Motion for a resolution on terrorist attacks in Somalia – B8-2017-0631

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Somalia,

–  having regard to the statements by the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service on 30 October 2017,

–  having regard to the statement by Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on the decision on an electoral model for Somalia in 2016,

–  having regard to the first EU Pan-African Programme for the period 2014-2020,

–  having regard to the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, in particular to the UN Security Council Resolution 733/1992 establishing an arms embargo on Somalia which has been reaffirmed by several UNSC Resolutions, as the latest UN Security United Nations Security Council Resolution 2372,

–  having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s reports on Somalia to the UN Security Council of 09 May 2017, 

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to UNDP´s study The Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples of 1981,

–  having regard to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention to which Kenya is a party,

–  having regard to the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative launched on 28 November of 2014,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 14 October an attack took place in Mogadishu in where at least 300 people were killed and hundreds were seriously injured; whereas its considered the worst terrorist attack ever occurred in Somalia;

B. whereas the method and type of attack – a large truck bomb – is increasingly used by the al-Qaida-linked organisation and one of two men detained by security forces in connection with the bombing has told his interrogators that it was the work of the group; Al-Shabaab, which began an insurgency in 2007, has not claimed responsibility for the attack; whereas analysts suggested that the organisation may not want to undermine any popular support by associating itself with such a huge loss of civilian life; whereas others point ISIL as responsible of the attack;

C. whereas the attacks have united Somalis in disgust at Al-Shabaab which could constitute an opportunity for peace; whereas thousands of Somalis demonstrated against those behind the bombing that killed more than 300 people at the weekend, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from the site of the attack;

D. whereas the US involvement in Somalia intensified in the later years of the Obama administration and has increased significantly since Donald Trump became president, with greater latitude given to local commanders to order airstrikes or take part in raids;

E. whereas the man who killed more than 300 people with a truck bomb in the centre of Mogadishu on Saturday was a former soldier in Somalia’s army whose home town was raided by local troops and US special forces two months ago; whereas the attacks the attack on 14 October may in part have been motivated by a desire for revenge for the botched US-led operation in August in which 10 civilians, including three children, were killed;

F. whereas AMISOM, the 22 000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission, is mandated, inter alia, to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabab and other armed opposition groups, to provide security in order to enable the political process at all levels, as well as stabilisation efforts, reconciliation and peacebuilding in Somalia, and to enable the gradual handing over of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali security forces, which is contingent on the capabilities of the latter; whereas on August 2017 the AMISOM’s mandate was extended until 31 May 2018; whereas AMISOM forces have been accused on several occasions of civilian killings and of severe human rights abuses, including indiscriminate killings and some cases of sexual exploitation and abuse; whereas the EU has supported the mission since its launch through a specific instrument – Africa Peace Facility, mostly by providing funds for stipends of the troops;

G. whereas a recent UNDP´s study found that in “a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa”;

H. whereas Somalia’s long-running armed conflict continued to take a heavy toll on civilians in much of south-central Somalia; whereas warring parties continued to kill, wound, and forcibly displace civilians; whereas restrictions on humanitarian access exacerbated the human rights and humanitarian crises;

I. whereas instrumentalisation of ethnic tensions are huge in Somalia; whereas Somalia’s clan leaders foster ethnic feuds against each other so that they can fight for scant resources in their incredibly impoverished land; whereas mounting tension between Mogadishu and Somalia’s federal states has also impacted security; whereas tensions over creation of a new interim regional administration in central Somalia led to open conflict between clan militias and government forces, resulting in abuses against civilians; whereas critics have argued this risks greater civilian casualties, which, in the tight-knit world of Somalia’s complex clan system, can prompt feuds and revenge attacks; whereas Al-Shabaab is adept at exploiting such divisions;

J. whereas the rift between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, on one hand, and Qatar on the other, has aggravated such friction, as the Saudis and Emiratis develop direct links with federal states and undermine their relations with the federal government, tensions have grown over which side of the Gulf dispute to back; whereas Saudi inspired and promoted Wahhabism serves as an ideological foundation for several terror groups within Somalia and throughout the broader region;

K. Whereas LGBTI rights in Somalia fall under the scope of Somalia’s federal laws, which establishes homosexuality as illegal and as punishable; whereas in some parts of Somalia homosexuality is punished by death;

L. Whereas Somalia remains one of the countries with the largest and most protracted displaced communities worldwide, with 1.1 million people internally displaced, including an estimated 400 000 living in Mogadishu alone, and almost 1 million refugees in the Horn of Africa region; whereas in July 2016 alone, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that forced evictions and insecurity due to the ongoing military offensive resulted in almost 28 000 new displacements; whereas, on 28 November 2015, ministers in the EU-28 and several African states, including Somalia, as well as the European and African Union launched the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative, also known as the ‘Khartoum Process’, which aims to externalise EU border control and limit the number of migrants and people in need of international protection travelling to Europe under the pretext of the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling;

1. Deeply condemns the recent attacks occurred in Somalia; stands in solidarity with the Somali people after another terror attack has caused many casualties and left many people injured, offers its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims;

2. Is deeply worried by the ongoing rise of inter-ethnic conflictivity instrumentalisation and terrorism which is leading to a dramatic increase of violence and severe breaches of human rights within Somalia; deplores the loss of lives in the conflict, expresses deep concern over the developing conflict, which is causing many deaths among civilians in particular among women and children;

3. Calls on the relevant authorities to address disputes underpinning political infighting;

4. Rejects any external geostrategic interest-oriented operations, destabilization strategies and external interference in Somalia; calls on the EU and its Member States to firmly situate the principal of political coherence at the core of its relationships with the Gulf States, particularly with Saudi Arabia, in order to effectively tackle the effects of the expansion, promotion and inspiration that Wahhabist ideology represents to peaceful coexistence, interethnic and interreligious tolerance and democratic values;

5. Recalls fighting terrorism and violent extremism involves more than surveillance and security; recalls that surpassing violent extremism and inter-ethnic conflictivity, and achieving lasting stability and peace, can only be accomplished through social inclusion, sustainable development and good governance based on the democratic principles and rule of law in which peoples’ dignity and rights are fully respected;

6. Expresses the need for an all-inclusive dialogue between the country’s social sectors, including the clans and tribes that compose the Somalian nation, to allow for mutual understanding and to establish a consensus for a long-lasting and stable peace; highlights, in this regard, the meeting of Federal and its Member States Presidents, which started on Sunday 29 October is a step in the right direction; encourage the parties to resolve their differences and work together to enhance peace and sustainable development and defeat those who use violence against the Somali people; Supports the participation of civil society in peace negotiations as essential;

7. Deplores that in several cases the fight against terrorism is used as an excuse to ensure the military presence in different parts of the world due to geostrategic objectives; condemns, in this regard, the role of the United States of America in the region and the bombings made by US drones against innocent civilians with the purpose of fighting terrorism; underlines that these bombings already contributed to hundreds of deaths of innocent civilians; condemns in the same way the EUNAVFOR mission in Somalia that with the pretext of fighting piracy contributed to destroy and attack small fishermen’s of the region and just to defend the interests of big European shipping companies;

8. Reiterates its paramount concern on women’s rights; calls on the relevant authorities to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through boosting women and women rights organisations participation in public and political life and combatting all forms of violence against women; condemns the illegalisation of homosexuality in Somalia the criminalization of LGTBI people; calls on the Somalian Authorities to eliminate discriminatory laws and policies, decriminalization, and combating the death penalty for same-sex relations, to promote equality and non-discrimination at all policies, to actively combat violence by the state or by individuals against LGBTI persons;

9. Urges the European Commission and its Member States scaling up the non-military humanitarian support to fulfil the need for those most in need:

10. Calls for EU aid to be aligned with internationally agreed development effectiveness principles, be human-rights-centred, environmentally sustainable, promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and focus on tackling the root problems of inequality and poverty -which in many cases, are also the root causes of forced migration- in order to achieve the recently approved Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); stresses further that development aid must not be made conditional on cooperation in migration matters such as border management or readmission agreements; recalls its concerns about the increasing use of trust funds, such as limited transparency, lack of consultation and regional ownership;

11. Strongly condemns the Khartoum Process which legitimates governments who are themselves the source of forced migration; condemns the financial support of the EU for policies whose aim it is to externalise border controls under the pretext of the fight against trafficking and to create ‘information campaign’ which in reality legitimises authoritarian regimes and dictatorships without changing the current situation of the people in need in those countries; Calls for ensuring rights and a save passage to both migrants and displaced;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the ACP-EU Council, the East African Community and the government of its member states, the institutions of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations;