|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Briefing on Somalia|
I thank SRSG Swan and Mr. Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, for their briefings, and thank them for their contribution to the maintenance of Somalia's peace and stability. I also welcome the presence of His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Abdirizak, Foreign Minister of Somalia, on behalf of Prime Minister Roble.
At present, the situation in Somalia is at a critical juncture. The political deadlock over elections is still continuing. Leaders of the federal government have reiterated their commitment to the electoral consensus reached on September 17, and once again convene a dialogue among parties in Somalia, which China fully recognizes. To break the current political stalemate serves the common interests of parties and people in Somalia. We encourage parties in Somalia to put the interests of the country first, strengthen unity and cooperation, make necessary compromise, rebuild political trust, swiftly agree on electoral arrangement, and restore Somalia's political stability, so as to provide favorable conditions for the security transition and national reconstruction there. China welcomes the restoration of diplomatic ties between Somalia and Kenya. I commend Qatar for the mediation efforts in that regard.
The security situation in Somalia is still dire with frequent attacks from Al Shabaab. China expresses its concern about the relevant situation. AMISOM has made huge efforts to maintain Somalia's peace and stability and has made major sacrifices, which China commends. We welcome the mandate extension of AMISOM by the AU Peace and Security Council, note that an AU independent assessment team will soon submit a report on the reconfiguration of AMISOM, encourage the UN, AU, TCCs and the country concerned to strengthen communication according to the "Somali-owned and Somali-led" principle to reach consensus on the future arrangement of AMISOM. The EU has provided important funding support for AMISOM. China expects the EU to continue their strong support, so as to make new contribution to the maintenance of security and stability in Somalia. The international community should step up assistance to help Somalia's security forces to gradually take over security responsibilities.
Somalia has long been in a deep humanitarian crisis. Lag in development, COVID-19 pandemic, the droughts and the locust plague have further compounded their plight. The international community should provide more assistance in areas such as the fight against pandemic, post-pandemic reconstruction, debt relief, food security, poverty reduction and mitigation. The recently-adopted Security Council PRST on post-pandemic recovery in Africa should be well implemented. More attention should be given to the important role of poverty reduction and development in the realization of peace and stability in Somalia, so as to tackle the issues at their roots. China has long supported Somalia's peace and reconstruction within our capacity. We have helped Somalia to build infrastructure, enhance capacity building, and recently delivered the donated COVID vaccines. Along with international community we will strive to make greater contribution towards lasting peace and sustainable development in Somalia.