Explanation of Vote Following the Adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution Extending the Mandate of ATMIS

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Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
December 21, 2022

AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Madam President. The United States is pleased to vote in favor to extend the ATMIS mandate. We appreciate the constructive efforts of our UK colleagues to lead the Security Council in agreeing to a six-month delay of the planned drawdown of ATMIS Phase l of 2,000 ATMIS troops.

Through today’s adoption, ATMIS is mandated to, inter alia, reduce the threat posed by al-Shabaab and to support the development of an integrated Somali security force capable of assuming progressively greater security responsibility.

We recognize and honor the sacrifices by ATMIS and Somali security forces and the sacrifices of personnel serving in the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM, between 2007 and 2022.

We applaud the increased operations against al-Shabaab led by the Somali people, the Somali federal member states, and the Somali federal government under Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s administration. These operations show progress toward a Somalia-led security sector as it relates to the transition from ATMIS.

We accept the necessity of delaying the first ATMIS troop reduction from December 31, 2022 to June 30, 2023, but we are concerned that slow progress in meeting mandate objectives over the past year will hamper completing the transition by the end of 2024. It is vital to seize the opportunity presented by ongoing Somalia-led operations to ensure that liberated areas are stabilized and coordination between the FGS and ATMIS is strong.

ATMIS forces must also reconfigure and increasingly focus on enabling Somali-led operations, and ATMIS troop reductions in June 2023 must be based on operational necessity and strategic planning by the FGS and AU. The transition plan must take into account recent and future security gains.

We emphasize the need for the reporting and dialogue as requested in paragraphs two and three of the mandate.

We urge the international community to continue to work with Somalia to support the development of a truly integrated Somali security sector – the key element of a sustainable transition of security responsibilities endorsed through today’s updated resolution.

Thank you, Madam President.