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Turnaround for Somalia with UN seat

Publish date: 10 June 2024
Issue Number: 1080
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: International

Somalia has been elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, after receiving a total endorsement from Africa with 179 votes in the UN General Assembly, more than the two-thirds majority needed to be elected. The East African notes that for the past two decades, the UN Security Council has been a source of punishment for Mogadishu with sanctions and embargoes. Somalia had last served on the Council in the 1971-72 term, during the reign of the Siad Barre regime. The new endorsement means Somalia will serve on the UN’s most powerful organ of 15 members from January 2025 to December 2026. It will replace Mozambique as the African representative whose term ends in December. Being a member of the Council is a turnaround for Somalia’s stature on the international stage. Somalia had been under UN sanctions until last December when it was finally allowed to purchase its own weapons to upgrade the military. Its international debts were also forgiven around the same time, and it was admitted to the East African Community. Somalia was elected unopposed by the UN General Assembly after the African Union agreed in principle to endorse Mogadishu this year. It will not be able to make decisions on substantive issues such as who to sanction or which sanctions to lift, for example. But it gives it closer contacts to lobby for favourable decisions for itself and Africa. It will mostly also speak for the continent, under an arrangement known as A3 and it will be interesting to see how it contributes to Africa’s enduring conflicts like the DRC, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and its own situation of state rebuilding.

Full report in The East African

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