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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on Somalia

2023-02-23 09:49

Madam President, 

I thank Deputy Special Representative Anita Kiki Gbeho, Special Representative Mohamed El-Amine Souef, and Executive Director Sima Bahous for their briefings. We welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of Somalia in today’s meeting. 

Recently, the political transition and counter-terrorism operations in Somalia have seen some progress. However, the situation remains complex and dire. Its security situation fails to improve fundamentally. And the humanitarian crisis is concerning. The international community should continue to increase its attention to and its efforts on the Somalia issue. In connection with the Secretary-General's report, I would like to highlight the following points. 

First, the Somalia political process is facing significant challenges. Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States have held several meetings of the National Consultative Council. The parties have serious divergences on key issues such as division of powers and the federal system. China calls on all parties to effectively act in the long-term interests of the country and its people, solve disputes through dialogue and negotiation, and create conditions for the political transition. In Las Anod, the security forces of Somaliland continue to clash with local militias, causing major civilian casualties. We urge all parties to the conflict to cease fire immediately and ensure the security of the people. 

Second, terrorist attacks are a serious threat to the people’s security and regional stability. We have noted that the Somali security forces have increased their counter-terrorism efforts, and countries outside the region have also been conducting military operations in Somalia. History shows that external military forces alone cannot realize lasting peace and security in the country. At the end of the day, it requires the improvement of Somalia’s security capacity-building, so that it could shoulder in earnest the primary responsibility of fighting terrorism and maintaining stability. Before Somalia completes its transition plan, ATMIS still plays an irreplaceable role. China expects the Somali Government to continue to actively work with ATMIS and win the hearts and minds of the people in areas it has regained control of. Major donors should provide sustainable and predictable funding for ATMIS to discharge its mandate. Recently, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya together with Somalia held a regional security summit on combating terrorist forces. China supports countries in the region in their efforts to deepen cooperation on counter-terrorism and maintain common security. 

Third, Somalia is suffering from an exceptional drought. Over eight million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, while over 1.3 million people are displaced. China calls on the international community to increase its humanitarian support to Somalia, honor assistant commitments, and ensure timely provision of humanitarian funds. At the same time, the Somali Government should do more, including reducing bureaucratic restrictions on humanitarian work and improving humanitarian access, so as to create a solid basis for meeting the security and development needs of its people. A recent OCHA report points out that counter-terrorism operations in Somalia may have negative impacts on the humanitarian situation. In particular, issues such as forced recruitment, indiscriminate attacks, and destruction of infrastructure require our serious attention. China appeals that relevant military operations should take seriously the protection of civilians, in particular the security of the vulnerable such as women and children, and work to eliminate their negative impacts. 

Thank you, Madam President.

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