Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on the Adoption of the Amisom Mandate Renewal, 31 May 2019

Mr President,

We thank the United Kingdom, in its capacity as penholder, for their transparency, tireless efforts and commitment in facilitating the resolution that we have adopted today.

The renewal of the AMISOM mandate is a significant undertaking by this Council in supporting the Federal Government of Somalia and the people of Somalia as whole. We appreciate the continued efforts of the regional, sub-regional and international community in bringing political stability in Somalia. 

Mr President,

We reiterate our position that any reconfiguration or drawdown of AMISOM should be based on the situation on the ground and should not lead to a security vacuum that may be exploited by terrorists groups and undermine the gains made in Somalia thus far.  These gains have been hard won and have cost the lives of many African troops acting on behalf of the UN Security Council.

As we extend the mandate of AMISOM, it is equally important to express our gratitude to all Troop and Police Contributing Countries and pay tribute to all our brothers and sisters that have sacrificed their lives in the quest for peace and stability in Somalia. We would like to thank the AU, UN and partners for their continued support and commitment to AMISOM and Somalia.

We recognise the fundamental importance of the role of AMISOM for its efforts towards the restoration of security and stability in Somalia, which would have otherwise been impossible to reach without the presence of this AU-led Mission. AMISOM’s role is also invaluable as Somalia prepares for the 2020/21 elections.

South Africa aligns itself with the AU Commission and AUPSC principled calls on the AU, UN, and key partners in Somalia to provide the required resources to support AMISOM in a sustainable and predictable manner. This is important as AMISOM’s tasks and responsibilities require it to align its logistical and equipment capabilities and capacities with the realities and challenges on the ground.

Mr President

Al-Shabaab has adapted and continues to launch successful asymmetrical attacks and mobile warfare against AMISOM and Somali forces, including targeting civilians, with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) and IEDs in Somalia. They remain a threat to regional peace. This necessitates AMISOM to also adapt by, amongst others, having an agile force in response to the type of threat and Al-Shabaab posture.

The re-configuration of AMISOM must be aligned with support and equipment right-sizing. In this regard, we support the position of the AUPSC and the Chairperson of the AU Commission that there should be a detailed assessment on the ground and comprehensive equipment review to inform the identification of not-fit-for-purpose or redundant equipment, and the deployment of additional and enhanced capabilities for AMISOM.

Mr President,

The stability and enhanced security in Somalia will improve the security of shipping lanes in the Horn of Africa. Thus ensuring free trade flows around the world to the benefit of us all.

We should thus appreciate the contribution of AU TCCs in this regard. Hence the necessity for this Council to agree on funding such vital peacekeeping operations, which benefits all of us around the world.

Mr President,

We remain concerned with the precarious humanitarian situation that still prevails in Somalia. We call on the international community to redouble its efforts towards improving the humanitarian situation and to protect all those in vulnerable situations.

In conclusion, Mr President the stabilization, peace, development and political transition in Somalia is not only paramount to Somalia, but for the region and the Continent at large. Thus we reiterate our commitment to peace and stability in Somalia to ensure that the Somali people reap the benefits of peace and stability in their own country.

I thank you

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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