Appalled by the deadly bomb attacks carried out in Mogadishu Wednesday, for which Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, the United Nations Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined their strong resolve to back global efforts aimed at ending the threat posed by the group and to support all measures to restore peace in long-troubled Somalia.
In a statement issued to the press today in New York, the members of the Council deplored the attacks and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Dozens of people were reportedly killed and injured when two bombs detonated in front of the Jazeera Hotel in the Somali capital. The group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility.
The Council stressed its resolve to continue to support efforts to bring greater peace and stability to Somalia, and “underlined that this, and other deplorable acts of terrorism, would not weaken [its] resolve to support the people of Somalia.”
Further to their statement, Council members underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Somali authorities in this regard.
They extended their condolences to the victims and their families, as well as to the people and the Somali Government, and paid tribute to the efforts of the Somali Security Forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in responding to the attack.
On his part, Mr. Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, expressed his determination to support the Somali Government in preventing such attacks and holding the perpetrators accountable.
“In this new year, the Secretary-General strongly affirms his undeterred resolve to support the Federal Government of Somalia and the Somali people in strengthening state institutions and furthering peace and security,” the statement said.
The Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, wherever and whenever and by whomsoever committed.
Finally, the Council members recalled their recent decision to increase significantly the UN's support to AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces to bolster international efforts towards removing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab. They reiterated their strong resolve to continue to support these efforts.
In early November, the Council authorized a temporary boost for AMISOM of over 4,000 troops and an expanded logistical package so it can maintain basic security and respond to the evolving threat from Al-Shabaab insurgents. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council extended the deployment of the AU Mission – which was created in 2007 – until 31 October 2014.
It also requested the AU to increase AMISOM's force strength from 17,731 to a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel, and decided to expand the logistical support package provided to the force by the United Nations.
The Council underlined that the increases in force strength decided in the resolution “are to provide a short-term enhancement of AMISOM's military capacity,” for a period of 18 to 24 months and as part of an overall exit strategy for AMISOM, after which a decrease in the Mission's force strength will be considered.