts, and constitutional review processes, resource and revenue sharing, improved accountability of Somali institutions especially on anti-corruption issues, the development of an effective federal political system and a federal justice system, as well as support for the preparation of an inclusive, credible and transparent one-person, one-vote elections in 2021,and coordination of international electoral support to Somalia;
“4. Encourages UNSOM to enhance its interaction with Somali civil society at national and regional levels, including women, youth, business and religious leaders, and to help ensure that the views of civil society are incorporated in the various political processes;
“5. Requests UNSOM to provide strategic advice in support of a comprehensive approach to security in line with the Security Pact and New Partnership for Somalia in order to support their implementation;
“6. Requests UNSOM, along with international partners, to support the federal Government of Somalia to implement Somalia’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in order to strengthen Somalia’s capacity to prevent and counter-terrorism;
“7. Requests UNSOM to support system-wide implementation of the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy across all United Nations support to AMISOM and the Somali security sector;
“8. Welcomes the strong relationship among UNSOM, United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and AMISOM, and underlines the importance of all entities continuing to strengthen the relationship further;
“9. Requests UNSOM to continue to implement its mandate in an integrated manner, and welcomes the Secretary-General’s efforts to strengthen strategic integration and decision-making across the UN system within respective mandates, including with consideration of the role of women and youth;
“10. Welcomes the commitment of the federal Government of Somalia, in accordance with the rule of law, to address immediate issues of formalization of the status of the Federal Member States, allocation of powers, resource and revenue sharing, the development of a political system, and federal justice model, and further welcomes the commitment of the federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states to work closely together, and with the Parliament on these issues, building on the existing work on the constitutional review, and encourages dialogue with civil society and the Somali public, including integration of women and youth in this regard;
“11. Emphasizes the importance of reconciliation, including inter- and intra-clan reconciliation, across the country as the basis of a long-term approach to stability, and urges the federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states to pursue reconciliation talks at local, regional and national levels;
“12. Welcomes the commitments of the federal Government of Somalia to one‑person, one‑vote elections in 2021, and the outline road map including the commitment to develop an electoral law setting out the legislative framework by the end of 2018 and stresses the importance of adhering to these commitments;
“13. Reaffirms the important role of women and youth in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and in peacebuilding, stresses the importance of their participation in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, notes that women are not adequately represented in governmental organizations at regional and national levels and urges the federal Government of Somalia and federal member states to continue to promote increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in Somali institutions;
“14. Welcomes the federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states’ commitment to security sector reform in particular the historic political agreement Somalia’s leaders reached on 16 April 2017 to integrate regional and federal forces into a coherent National Security Architecture capable of gradually taking on lead responsibility for providing security, and the swift establishment of the National Security Council and National Security Office;
“15. Underlines the importance of swift implementation of the National Security Architecture, in order to develop Somali-led security institutions and forces, both military and civilian, that are capable, affordable, acceptable and accountable with the ability to provide security and protection to the people of Somalia as part of a comprehensive approach to security, and emphasizes the vital importance of the rule of law and of security forces complying with international humanitarian and human rights law as applicable;
“16. Welcomes the launch of Somalia’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, and encourages the development of relevant national legislation to implement this;
“17. Welcomes commitments by international partners to provide additional and more effective support, including more standardized and more coordinated delivery of mentoring, training, equipment, capacity-building and remuneration of police and military forces, consistent with the Security Pact agreed at the London Somalia Conference;
“18. Calls on international partners to establish the agreed coordination and implementation mechanisms in order to harmonize donor support to the Somali security sector, and requests UNSOM to continue to assist the federal Government of Somalia in coordinating international donor support to Somalia’s security sector in compliance with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy;
“19. Encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to fulfil its commitments to sound, transparent and accountable financial management including revenue mobilization and anti-corruption measures, as set out in the New Partnership for Somalia, and requests UNSOM to continue to provide support and strategic policy advice to achieve this in order to reinforce the legitimacy and stability of Somalia’s new governance arrangements, bolster the Government’s ability to deliver services, attract investment and help advance Somalia along the path towards normalization with International Financial Institutions and debt relief;
“20. Encourages the federal Government of Somalia to implement fully the Action Plan of its Human Rights Road Map and establish its National Human Rights Commission and to pass legislation, including legislation aimed at protecting human rights and investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of crimes involving violations or abuses of human rights violations of international humanitarian law and conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence;
“21. Underlines the importance of respect for international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians, especially women and children, by all parties to the conflict in Somalia;
“22. Reiterates its concern at the high number of refugees and internally displaced persons, including persons newly displaced by the drought, expressing its serious concern at the ongoing forced evictions of internally displaced persons in Somalia, stresses that any eviction should be consistent with relevant national and international frameworks, calls upon the federal Government of Somalia and all relevant actors to strive to provide concrete durable solutions for internal displacement, and further calls upon the federal Government of Somalia and all relevant actors to strive to create the conditions conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons with the support of the international community;
“23. Expresses grave concern at the worsening humanitarian crisis and renewed risk of famine in Somalia and its impact on the people of Somalia, commends the efforts of the United Nations humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian actors and donors to call the possible famine early and scale up life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations, condemns any misuse or obstruction of humanitarian assistance, reiterates its demand that all parties allow and facilitate full, safe, rapid and unhindered access for the timely delivery of aid to persons in need across Somalia, including by dismantling illegal checkpoints and removing administrative hurdles, and in line with the humanitarian principles, underlines the importance of proper accounting in international humanitarian support, and encourages national disaster management agencies in Somalia to scale up capacity with support from the United Nations to take a stronger coordination and leadership role;
“24. Strongly condemns all violations and abuses committed against children in armed conflict in Somalia, calling on the federal Government of Somalia to implement fully the Convention of the Rights of the Child 1989, and the Action Plans signed in 2012, and underscores the need to strengthen the legal and operational framework for the protection of children, including by ratification of or accession to its Optional Protocols;
“25. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council regularly informed on the implementation of this resolution, including through oral updates and no fewer than three written reports, with the first written report by 1 September 2017 and every 120 days thereafter;
“26. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
Diplomatic leaks: UAE dissatisfied with Saudi policies
AL JAZEERA — Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) is working on breaking up Saudi Arabia, leaked documents obtained by Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar revealed.
Al Akhbar said that the leaked documents contained secret diplomatic briefings sent by UAE and Jordanian ambassadors in Beirut to their respective governments.
One of the documents, issued on September 20, 2017, disclosed the outcome of a meeting between Jordan’s ambassador to Lebanon Nabil Masarwa and his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdel-Al al-Qenaie.
“The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is working on breaking up the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Jordanian envoy quoted the Kuwait ambassador as saying.
A second document, issued on September 28, 2017, reveals meeting minutes between the Jordanian ambassador and his UAE counterpart Hamad bin Saeed al-Shamsi.
The document said the Jordanian ambassador informed his government that UAE believes that “Saudi policies are failing both domestically and abroad, especially in Lebanon”.
“The UAE is dissatisfied with Saudi policies,” the Jordanian envoy said.
The Qatar vote
According to the leaks, UAE ambassador claims that Lebanon voted for Qatar’s Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari in his bid to become head of UNESCO in October 2017.
“[Lebanese Prime Minister Saad] Hariri knew Lebanon was voting for Qatar,” the UAE ambassador said in a cable sent to his government on October 18, 2017.
In November last year, Hariri announced his shock resignation from the Saudi capital Riyadh.
He later deferred his decision, blaming Iran and its Lebanese ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, for his initial resignation. He also said he feared an assassination attempt.
Officials in Lebanon alleged that Hariri was held hostage by Saudi authorities, an allegation Hariri denied in his first public statement following his resignation speech.
Somalia’s Puntland region asks UAE to stay as Gulf split deepens
BOSASO, Somalia (Reuters) – Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region urged the United Arab Emirates not to close its security operations in the country after a dispute with the central government, saying the Gulf power was a key ally in the fight against Islamist militants.
The dispute goes to the heart of an increasingly troubled relationship between Gulf states – divided by their own disputes – and fractured Somalia, whose coastline sits close to key shipping routes and across the water from Yemen.
Analysts have said the complex standoff risks exacerbating an already explosive security situation on both sides of the Gulf of Aden, where militant groups launch regular attacks.
The central Somali government said on Wednesday it was taking over a military training program run by the UAE.
Days later the UAE announced it was pulling out, accusing Mogadishu of seizing millions of dollars from a plane, money it said was meant to pay soldiers.
“We ask our UAE friends, not only to stay, but to redouble their efforts in helping Somalia stand on its feet,” said the office of the president of Puntland, a territory that sits on the tip of the Horn of Africa looking out over the Gulf of Aden.
Ending UAE support, “will only help our enemy, particularly Al Shabaab and ISIS (Islamic State),” it added late on Monday.
Watch this presser. pic.twitter.com/wEH19WsG7t
— Abdisalam Aato (@AbdisalamAato) April 16, 2018
The UAE is one of a number of Gulf powers that have opened bases along the coast of the Horn of Africa and promised investment and donations as they compete for influence in the insecure but strategically important region.
That competition has been exacerbated by a diplomatic rift between Qatar and a bloc including the UAE. In turn, those splits have worsened divisions in Somalia.
Puntland, which has said it wants independence, has sought to woo the UAE which runs an anti-piracy training center there and is developing the main port. The central government in Mogadishu last year criticized Puntland for taking sides in the Gulf dispute. Qatar’s ally Turkey is one of Somalia’s biggest investors.
One Somali government official said last week Mogadishu had decided to take over the UAE operation because the Gulf state’s contract to run it had expired. Another official said the government was investigating the money taken from the plane.
The competition among Gulf states in Somalia has fueled accusations of foreign interference and resentment in many corners of Somali society.
The loss of the UAE program could have a destabilizing effect, said one security analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The value of the UAE trained forces was two-fold – they were relatively well trained but, most importantly, they were paid on time,” unlike other parts of the security forces, the analyst told Reuters.
Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991.