Tuesday March 28, 2023
Mogadishu (HOL) - The UN Security Council is convening on Tuesday for a high-level debate aimed at countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism in Africa through increased collaboration among the UN, African Union (AU), and regional organizations. A recent UN report highlighted the rapid spread of terrorism in Africa, generating significant concern.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi will lead the meeting, focusing on identifying opportunities for cooperation under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter to support counter-terrorism efforts in Africa. Mozambique is actively battling an insurgency led by ISIL-affiliate Ahl al-Sunna Wal-Jama'a (ASWJ) in its northern Cabo Delgado Province. The deployment of regional forces in Cabo Delgado, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and Rwandan soldiers, has substantially disrupted ASWJ's leadership, command structures, and bases.
The Council will discuss four key areas during the debate:
- Promoting effective practices.
- Maximizing international cooperation.
- Encouraging development initiatives.
- Tailoring the global counter-terrorism strategy to meet Africa's specific needs.
The debate will showcase various African counter-terrorism initiatives, such as the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS/AMISOM), the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), the Accra Initiative, and the Nouakchott Process.
On Monday, the Security Council held a private meeting ahead of the high-level debate to assess Somalia's security situation and review the progress of the Somalia Transition Plan (STP) and the National Security Architecture (NSA). Representatives from the AU, EU, Somalia, and ATMIS troop-contributing countries participated, discussing ongoing offensive operations against Al-Shabaab and the planned withdrawal of 2,000 ATMIS personnel in June.
The funding shortfall for ATMIS was also addressed, with the AU appealing to bilateral and international partners to close the $90 million funding gap. The EU committed €143 million to support ATMIS and the Somali National Army (SNA), while the US, China, and Gulf states are also expected to contribute.
EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Dr. Annette Weber, praised the courage of the Somali people and the international community's assistance in training and equipping the SNA. She urged other partners to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and emphasized the importance of political settlements on core issues for Somalia's state-building process.
With the three-month extension for the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS uniformed personnel nearing its end, Council members are keen to learn about the progress made in implementing the ATMIS mandate and the security transition.