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Thank you, President.
Today I have four points of concern to make:
Firstly, we continue to witness political and security tensions in Somalia that have created delays in the electoral process and overall reform dynamics, notably security transition.
While we welcome news that Somalia’s leaders appear to have resolved their differences, we urge them to refocus on national priorities and work to overcome political hurdles; we urge for the finalisation of a credible electoral process by the end of 2021 in line with the electoral model consensually agreed respecting the 30% minimum quota for women.
Secondly, we have security concerns about Al-Shabaab’s ability to continue to conduct attacks. We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and express our condolences to Somali victims and to those African Union soldiers killed or wounded fighting against Al-Shabaab.
Countering terrorism requires close coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders. We urge Somali and African Union leadership to enhance cooperation on this and to implement the Somali Security Transition Plan which is critical for progress on security.
We remain committed to a comprehensive political approach for Somalia’s future and acknowledge that African Union security engagement in Somalia is required beyond 2021, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2568. The European Union is prepared to support a continued presence, post AMISOM (African Union Mission to Somalia), but we do need to understand what that presence will look like before financial commitment.
Thirdly, Somalia faces humanitarian challenges such as drought conditions and floods that lead to food insecurity and displacements. The country is also on the frontline of climate change and the frequency and severity of climate-related hazards is increasing. Today, the situation is grim, with severe drought and low humanitarian aid funding levels. Children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities continue to bear the brunt of Somalia’s humanitarian crisis.
Fourthly, the rise in human rights abuses such as conflict-related sexual violence and grave violations against woman and children remains deeply worrying. The Somali authorities should hold perpetrators of these violations accountable, expediting the implementation of its commitments to end and prevent these grave violations.
Link to video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-214054