Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Briefing on the situation in Somalia, 22 May 2019

Mr President

South Africa thanks Deputy SRSG Zenenga, ASG Ursulla Mueller and AU SRCC Francisco Madeira for their briefing and Secretary-General Mr António Guterres for his report.

My delegation commends the UN Secretary General Guterres and the role that UNSOM and UNSOS have been playing in facilitating state-building and peace-building processes in Somalia, in line with its mandate provided by this Council. It is without a doubt that UNSOM and UNSOS as well as AMISOM have contributed positively in the prevailing development trajectory in Somalia.

South Africa welcomes the comprehensive reform agenda of the Federal Government of Somalia which includes four roadmaps aimed at maintaining progress on Inclusive Politics, Security and Justice, Economic Recovery, and Social and Human Development.

Mr President

Despite the efforts by AMISOM, UNSOM and UNSOS, together with the Somali security forces and international partners in the security sector, we note with serious concern that Al-Shabaab and other armed groups continue to be a source of instability in some parts of Somalia, including Mogadishu. The continued atrocities perpetrated by Al-Shabaab against civilians, government facilities, government officials, the Somali security forces and AMISOM personnel are alarming and must be condemned.

While we agree that in the long-term, Somalia needs to be able to take ownership of addressing its own security challenges, we also realise that the Federal Government of Somalia cannot do this on its own, given the capacity limitations of the Somali security forces. The area of capacity-building is one that requires sustained and coordinated international support. In this regard, South Africa calls for the continuation of the implementation of a Comprehensive Approach to Security, encompassing international coordination and joint planning by AMISOM, Federal Government, Federal Member States, UNSOM, UNSOS and international partners, amongst others.

Mr President

It is our firm view that sustained and inclusive dialogue is imperative between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States to resolve their differences in order to move the state-building and peace-building processes forward. Equally, there is pertinence in resolving the current stalemate between the two houses of the Federal Parliament. Cooperation between the two houses is important for the processing of the legislative framework envisaged in the implementation of the Transition Plan.

We encourage state-building and peace-building processes to be inclusive with the meaningful involvement of women and the youth. We commend UNSOM for providing assistance to the Somali authorities on promoting women and youth participation in the processes of state-building and peace-building. 

South Africa is pleased with the notable progress registered in the Constitution review process. We urge the Federal Government of Somalia to finalise the outstanding issues pertaining to the Constitution, with a view to adopting it before the elections take place.

Mr President

The progress made towards finalising a National Reconciliation Framework, the guiding document for nation-wide reconciliation, is a welcome development. Furthermore, we commend the National Independent Electoral Commission for advancing preparations for voter registration for the 2020-2021 elections.

For this delegation, continued support of the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains of paramount importance. In this regard, we urge the international community to support the Somali 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan in order for the humanitarian community to deliver necessary services to civilians in-need.

I thank you

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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