H. E. Mr. Mohamed Siad Doualeh
Ambassador, Permanent Representative
Of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations
Before the Security Council
On the Situation in Somalia
Thursday 13 April 2017
At the outset, Djibouti wishes to express its gratitude to the President of the month, the United States and indeed Members of the Council for this opportunity to address the Council.
Furthermore, we wish to thank Ambassador Kairat Umarov, Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea for his 120 day brief to the Security Council.
Djibouti wishes to make the following remarks.
On Somalia, we share the Chair’s assessment that Al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to peace and security in Somalia. They have been ramping up attacks after rejecting President Farmajo’s amnesty offer.
In light of the gravity and viciousness of the threat, we support the request by the Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia for a surge in troops to enable AMISOM forces and the Somali National Army to decisively degrade and defeat Al-Shabaab.
Likewise, we echo the call made by Secretary General Antonio Guterres to provide enhanced logistical support for “under equipped” African Union forces in Somalia, in particular force enablers and multipliers including helicopters. We are indeed confident that, with enhanced, sustained and coordinated support by the international community, the new Somali leadership will be able to deliver significant peace dividends to the population, and improve security and access to justice.
On Eritrea, we are deeply troubled and concerned by the fact that the distinct lack of cooperation that characterized previous mandates continues to date.
Eritrea has deliberately chosen to obstruct the work of the Monitoring Group. It has consistently and arrogantly refused to allow the Monitoring Group to verify the facts. Instead of openly and transparently cooperating, as directed by the Council, it slammed the door on them, and denied them all access to the information they need to determine whether Eritrea was in compliance with the Council’s resolutions or not. In other words, Eritrea cynically seeks to be rewarded for its defiance of Security Council’s resolutions. Just stonewall, refuse to cooperate, prevent the missions from finding the facts and hold on until the Council is sufficiently frustrated by the failure of its actions and sufficiently troubled by the impact of its sanctions to throw up its hand in surrender!
In support of that strategy, it has formulated a victimhood narrative which may sound appealing to those who do not know the facts.
The facts have nevertheless come to the surface as highlighted both in numerous Security Council Monitoring reports and the report by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development on transnational threats in the IGAD Region. Conversely, Djibouti has twice welcomed experts of the Monitoring Group to Djibouti and was able to share valuable information.
- On Eritrea’s support to Al-Shabaab: Djibouti is of the view that Eritrea continues to provide support to Al-Shabaab. It shared information which it deems credible and verifiable with the Members of the Monitoring Group.
- On the Prisoners of War: Eritrea should be urged to clarify the situation of the thirteen (13) remaining Djibouti Prisoners of War still unaccounted for. Not only is it a requirement of the Security Council, but also it is required by International Treaty and Customary Law by which Eritrea is bound.
- On Eritrea’s compliance with the 2010 Qatar Mediation Agreement: The Security Council determined that the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region It has urged Eritrea to implement, in good faith, the dispositions of the Accord and negotiate with Djibouti the ultimate objective of reaching a final and binding agreement on the border dispute, in accordance with international law. Djibouti promptly submitted to His Royal Highness the Emir of Qatar a comprehensive statement of pertinent facts and legal principles applicable to this matter. To date, seven (7) years later, Eritrea continues to refuse to comply with the provisions of the Agreement.
- On Eritrea’ support to armed Group: Eritrea continues to harbor, train, equip and provide logistical support to armed groups seeking to overthrow and destabilize the Government of Djibouti. It continues to do so, without an ounce of remorse, in violation of its obligations under Article 2 of the UN Charter, customary international law, as well as its obligations under Security Council Resolutions. Djibouti urges Eritrea to permanently cease and desist from such activities.
In conclusion, Madam President, I wish to reiterate our profound gratitude to distinguished Members of the Council for their continued vigilance and support. Indeed, no country can continuously defy UNSC’s resolutions and expect not to face the consequences of its actions.
Thank you for your attention