Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in Somalia


We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Catriona Laing, as well as Special Representative of the African Union Commission and Head of AU Transition Mission in Somalia Mohammed El-Amine Souef for the briefings. We welcome the Permanent Representative of Somalia, Ambassador Osman to this meeting.

Russia supports efforts of the Federal Government of Somalia aimed at internal political stabilization. Over the past year, the National Consultative Council (NCC) has noticeably revitalized its activities. The Parliament has embarked on discussing proposals to review the national constitution and electoral model. At the NCC meeting in August, crucial decisions were made to strengthen coordination of combat operations against Al-Shabaab and expedite implementation of national reconciliation plan. We note President H.S.Mohamud's personal contribution to consolidation of public opinion in the country. At the same time, we are concerned about the non-participation of Puntland and Somaliland in this process. Revitalization of non-systemic opposition in South-West State, Puntland and Jubaland is very alarming. We call on all participants in the Somali political process to continue working together to establish a sustainable federal model in the country while preserving the territorial integrity and unity of Somalia.

Another cause for grave concern is the security situation. Despite Somali national army being on an offensive, Al-Shabaab still retains solid positions in the country. The militia carries on its high-profile operations with a large number o casualties. This includes terrorist attacks, occupation of villages and settlements, attacks on the guarded Mogadishu International Airport. We strongly condemn all terrorist attacks and pay tribute to African peacekeepers and Somali National Army, including those who paid the ultimate price when performing their duties.

The situation in Las Anod remains unsettled. We support mediator efforts of the Federal Government, clan elders, and regional states in resolving this conflict. We call on UNSOM to continue providing the necessary assistance to Mogadishu within its mandate.

Against this backdrop, ATMIS remains a crucial factor to deter extremist and other unlawful activities in Somalia. Drawdown of its contingent must proceed depending on the actual state of affairs on the ground. We believe that the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, supported in the African Union, to postpone the completion of the second phase of ATMIS withdrawal by three months is justified. We trust that the Security Council will soon be able to grant this request.

We also share Mogadishu's concerns about the arms embargo, which poses an objective obstacle to effective fight against Al-Shabaab. We will be ready to engage in substantive talks on this issue in November.

In the light of Security Council's upcoming discussions on the extension of the mandate of UNSOM, we hope that leadership of the Mission will keep providing the necessary assistance to the Somali authorities within its effective powers. It is important to intensify efforts to implement the UNSC-endorsed recommendations of UNSOM’s independent strategic review, i.a. with regard to starting the transfer of the Mission’s functions to the United Nations country team.

Thank you.

Video of the statement