Explanation of Vote following the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2385 on the Situation in Somalia

Ambassador Michele J. Sison
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 14, 2017


The United States strongly supports this important resolution renewing the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea sanctions regimes. Its renewal reflects the Security Council’s understanding that these sanctions regimes are an important part of the international community’s comprehensive response to the situation in the Horn of Africa. By renewing the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, we signal our continued commitment for greater security and peace for the region.

We wish to acknowledge the recent engagement between the Government of Eritrea and the United States and international community, and we encourage Eritrea to continue working toward addressing the Security Council’s concerns. While we appreciate our dialogue with Eritrea, we must note our disappointment that the Monitoring Group and the Committee Chair continue to be prevented from visiting the country. This lack of cooperation hinders the ability of the Monitoring Group to fulfill its mandate to fully assess Eritrea’s compliance. Confirmation of Eritrean compliance with the sanctions regime is essential to easing the sanctions regime. Allowing the Monitoring Group to visit and fulfill its mandate is a necessary initial step.

We remain deeply concerned about the Monitoring Group’s reports of possible sanctions violations, including the interdiction of military encrypted radios from North Korea to Eritrea, as well as Eritrean support for regional armed groups. We also expect Eritrea to share any additional information available to resolve lingering questions regarding any Djiboutian prisoners in its custody.

Turning to Somalia, we acknowledge the ongoing efforts made by the Federal Government of Somalia toward security sector reform and to comply with its reporting requirements under the sanctions regime. More broadly, it is clear that Somalia has an important opportunity to solidify its political and security gains. Now that the Federal Government of Somalia has a president, prime minister, and cabinet in place, the FGS and Somalia’s Federal Member States must focus on providing effective governance to the people of Somalia.

The continuing threat posed by Al-Shabaab cannot be overlooked. We note with grave concern the Monitoring Group’s reports regarding the group’s enhanced revenue from Somalia’s natural resources, and the United States strongly reaffirms the ban on the import and export of Somali charcoal. We expect all Member States to fulfill their obligations to ensure full implementation of this ban and look forward to additional detailed reporting from the Monitoring Group on the sources of Al-Shabaab’s funding.

Similarly, the presence of ISIS-Somalia is a serious warning against complacency. Somali authorities must continue to work with the international community to neutralize this threat. This resolution highlights the importance of good governance, the gains already made in the country, and the prospects for future progress. We support Somalia in its efforts to lay the foundation for a more stable, representative, and inclusive government.

The United States stands by Somalia, and the international community and this Council must remain engaged to ensure the region realizes a more peaceful future. By supporting the full implementation of the measures reflected in today’s resolution, Member States will help promote the long-term peace and stability of the Horn of Africa and the wider region. We join Council members in sending that strong message today.

Thank you, Mr. President.