NEW YORK, APRIL 13 – “In a critical time for the stability of the Horn of Africa, the regional scenario is progressing, while Somalia and Eritrea remain key actors for its balance”, the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Inigo Lambertini told the Security Council on Thursday.
Somalia is at a decisive crossroads on its path to reconstruction. Italy supports Somalia’s legitimate aspiration to guide the reconstruction process, shoring up its ownership, which is the cornerstone of the principle of sustaining peace endorsed by this Council last year, Lambertini said. The Secretary-General’s review of the UN’s future presence, the joint UN-AU review of AMISOM, and the upcoming renewal of the UNSOM mandate will be important opportunities to consolidate the path in this Council.
The Security Council can accompany Mogadishu’s efforts to build reliable Security Forces through benchmarks that gradually alleviate the sanctions burden, Italy said. “Any further consistent progress the Somali leadership will make in the control and management of arms and ammunition should be taken into account, in due course, for any possible reconfiguration of the sanctions regime”.
Turning to Eritrea, Lambertini called upon that country to cooperate with the Monitoring Group to help the Security Council make unbiased decisions, on the basis of established facts, in view of a possible review of the sanctions regime. The Council has to make a holistic assessment of the Monitoring Group’s recent reports, the Italian Ambassador said: “While over the past three years the Group has stated that it has not found evidence of Eritrean support for Al-Shabaab, at the same time information indicating alleged support for other armed groups in the region is cause for concern.
In the Qatari mediated dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti over prisoners of war, we have seen conflicting claims as to the fate of the missing combatants. It is our hope that the Monitoring Group will be able to help clarify their effective status so that the Council may reach well-grounded conclusions.