Let me begin by thanking Mr. Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and Mr. Abdurahman A. Ibrahim, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Transitional National Government, for their presentations. I also welcome the presence among us of Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, and thank him for his statement.
I would recall France’s full support for the Transitional Federal Government. We endorse the statement to be made by the representative of the European Union.
The situation in Somalia remains fragile. With regard to the Istanbul Conference, in which the French minister will participate, should make it possible to start planning for ways to develop Somalia.
The international community should support President Ahmed. We hope that the United Nations will be able, in accordance with the overall strategy overseen by the Security Council, to provide a permanent presence in Somalia, led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, whose coordinating role has been recognized by the Council.
However, such progress presupposes that the Transitional Federal Government shall continue, with the help of the international community, to strengthen itself militarily. France has contributed to that end by training a battalion of 500 Somali soldiers. Other countries, such as Uganda and Djibouti, have done the same. This month, the European Union, with the participation of French soldiers, has begun to train 2,000 Somali soldiers in Uganda, in close cooperation with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other partners.
In this regard, it is critical to ensure that our efforts are sustainable and to coordinate them as much as possible with the activities of AMISOM. The African Union Mission, strengthened by a fourth Ugandan battalion and by new police officers, continues to give the Government indispensable support. I pay tribute to the courage of its personnel, and in particular the Ugandan and Burundian contingents. The support provided to AMISOM by the United Nations logistical support package, within the limits defined by the Council, should continue, as should the support of the major donors, either directly or through the various funds that have been set up. The United Nations also has different means for taking action at its disposal, such as international sanctions. Following the adoption of resolution 1907 (2009) last December, the sanctions Committee decided to place a series of entities and individuals on the sanctions list, on the basis of resolution 1844 (2008), in order to signal our determination in a concrete manner.
All these actions will have even greater impact now that the Transitional Federal Government has been strengthened by the political momentum it has sparked in the spirit of the Djibouti Agreement and through the agreement signed with Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a on 15 March. It is all the more urgent that the latter agreement be implemented and that the transitional Somali authorities show themselves to be united.
With respect to fighting piracy, the report of the Secretary-General (S/2010/234) shows that the number of attacks has decreased. We must continue to take action on the seas, and Operation Atalanta plays a major role in this effort. But we also have to expand our action on land, which will require helping the States of the region that have been victims of piracy to obtain the legal and financial means to prosecute and eventually convict and imprison the pirates.
We hail the efforts of the States of the region and encourage Kenya, Seychelles and Tanzania — as well as Somalia, of course — to redouble their efforts in this area, with the support, inter alia, of the Contact Group’s Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. The Fund has already decided to allocate more than €2 million. We call on donors to contribute to the Fund. France welcomes the agreement between the Transitional Federal Government and the authorities of Puntland in this regard. The High Representative of the European Union, Baroness Ashton, will soon visit the region in order to raise these and other issues, which the Council will take up again in late July.
Somalia is experiencing one of the most complex and dangerous crises ever. I recall in that regard that a French national has been held hostage there since July 2009. The European Union’s ability to act there is particularly difficult. We must ceaselessly continue to work on improving our means of action. Accordingly, France will closely follow the results of the different investigations launched following the publication of the latest report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia (S/2010/91). I would stress that these difficulties make better coordination between the actions of the international community and the United Nations all the more necessary. I welcome the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to that end and to work for an integrated mission. France looks forward with great interest to hearing the Secretary- General’s recommendations on these matters.