Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Open Letter: Urgent Appeal for the Continuation of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM)

His Excellency Pedro Comissário Afonsa
President of the Security Council
United Nations Headquarters
801 1st Ave, New York City, NY 10017

Your Excellency,

I am writing to express deep concern regarding the recent request by the Federal Government of Somalia for the termination of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM). This request, I believe, does not represent the collective will and the best interests of Somalia.

Somalia is currently navigating through a critical phase of its political and security development. The progress made thus far is precarious, and the nation is not prepared to exit Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter. The current political and security climate in Somalia requires the continued presence and support of the UNSOM to ensure stability and foster a conducive environment for sustainable peace, security and governance.

The premature termination of UNSOM could have severe political, security, and humanitarian consequences for the nation. Politically, the absence of UNSOM may lead to a power vacuum that could exacerbate the already fragile state of governance. Without the stabilizing influence and guidance of the UN, there is a significant risk of increased political infighting, which could derail the progress made in state-building and democratization efforts. The governance structures that are currently supported by the international community may be weakened, leading to a deterioration of the rule of law and democratic principles. This could also embolden President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre to exploit the situation to undermine democracy, the constitutional order and further entrench their power.

From a security and humanitarian perspective, the withdrawal of UNSOM could result in a rapid escalation of violence and instability. Al-Shabaab and other militant groups will seize the opportunity to expand their influence, leading to an increase in terrorist activities not only within Somalia but also in the broader region. The potential security vacuum could also trigger widespread displacement, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and leading to severe shortages of food, shelter, and medical care. The progress made in human rights and the protection of vulnerable populations would be jeopardized, potentially reversing the gains made in recent years. In summary, the end of the UNSOM mission without a stable and self-sufficient governance framework in place could plunge Somalia into deeper turmoil, with dire consequences for its people and the stability of Somalia and the region.

It is imperative to recognize that the request for the end of the UNSOM appears to be an effort by President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to consolidate power. The current administration lacks legitimacy and is pushing for unrealistic one-man, one vote election in 2026, designed to delay elections and keep the regime in power. This move comes after the one-sided change to the constitution backfired on the government and the parliament. It is crucial to note that the federal member states, majority of political leaders, and all relevant stakeholders in Somalia oppose this so-called federal government request.

Neither Mr. Mohamud nor his government possess the constitutional and legal standing to make such a request on behalf of Somalia. The premature termination of the UNSOM could unravel the progress made and potentially plunge the country back into chaos.

Therefore, I urge the UN Security Council to consider the broader implications of this request and to continue its indispensable UNSOM mission in Somalia. The UNSOM’s presence is not only vital for the immediate stability of the nation but also for the long-term success of Somalia’s journey towards peace and democracy.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. I trust that the Security Council will decide that best serves the interests of the Somali people and the international community at large.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Read the open letter: Urgent Appeal for the Continuation of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM)


Mohamed Fatah

Email: [email protected]


Mr. Mohamed Fatah is a Somali American executive with over 20+ years’ experience in foreign policy, national security, regulatory and financial crimes compliance. Mr. Fatah had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government advising Barak H. Obama and George W. Bush administrations.

CC: H.E. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG)

H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (D-UNSG)

H.E. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

H.E. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa

H.E. Raisedon Zenenga, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia

H.E. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, The United States Ambassador to the United Nations

H.E. Dame Barbara Woodward, Permanent Representative of United Kingdom to the UN

H.E. Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of Russia Federation to the UN

H.E. Nicolas de Riviere, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

H.E. Fu Cong, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations

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