Security Council Extends Drawdown of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia by Six Months, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2670 (2022)
The Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming its previous decision made with the African Union Peace and Security Council to reconfigure the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) into the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), taking note of the African Union’s request to extend the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS personnel until 30 June 2023, in line with a communiqué adopted by the African Union Peace and Security Council during a meeting on 11 November.
Resolution 2670 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2670(2022)), adopted unanimously under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, also reconfirmed the commitment by the African Union and Somalia, in the 11 November communiqué, to adopt a strategic, gradual, sector-by-sector approach to the drawdown over the six-month period, and reconfirmed the commitment to maintain the exit date of 31 December 2024 by ATMIS.
Through the resolution, the Council also recalled its request pursuant to resolution 2628 (2022) that the United Nations jointly with the African Union, Somalia and the European Union, undertake technical assessments of progress made and requests the Secretary-General, jointly with the African Union and in consultation with Somalia and donors, to provide the report previously requested by 15 February 2023 by 30 April 2023 instead. It also requested a further report by the same date including a sector-by-sector assessment of ATMIS performance and security.
By other terms, the resolution requested Somalia to provide an additional report, also on 30 April 2023, that includes an updated force generation plan. It also decided to convene a formal meeting of the Council on the transition in Somalia no later than 31 March 2023, with the participation of Somalia, the African Union, the European Union, and ATMIS troop-contributing countries.
Following the adoption, Alice Jacobs (United Kingdom) welcomed constructive engagement on the text, noting that while ATMIS’s support plays a vital role as Somalia steps up its fight against Al‑Shabaab, the successful transfer of responsibilities from ATMIS to Somalia is essential for the country’s long-term peace and security. The United Kingdom is proud to lend financial support to the African Union and Somalia in this endeavour, she said, noting that in 2022, her country provided $55 million for ATMIS and $8 million to the Somalia Trust Fund. The extension to ATMIS Phase 1 authorized in the resolution gives the African Union and Somalia more time to advance the gradual, strategic, sector-by-sector transition of security responsibilities from ATMIS to Somalian security and police forces.
Robert A. Wood (United States) welcomed the United Kingdom’s efforts to lead the Council to agree on a six-month delay of the planned drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS troops. However, while he accepted the necessity of delaying the first ATMIS troop reduction, he expressed concern that slow progress in meeting mandate objectives in 2022 will hamper completing the transition by the end of 2024. The opportunity presented by ongoing, Somalia-led operations must be seized to ensure that liberated areas are stabilized and that coordination between ATMIS and the Government is strong. Further, ATMIS forces must reconfigure and focus on enabling Somalia-led operations, and ATMIS troop reductions in June 2023 must be based on operational necessity and strategic planning by the Government and the African Union. He urged the international community to continue working with Somalia to support the development of an integrated, Somalia-led security sector.
Nathalie Broadhurst Estival (France) said her delegation counts on Somalia and ATMIS to complete the drawdown of 2,000 soldiers by 30 June 2023. Stressing the importance of operational support to Somalian forces, she said that “we must show that the transition is possible”. The quartet made up of the United Nations, African Union, Somalia and the European Union has adopted goals to this effect, she said, adding that the Council meeting in March of 2023 will be an opportunity to take stock. The Union has shown that it is a reliable partner of Somalia, she said, calling on partners to contribute as well.
Trine Skarboevik Heimerback (Norway) welcomed the swift and effective response by the Council to the request by the African Union Peace and Security Council and Somalia to extend Phase 1 of the ATMIS drawdown, as well as the leadership demonstrated by the Somali Government in its security sector reform and in its fight against Al‑Shabaab. In addition to facing a difficult security situation, Somalia is confronting an unprecedented drought, exacerbated by climate change, and deserves the Council’s support. She expressed hope that 2023 will see more progress being made on security, inclusive dialogue and local reconciliation, as well as the expansion of service delivery across all parts of Somalia.
Fergal Mythen (Ireland) voiced his support for the efforts of the Government and ATMIS to counter the threat posed by Al‑Shabaab. He urged the Government to intensify its multifaceted approach to addressing that threat, which must include good governance, justice, human rights and economic development. He also urged new efforts to reach agreement on national security architecture, which will facilitate security sector reform and development. It is now vital to maintain momentum towards fully implementing the transition plan and handing over security responsibilities to Somali authorities. Calling on Somalia and ATMIS to ensure that the first phase of reconfiguration is completed without delay, he welcomed the Council’s decision to hold a meeting in March 2023 to assess the progress of ATMIS’s drawdown. He added that the European Union has provided more than €2.2 billion to AMISOM and ATMIS over the past 15 years, calling on others to match this support.
Sun Zhiqiang (China), noting that the security situation in Somalia remains dire with frequent terrorist attacks and a worsening humanitarian situation, said the African Union’s Peace and Security Council made a timely decision in calling for an adjustment postponing the downsizing of ATMIS by six months. While his delegation voted in favour of the draft resolution, he stressed that it is the Government of Somalia that shoulders the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security in that country. The Government must combat illegal arms trafficking and establish reforms to improve people’s livelihoods, he stressed.
The meeting began at 3:41 p.m. and ended at 3:54 p.m.