Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The UK calls for calm dialogue to de-escalate the situation in Somalia: UK statement at the UN Security Council [February 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 19 February 2024.

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on Somalia.

Thank you President, I thank SRSG Liang and Special Representative Souef for their briefing and I pay tribute to the work of their teams in Somalia. I also welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of Somalia at our meeting.

President let me first address the Ethiopia-Somaliland Memorandum of Understanding. As we have said previously, the United Kingdom reaffirms its support for Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The UK is a close friend and longstanding partner to both Somalia and Ethiopia, and we are continuing to engage with both governments directly.

The UK calls for calm dialogue to de-escalate the situation and expresses its support for mediation efforts, including the work of IGAD and the AU.

Turning to the situation in Somalia more broadly, the UK notes that the Somali Parliament has begun to debate constitutional amendments outlined in previous National Consultative Council agreements, and urges the Federal Government to pursue a consultative and consensus-building approach to ensure this process has broad-based support among Somalis.

President, this year represents a milestone in Somalia’s security transition. After 15 years of truly courageous service the current AU and UN missions are due to leave at the end of the year.

We look forward to receiving an update from Somalia next month on its requirements into 2025 and beyond, and we encourage the UN and AU to work together closely on next steps ahead of the mandate renewal in June.

We recognise the funding problems AMISOM and ATMIS have faced. As we have said many times, the UK has tried to play its part in solving them.

But we are approaching a critical juncture. Somalia, the AU, UN and partners have invested so much to get to where we are today.

We do not want this progress to go to waste. So, we encourage all Somalia’s partners to continue to support Somalia throughout its security transition and to think about creative ways to maintain support post-ATMIS and UNSOS. If we do not, it will be Al-Shabaab who benefit.

Finally, President, Somalia’s changing security landscape presents significant humanitarian risks alongside an already severe and protracted humanitarian crisis.

It is therefore deeply concerning that the Humanitarian Response Plan remains significantly underfunded.

The UK urges donors to contribute to the plan, to address the urgent unmet need in Somalia.

Any alteration or decision on Somalia’s security must not compromise protection of civilian and humanitarian access.

I thank you.