The UN Security Council unanimously decided on Monday to extend the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) for an additional year, but expressed concern over the continuing threats posed by Al Shabab terrorists.
“The Council urged that UNSOM continue to collaborate with both Somalia and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and to maintain and increase its presence throughout Somalia.”
Through the resolution, the Council also condemned any mistreatment or obstruction of humanitarian relief and asked that all parties permit and facilitate full, safe, rapid, and unrestricted access for the timely delivery of aid to those in need across Somalia.
A first draught of the document was distributed on October 24 and a round of negotiations was held on October 26 at the invitation of the UK, the penholder on Somalia.
According to Abukar Dahir Osman, who represents Somalia at the UN, the organisation should work to protect the nation’s geographical integrity.
According to Mr. Osman, it is crucial to foster an environment that would support the government’s initiatives for the country’s political stability, security, and sustainable development.
He continued that even though the UNSOM strategy review was finished, the change from the special political mission to the country team was not clearly defined. Therefore, UNSOM has to comprehend Somalia’s plans for an exit strategy properly.
The extension of the mission, according to Senior Advisor for Security Council Affairs Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, is essential for Somalia to accomplish its immediate objectives.
“We believe this mandate will advance UNSOM’s efforts to support the Somali Federal Government as it addresses serious challenges, including responding to an unprecedented drought, achieving reconciliation between the National Government and Federal Member States, concluding the review of the Federal Constitution, and reducing debt,” the statement reads.
By a vote of 14 in favour to 0 against, China was the lone abstainer, and Resolution 2657 was approved.
China, according to charge d’affaires Dai Bing at the Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN, supports the mandate extension of UNSOM. However, he emphasised that more work needs to be done in areas like protecting children, allowing for humanitarian aid, and protecting civilians.
During the negotiations on the draught resolution, the language on humanitarian issues and climate change has drawn criticism from China and Russia.
The Security Council established UNSOM in June 2013 to aid Somalia’s state-building efforts. In late May, it was last renewed.
The terror incident on Saturday that left more than 120 people dead in Mogadishu was denounced by the Security Council.