The Security Council today welcomed the deployment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia - established three months ago in the Somali capital of Mogadishu - and looked forward to the mission playing an effective role in support of the long-troubled country's Federal Government.
In a press statement, the Council welcomed the deployment of the mission, known as UNSOM, and noted that the operation's chief, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Nicholas Kay and African Union (AU) Special Representative, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif, had briefed the 15-member body yesterday on the situation in Somalia.
The Council's wide-ranging statement took particular note of progress reported by the UN and AU officials in the Lower and Middle Juba and Gedo regions of Somalia, and it welcomed the recent agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubba Administration, and commended the Government of Ethiopia, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the AU and UNSOM for their role in facilitating discussions.
"The members of the Council emphasized the importance for all parties to implement the agreement, avoid actions which could undermine security, peace and reconciliation in Somalia, and uphold the Security Council ban on exporting charcoal," the press statement said, adding that the Council members also reiterated their respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.
The Council went on to praise the bravery and sacrifice of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Ethiopian personnel, working alongside Somali National Security Forces.
Emphasizing the need for AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces to continue the fight against Al-Shabaab, the Council expressed its willingness to examine relevant proposals as part of the upcoming joint UN/AU review of AMISOM. The Council reiterated the view that long-term funding for both AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces was essential and emphasized the urgent need for new donors to come forward and support AMISOM through contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for AMISOM.
"The Security Council condemned in the strongest terms recent attacks perpetrated by Al-Shabaab, including the 7 September attack in Mogadishu and the 12 September assassination attempt in Kismayo," the statement said, adding that the Council members expressed their support to the people and Government of Somalia and condolences to the victims and their families.
Welcoming the Somali Federal Government's commitment to improving human rights in Somalia, the Council members expressed their concern at the reports of violations of human rights in the country, including sexual and gender-based violence and violations and abuses committed against children. They underscored the need for the Somali Government to uphold human rights and to hold accountable the perpetrators of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.
The Council members in their statement also echoed the Secretary-General's call for the Somali Government to demonstrate further commitment to addressing human rights violations, and in that context, they welcomed the Government's commitment to establishing a national human rights commission.
The members of the Security Council also welcomed the Federal Government's leadership in seeking a compact with the Somali people and the international community "that ensures Somali ownership, predictable, coordinated and transparent international support, and a commitment to build Somali institutions and capacity, as part of the 16 September European Union and Government of Somalia co-hosted conference on Somalia."
In its statement, the Council encouraged the international community to support a Somali-led and coordinated peacebuilding and development plan. At the same time, the members of the Council expressed concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the need for continued humanitarian access and assistance to millions of vulnerable Somalis.