Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Somalia

Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
September 7, 2022


Thank you, Madam President. And thank you to SRSG Swan for your briefing and for your work as SRSG and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia these past three years. Your leadership has gone far to support Somalia’s efforts as it works toward a better future for its people. We commend your team’s work. Like others, we look forward to reading the unsolved strategic review in October. Let me also thank our other briefers today, Acting Special Representative Lorton and Special Representative Weber, for their informative and insightful presentations.

Like others, the United States congratulates Somalia for the formation of its government. It looks forward to collaborating with the government in support of efforts to extend governance, security, and economic opportunities for the people of Somalia. We look forward to now seeing progress toward addressing Somalia’s serious challenges, including reconciliation among the national government and federal member states, completing the review of the federal constitution, and achieving debt relief.

As demonstrated by the horrific attack on August 20, at the Hyatt Hotel in Mogadishu. The threat from al-Shabaab remains a paramount concern. The actions of the Somali security forces who responded to and ended the attack were commendable. We strongly condemn the attack and on behalf of the United States I would like to offer condolences to the victims’ loved ones. The United States remains committed to supporting Somali-led efforts to defeat al-Shabaab.

We congratulate the Somali National Security Forces for their successful offensive to drive al-Shabaab from the Hiran region. It is now critical that sufficient security is supplied to allow governance and services to be rapidly extended to these liberated areas, particularly, as we heard, given al-Shabaab’s efforts to destroy water wells and other critical infrastructure as they fled government forces.

We are committed to using available tools to fight terrorism, including providing direct support to the AU Transition Mission in Somalia and to Somalia’s security forces, as well as utilizing the 751 Somalia sanctions regime to designate al-Shabaab operatives who continue to threaten peace and security in Somalia and throughout East Africa. We urge other member states to do the same.

As the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, the United States remains committed to respond to the unprecedented drought impacting over seven million who are facing food insecurity. The warning on Monday that a famine is projected next month is a sobering call to action for us all.

The Somali government deserves recognition for tackling this deepening crisis with the urgency required, but it is a challenge no one country can address alone. The international community must take concerted action, dedicating the necessary resources to prevent the growing loss of life and livelihoods. Such action should include efforts to bolster global food supply and strengthen food resiliency.

The United States government has provided more than $700 million in assistance to Somalia this year amid the unprecedented drought, which constitutes more than 70 percent of all the contributions received so far by the Humanitarian Response Plan of the UN for Somalia. We encourage other international partners to expand their contributions for humanitarian relief.

Somalia can further strengthen its economic well-being by fulfilling the conditions required for reaching completion point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. We welcome the government’s engagement with international financial institutions to ensure that process remains on track.

In conclusion, Madam President, the United States strongly supports the Somali people, and we remain committed to working together to advance democracy and mutual prosperity for both our countries.

Thank you.