The government of Somaliland has expressed its objection to a United Nations Security Council statement suggesting that it is among the areas where the operations of the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) should be carried out to promote peace in Somalia.
According to a statement from the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government of Somaliland voiced objections to being categorized as part of the ATMIS mission. This comes after the UN Security Council has been issuing reports that include Somaliland in the areas covered by ATMIS.
The statement noted that Somaliland has communicated its position on multiple occasions regarding the ATMIS mission, and they are disappointed with the continued inclusion of their territory in the reports. The Somaliland government believes that it is not appropriate to include them in areas of operation for a mission to which they are not a party.
“The Government of the Republic of Somaliland rejects any statement from the UN Security Council that would suggest that the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS’s) mandate includes Somaliland,” the statement indicated.
It added: “Somaliland is an independent sovereign state, and ATMIS has never been a jurisdictional mandate over Somaliland.”
“Somaliland has repeatedly stated its position to the UN Security Council, but the government believes it is important to reiterate it now, in light of recent developments. The UN Security Council is voting on a resolution draft concerning Somalia’s ATMIS mandate extension, we believe that this resolution may also appear to suggest that ATMIS’s mandate includes the Republic of Somaliland.”
“The Somaliland government is deeply concerned by this suggestion. AMISOM and its successor (ATMIS) is a peacekeeping mission that has been deployed in Somalia since 2007 to help the Somali government fight al-Shabab and other terrorist groups. Based on the AU fact-finding mission dated back in 2005, clearly stated that “since its declaration on May 18th 1991, Somaliland has the attributes of the modern state”. Therefore, ATMIS has never been mandated to operate in Somaliland, and the Somaliland government repeatedly made this clear to the UN Security Council.”
“The Somaliland government urges the UN Security Council to rectify its position on any resolution that includes ATMIS’s mandate in Somaliland and to respect the Somaliland people’s will to be an independent sovereign country.”
AMISOM and later ATMIS are both peacekeeping operations established to assist the Somali government in countering the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other extremist groups.
The statement also emphasized that Somaliland has maintained its sovereignty since its independence from Somalia in 1991 and should not be included in the ATMIS mission reports.
Somaliland has called on the UN Security Council to ensure that any documents or reports accurately reflect and respect its sovereignty.