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 June 30, 2024, and renewed, until December 1, 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 December 31, 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 January 1, 2024, until June 30, 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 March 31, 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 December 31, 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 December 1, 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 December 31, 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 December 31, 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 December 12, 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.
15 November 2023
Resolution 2710 (2023)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 9477th meeting on 15 November 15, 2023
The Security Council,
Recalling all its previous resolutions and statements of its President on the situation in Somalia,
Reaffirming its full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,
Underscoring the importance of consolidating the peace and security gains made in Somalia,
Expressing grave concern that Al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability of Somalia and the region,
Condemning in the strongest possible terms terrorist attacks in Somalia and neighboring states, expressing deep concern at the loss of life from these attacks and the risk to international forces, reiterating its determination to support comprehensive efforts to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, and recalling that any measures taken to counter terrorism must comply with all obligations under international law,
Noting that the Somali Security Forces (SSF) and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have achieved operational successes against Al-Shabaab, but Al-Shabaab continues to threaten military and civilian targets in Somalia and East Africa,
Acknowledging the effective completion of the Phase 1 drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS personnel as outlined in the September 2023 Joint Technical Assessment,
Noting the request from the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to extend Phase 2 of ATMIS and to delay the drawdown of 3,000 personnel until 31 December 2023,
Further noting the African Union request, pursuant to the African Union Peace and Security Council Communique adopted at its 1177th Meeting held on 30 September 2023, to extend Phase 2 of ATMIS and delay the drawdown of 3,000 ATMIS personnel, until 31 December 2023, in response to Somalia’s request,
Recalling that the Joint Proposal submitted by the Secretary-General on 7 March 2022 and paragraph 28 of resolution 2628 (2022) envisages further reductions to 10,626 uniformed personnel, inclusive of a minimum number of 1 ,040 police personnel by the end of phase 3 (June 2024), and zero personnel, by the end of phase 4 (December 2024) and noting that the African Union Peace and Security Council Communique adopted at its 1177th Meeting, reconfirmed its commitment to maintain the exit date of 31 December 2024 for ATMIS,
Recalling that performance and accountability underpin the success of any mandate, noting that the availability of operational equipment and financial resources could, among other factors affect the overall implementation of ATMIS’ mandate, and noting that ATMIS faces financial and equipment shortfalls,
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter,
ATMIS and UNSOS
- Recalls paragraph 22 of resolution 2628 (2022), as most recently extended by resolution 2687 (2023), and further extends its authorizations until June 30, 2024;
- authorizes the Member States of the African Union to deploy up to 17,626 uniformed personnel, inclusive of 1,040 police personnel, to ATMIS until December 31, 2023, and to complete the Phase 2 drawdown of 3,000 ATMIS personnel by this date and thereby amends paragraph 19 of resolution 2687 (2023);
- authorizes the Member States of the African Union to deploy up to 14,626 uniformed personnel, inclusive of 1,040 police personnel from 1 January 2024 until 30 June 2024 and to complete the Phase 3 drawdown of 4,000 ATMIS personnel by the latter date;
- Urges ATMIS and its Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries to work closely with the FGS and Somalia’s Federal Member States (FMS) to ensure that the Phase 3 drawdown is gradual and conducted in line with Somalia’s strategic needs, including progress with force generation, as well as taking into account the situation in Somalia and the importance of maintaining security and stability;
- Underlines the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council and under the Security Council’s authority consistent with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and, in this regard, encourages the Secretary-General, African Union and Member States to continue efforts to explore in earnest funding arrangements for ATMIS, bearing in mind the full range of options available to the United Nations, African Union, the European Union, and to other partners, and considering the limitations of voluntary funding, in order to establish secure future funding arrangements for ATMIS;
- Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide a logistical support package, and, in consultation with the African Union and the FGS, to update the logistical support plan as appropriate, in full compliance with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP), through the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) for:
- United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM);
- ATMIS uniformed personnel in line with paragraphs 2 and 3 to this resolution and on the basis set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 2245 (2015); and
- up to 85 ATMIS civilians, to support ATMIS’ military and police tasks and enhance coordination between the United Nations, African Union and Somalia;
- Recalls paragraph 2 of resolution 2245 (2015) and decides to continue the provision outlined in subparagraphs (f) and (g) to cover 15,900 personnel, rising to 18,900 personnel from November 1, 2023, from the Somali National Army or Somali National Police Force on joint or coordinated operations with ATMIS in full compliance with HRDDP and agrees to consider increasing this number further by letter from the President of the Security Council, if UNSOS advises there is sufficient funds to do so;
- Welcomes the recent disbursement by the African Union Peace Fund to support ATMIS, and the continued financial support provided by the European Union and its Member States since the beginning of operations in Somalia in 2007, as well as the financial support provided by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of India and the Peoples Republic of China, and the in-kind, technical and logistical support provided by the United States of America to ATMIS, and the contributions of all Member States to the peace and stability of Somalia;
- Encourages the traditional donors to ATMIS to continue supporting ATMIS until its planned exit by December 31, 2024, and calls for the enlargement and diversification of the donor base to provide the necessary funding for ATMIS and for the UNSOS-administered Somalia Trust Fund, and emphasizes that additional support to ATMIS and Somalia will enable Somalia to bolster its fight against Al-Shabaab and improve peace and security in Somalia and the region;
Maintaining momentum on the security transition Actions
- Takes note of the planned security conference on 12 December 2023, calls on all international partners to participate, and encourages the FGS, in consultation with the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, and international partners, to consider the requirements for continued international support to Somalia’s security, and greater Somali-ownership following ATMIS’ exit, with the objective of producing a detailed plan, with actionable and feasible objectives, timelines and resource requirements and encourages the Government of Somalia to present a proposal for post-ATMIS security arrangements to the Security Council by 31 March 2024;
- Requests the FGS and the African Union, in consultation with the United Nations, the European Union and international partners, to conduct a joint technical assessment by 31 March 31, 2024, to evaluate Phase 2 drawdown and identify lessons, as well as the implications of the revised National Security Architecture and force generation, to inform planning for the remaining phases of ATMIS drawdown;
- Requests an update by 30 April 2024 from the African Union and the FGS on their preparations for Phase 3 drawdown of 4,000 troops by 30 June 2024, taking into account the lessons identified from Phases 1 and 2, and setting out a clear plan and timescale for Phase 3 drawdown;
- Recalls paragraph 45 of resolution 2687 (2023), and expresses its intention to commission a strategic review of UNSOS, through a letter from its President, after the completion of the actions set out in paragraphs 10 –11;
- Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council regularly informed on the implementation of this resolution in their regular reports requested in paragraph 14 of resolution 2705 (2023) and requests these reports contain updates on capacity-building in Somalia and, in full consultation with the FGS and FMS, make recommendations to the Security Council on capacity-building requirements as necessary;
- Decides to remain actively seized of the matter and review this resolution no later than June 30, 2024.
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