The Security Council this morning reauthorized the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to maintain its deployment for four months, until 7 March 2013, while deciding to expand the United Nations support package for the Mission to additional civilian personnel.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2073 (2012), the Council authorized AMISOM to maintain its presence in the areas set out in its strategic concept of January 2012 for countering the threat still posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups in coordination with Somali national security forces, in order to establish secure conditions for legitimate governance, reconciliation and the provision of humanitarian assistance across Somalia, which, the Council said in a resolution of 18 September, had recently made great strides in security and governance but still faced great challenges in both areas (See Press Release SC/10768).
TodayÂ’s move came exactly one week after the Council met under Â“unusual circumstancesÂ” in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which had ripped through New York, paralysing the city and forcing an unprecedented three-day shut-down of United Nations Headquarters. With AMISOMÂ’s mandate set to expire at midnight on 31 October, the Council had quickly adopted resolution 2072 (2012), which had authorized a short-term extension of the Mission Â— 7 days Â— under the terms of its existing mandate (See Press Release SC/10804).
With the current text, the Council decided to extend the logistical support package to a further 50 civilian personnel for a period to be determined by assessment and Â“on an exceptional basis and owing to the unique character of the missionÂ”, underlining the importance of swiftly deploying them to areas recently liberated from Al-Shabaab in line with a request from the African Union. In line with previous resolutions, it also requested the Secretary-General to continue to provide support to 17,731 uniformed personnel until the end of the authorization period, along with providing advice to the African Union on implementation of the MissionÂ’s strategic concept.
In his most recent report on AMISOM (document S/2012/764), the Secretary-General recommended a four-month continuation of the current support package, with slight adjustments, awaiting the results of a thorough assessment of the Mission in view of the challenges ahead, to be conducted by the African Union working together with the United Nations.
Following the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom, which sponsored the resolution, welcomed its adoption, commending AMISOM and its troop contributing countries in their role in helping to Â“free Somalis from the dark shadow of Al-Shabaab,Â” and helping to restore their faith in governmental structures. He said that todayÂ’s attack on the Somali Parliament showed the difficulties that remained in that context, but he firmly told the armed groups: Â“You will not succeed.Â”
The Council, he added, must now re-examine some of its positions, including those on the arms embargo and the charcoal embargo in Kismayu, in consultation with the Somali Government and other partners, to give the Government the space to make progress on key priorities. The review of AMISOM would allow the Council to set clear divisions of responsibilities and further readjust support. The Council must do all it could to turn Somali hope into reality, he stressed.
Also welcoming the adoption and commending AMISOM and its troop contributing countries, the representatives of South Africa, Germany, Guatemala and India, regretted, however, that a more sustained extension of the support package was not approved through the text, and that the resolution did not address support for a maritime component of the Mission, as requested by the African Union, which they said was important for countering Al-Shabaab and piracy off the coast of Somalia. They awaited the results of the assessment and work on the next resolution on Somalia to address such issues.
South AfricaÂ’s delegate, in addition, regretted that the lifting of the arms embargo, as it affected Somali national security forces, was not addressed. GermanyÂ’s representative added that he would have preferred more sustainable funding be provided for AMISOM and that the proposed guard force for officials be addressed.
The representative of Somalia, finally, took the floor to stress the countryÂ’s progress in governance in recent months, including the appointment of an inclusive cabinet which included a woman as Foreign Minister. All such progress had been achieved with the unfailing support of AMISOM and the Ethiopian forces, supported by the Security Council and the international community. Now nation-building must begin for a country that had had no effective Government for over two decades. He, therefore, welcomed the strengthening of AMISOM and additional support. He had hoped, however, that the authorization and support would have been approved for one year, to better support the GovernmentÂ’s efforts, but nevertheless looked forward to working together with the Council on meeting future challenges.
The meeting began at 10:12 a.m. and ended at 10:35 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2073 (2012) reads as follows:
Â“The Security Council,
Â“Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in Somalia, in particular resolution 1772 (2007),
Â“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia and reiterating its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia,
Â“Recalling its decision in resolution 2036 (2012) to expand the logistical support package for AMISOM to include the reimbursement of certain contingent owned equipment including force enablers and multipliers,
Â“Determining that the situation in Somalia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
Â“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
Â“1. Decides to authorise the Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment until 7 March 2013 of AMISOM, which shall be authorized to take all necessary measures, in compliance with applicable international humanitarian and human rights law, and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, to carry out the following tasks:
(a) To maintain a presence in the four sectors set out in the AMISOM Strategic Concept of 5 January 2012, and in those sectors, in coordination with the SNSF, reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups in order to establish conditions for effective and legitimate governance across Somalia;
(b) To support dialogue and reconciliation in Somalia by assisting with the free movement, safe passage and protection of all those involved with the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia;
(c) To provide, as appropriate, protection to the Somali authorities to help them carry out their functions of government, and security for key infrastructure;
(d) To assist, within its capabilities, and in coordination with other parties, with implementation of the National Security and Stabilization Plan, in particular the effective re-establishment and training of all-inclusive SNSF;
(e) To contribute, as may be requested and within capabilities, to the creation of the necessary security conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance;
(f) To protect its personnel, facilities, installations, equipment and mission, and to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel, as well as of United Nations personnel carrying out functions mandated by the Security Council;
Â“2. Decides on an exceptional basis and owing to the unique character of the mission to extend the United Nations logistical support package for AMISOM civilian personnel for a further 50 civilian personnel, on a temporary basis to be reviewed in light of the upcoming AU and United Nations strategic reviews, underlines the importance of these civilians deploying swiftly to areas recently liberated from Al-Shabaab, in line with the letter dated 18th October from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to the United Nations Secretary-General;
Â“3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide technical, management and expert advice to the African Union in the planning and deployment of AMISOM, through the United Nations Office to the African Union, including on the implementation of the AMISOM Strategic Concept and the AMISOM Concept of Operations;
Â“4. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide a logistical support package for AMISOM referred to in paragraphs 10 and 11 of resolution 2010 (2011) and paragraphs 4 and 6 of resolution 2036 (2012) for a maximum of 17,731 uniformed personnel until 7 March 2013, ensuring the accountability and transparency of expenditure of the United Nations funds as set out in paragraph 4 of resolution 1910 (2010);
Â“5. Requests the African Union to keep the Security Council regularly informed, through the Secretary-General, on the implementation of AMISOMÂ’s mandate, and report to the Council, through the provision of written reports, 60 days after the date of this resolution;
Â“6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.Â”