Remarks by Ambassador Brooke D. Anderson, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Djibouti

Brooke Anderson
U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
May 19, 2010


Thank you, Mr. President. Let me welcome President Guelleh and thank him for his remarks and his important leadership on the many critical issues facing Djibouti and the region with a focus on increasing the well-being of people, fighting piracy and working for peace.

The Horn of Africa faces difficult political and security challenges, from counterterrorism to urgent humanitarian issues.  We welcome Djibouti’s constructive role in working with regional states and the international community to address them.  Today, I would like to focus on three points:  Djibouti’s leadership in providing stability to the Horn; the critical role played by AMISOM and the challenges facing the Transitional Federal Government; and the unresolved border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea.

Mr. President, Djibouti has an important role in promoting regional stability.  Djibouti has hosted important discussions on regional peace and security, including through the Djibouti Peace Process and International Maritime Organization conferences on counter-piracy initiatives.  Djibouti has also committing 450 soldiers for AMISOM and is helping train the Somali National Security Force. 

Amid the complexity of the situation in Somalia, the United States underscores its ongoing support for the Djibouti Peace Process and the Transitional Federal Government.  Despite the recent political events, the TFG needs to be unified in its efforts to implement the Djibouti Peace Process and focus on the critical issues at hand, including governance, security, and providing services to the Somalia people in a transparent and accountable manner.  It is also important that the TFG work to expand its base of support and make every effort to include women leaders in the political process.

The United States is committed to working with those in Somalia who seek reconciliation, peace, stability, and economic development.  We urge the TFG to find creative ways to build a better future for Somalia and its people.  We look forward to the UN Development Conference on Somalia that begins in Istanbul on May 21.  This is an important opportunity to demonstrate the international community’s resolve to work with Somalis toward our common goals. 

Mr. President, the United States supports the development of a capable, professional National Security Force for the TFG.  We commend Uganda and Burundi’s troop contributions to AMISOM, which now total 6,200 personnel. The United States has supported stability in the region with more than $174 million directed to providing pre-deployment training, equipment, and logistical support to countries contributing troops to AMISOM. 

We recognize that very difficult challenges remain. Somalia’s instability has encouraged extremism and has led to a growing refugee problem in the region.

Mr. President, Eritrea has failed to comply with this Council’s Resolution 1862. It has not withdrawn its troops from the contested area. Nor has it engaged in dialogue with Djibouti or initiated discussions with the United Nations. 

Moreover, the Monitoring Group of the Security Council’s Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee has noted in past reports that Eritrea has provided funding, weapons, and training to armed insurgent groups that perpetuate war in Somalia and thereby violate Resolution 1844. This threatens international peace and security by destabilizing the region, including Djibouti.
This is one of the reasons the United States supported Resolution 1907, creating a robust sanctions regime that includes an arms embargo, cargo inspections and seizure in certain situations and targeted measures for individuals and entities listed by the Council’s Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee. 

Resolution 1907 is a clear demonstration of the international community’s resolve to take action against those who threaten the peace and security of the region. The resolution is aimed at preventing support to armed opposition groups seeking to destabilize the region.  It will help prevent the obstruction of Resolution 1862 concerning Djibouti; it will help prevent obstruction of the Monitoring Group’s work; it will help prevent violations of the arms embargo; it will help prevent harboring, financing, facilitating, supporting, organizing, training, or inciting individuals or groups to commit acts of violence or terrorism against other states or their citizens in the region.

The United States is working with the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee to ensure that regional spoilers and violators of the sanctions are held accountable.  All member states have   obligations under the sanctions regime to enforce the arms embargoes, and we ask member states to share information on designated groups and individuals with the Committee. 

We look forward to the continued good work of the Somali Eritrea Monitoring Group. We hope that the Secretary-General will be able to report to this Council, in his upcoming report on Eritrea’s compliance with Resolution 1907, that positive steps are being taken by the states involved. 

Mr. President, Eritrea should withdraw its troops from the contested area, engage in dialogue with Djibouti, and stop financing and supporting armed insurgent groups in Somalia.  The United States calls on Eritrea to move forward to resolve its border issues peacefully, in accordance with Resolution 1862, and to take steps to avoid further conflict in a region that already faces tremendous instability.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2010/101