The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Lana Zaki Nusseibeh (United Arab Emirates):
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the ongoing violence in Laascaanood, situated in the Sool region of Northern Somalia, which has led to a large number of civilian casualties and the displacement of more than 150,000 people. They expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and wished a full and speedy recovery to those injured.
The members of the Security Council welcomed efforts and initiatives by the Federal Government of Somalia, Ethiopia and clan elders to secure a ceasefire and promote inclusive, Somali-owned national dialogue. They called on all parties to reach a ceasefire agreement urgently and encouraged inclusive dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution and called on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to provide further support in accordance with its mandate, including through engaging with all parties where necessary.
The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern about the loss of life and injuries sustained in Laascaanood, in December 2022, when protests were quelled by “Somaliland” security forces, as reported in the Secretary-General’s report of 16 February 2023 (document S/2023/109). They condemned the violent clashes between “Somaliland” security forces and clan militia. They condemned all acts of violence against civilians and condemned in the strongest terms the civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure caused by the conflict.
The members of the Security Council called for the immediate withdrawal of “Somaliland” security forces and called on all parties to exercise restraint and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement to violence and inflammatory rhetoric in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground, rebuild trust and to create the conditions for peace.
The members of the Security Council reminded all parties of their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, as applicable. They urged all parties to hold accountable those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the impact of the violence on the humanitarian situation in Laascaanood and the Sool region, compounding the displacement and hardship caused by the drought in 2022. They called on all parties to allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and in a manner consistent with the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance (United Nations General Assembly resolution 46/182), including humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, the rapid and unhindered provision of humanitarian assistance.
The members of the Security Council called on all donors to scale-up humanitarian assistance to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid and essential assistance. They called on all parties to permit access for explosive ordnance disposal teams to assist with the removal of explosive remnants.