Security Council Extends Authorization of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2710 (2023)
Organ Also Adopts Resolution 2711 (2023) Renewing Sanctions on Al-Shabaab
The Security Council today extended its authorization of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) until 30 June 2024 and renewed, until 1 December 2023, certain provisions of its sanctions regime relating to Al-Shabaab.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2710 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2710(2023)), the 15‑member organ — acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations — authorized the African Union’s member States to deploy up to 17,626 uniformed personnel to ATMIS until 31 December 2023 and to complete the phase two drawdown of 3,000 ATMIS personnel by such date. It further authorized such member States to deploy up to 14,626 uniformed personnel from 1 January 2024 until 30 June 2024 and to complete the phase three drawdown of 4,000 ATMIS personnel by the latter date.
Through the text, the Council also urged ATMIS and its troop- and police-contributing countries to work closely with the Government to ensure that the phase three drawdown is both gradual and conducted according to Somalia’s strategic needs. Among other provisions, the Council requested the Government and the African Union to conduct a joint technical assessment by 31 March 2024 to evaluate the phase two drawdown to inform planning for the remaining phases of the ATMIS drawdown.
The Council also unanimously adopted resolution 2711 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2711(2023)), again acting under Chapter VII of the Charter. By its terms, the organ decided to renew, until 1 December 2023, certain provisions of resolution 2182 (2014) concerning the inspection of vessels and seizure of items bound to or from Somalia believed to be in violation of the ban on charcoal exports, the ban on components for improvised explosive devices or the arms embargo on that country.
Further, the Council decided to renew the mandate of the relevant Panel of Experts until 31 December 2023, expressing its intention to review such mandate and take appropriate action regarding any extension or modification thereto — including restrictions on the import of weapons and ammunition by the Government — no later than 1 December 2023.
Following the adoptions, Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), also speaking for Gabon and Mozambique, emphasized that further implementation of the mandate provided for in the resolution concerning ATMIS — along with careful management of transition processes — will facilitate the defeat of Al-Shabaab. Expressing support for the delayed drawdown of 3,000 personnel until 31 December 2023, he said this will allow for a thoughtful transition plan and ensure that gains made in countering Al-Shabaab are not lost. “It is our collective responsibility to stand against acts of terror and support Somalia in her ongoing actions to restore peace and security,” he underscored.
He went on to acknowledge efforts by the Government and national security forces — along with the support provided by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and other partners — calling for sustained international support for Somalia. Troop- and police-contributing countries have been “at the heart” of the ATMIS operations in that country, he added, underlining the need for predictable, sustainable and flexible funding for the Mission and other African Union-led peace-support operations. Concluding, he called on “all Member States that cherish peace, security and development” to support Somalia’s efforts to counter the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.
Robert A. Wood (United States), while recognizing the need to delay the second ATMIS troop reduction until 31 December 2023, expressed concern that slow progress in meeting mandate objectives over the past year will hamper completing the transition by the end of 2024. Coordination between the Government and ATMIS is vital, he stressed, stating that troop reductions must be based on operational necessities. He also welcomed the Government’s increased focus on the fight against Al-Shabaab, highlighting the need to ensure that current and future operations are based on clear objectives, timelines and resource requirements.
Spotlighting the Somalia-led security conference to be held in New York on 12 December, he said this will present an opportunity to review plans for the ATMIS transition, address the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and identify Somalia’s security requirements beyond 2024.