Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 27, 2020


Thank you, Ambassador. Thank you for your briefing and for your contributions as Chair of the Committee.

The United States is encouraged by the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts’ recent travel to Somalia and meeting with the National Security Advisor to the President. We hope the visit will serve as a building block to re-establish important information sharing and constructive working relations between the 751 Committee and the Federal Government of Somalia. This positive step comes at a critical time as Somalia continues to suffer from a lack of overall security and faces significant humanitarian challenges. Al-Shabaab, ISIS in Somalia, and other actors continue to threaten the peace and stability of Somalia and the surrounding region. Disrupting and ultimately eliminating sources of financing for these groups is crucial in this fight. Addressing financing and other ongoing threats will require close cooperation between the Federal Government of Somalia, international partners, and members of the Panel of Experts.

The United States is committed to working with our partners and Member States to utilize the 751 Somalia sanctions regime to its full extent and reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to conduct attacks. This includes providing technical assistance to counter financing of terrorism, support in tackling the threat of IEDs, and capacity building to help the Somali security forces secure and properly manage their conventional weapons stockpiles. The United States continues to support the arms embargo to prevent al-Shabaab and other actors from accessing weapons and related materials. We emphasize that the arms embargo does not prevent the Federal Government of Somalia from obtaining the military equipment that it needs – the embargo only requires that arms shipments follow the required notification process for transparency and tracking purposes.

Mr. President, effective enforcement of the 751 sanctions regime requires the Committee to act expeditiously on the nomination of individuals. When member states identify and nominate individuals engaged in the arms trafficking and illicit charcoal trade, the Committee should act quickly on these nominations. We urge the Member States who have placed holds to lift them immediately, so that these individuals may be properly sanctioned.

And finally, Mr. President, we urge Member States to support ongoing Committee measures, sanctions designations, and to implement fully Resolution 2498, which outlines the arms embargo provisions and, importantly, it places a ban on IED components. We must continue to work together and employ all available tools to ensure peace and stability in Somalia and in the region to achieve a better future for all Somalis.

Thank you, Mr. President.