Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

SOMALIA: Annan reappoints arms embargo monitors

NAIROBI, 9 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - At the request of the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has reappointed a four-member group that has been monitoring the movement of weapons into Somalia since early 2004.
The panel was established to monitor violations of an arms embargo imposed by the UN on the strife-torn Horn of Africa country in 1992.In a letter to the president of the Security Council released on Tuesday, Annan extended the mandate of the four experts for six months.The members are Melvin Holt, Jr, of the US and Joel Salek of Colombia, who have been members of the panel since its inception; Harjit Singh Kelley of Kenya, who once served on an expert panel on Liberian sanctions; and Bruno Schiemsky of Belgium, who was part of a team monitoring the embargo against the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The mandate of the group, which is based in Kenya, includes investigating "the points of entry and exit of arms and the flow of weapons into Somalia; the mode of transport used; the destination of the weapons; the warlords, faction leaders or businessmen receiving the arms and weapons; the areas or regions under the control of the faction leaders, warlords and businessmen and their associates" as well as the operation of arms markets in Somalia and the source of the arms.They will assess the actions of Somali authorities and other UN member states through field-based investigations in the region to ensure the full implementation of the arms embargo.In a resolution in October, the Security Council condemned the increase in the flow of arms and ammunition into Somalia.The resolution followed findings by the monitoring team that violations - both by the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), its opponents in the capital, Mogadishu, and certain states in the region - had recently taken a "sustained and dramatic upswing".
Source: IRIN
The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "the Center for Peace and Democracy in Somalia (CPD)"

Security Council condemns increasing violations of Somali arms embargo

Stressing that any resort to military force to solve the current differences between Somalia's transitional federal institutions is unacceptable, the United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the increased inflow of weapons into the Horn of Africa country and the attempted assassination of the Prime Minister on Sunday.Security CouncilThe condemnation came in a presidential statement read by Ambassador Andrey Denisov of Russia, who holds the rotating Council presidency for November, after a closed briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, François Lonsény Fall."The Security Council condemns the increased inflow of weapons into Somalia and the continuous violations of the United Nations arms embargo," the statement said.The Council reminded all States of their obligation to comply fully with the measures imposed on them by the embargo resolution and urged them to take all necessary steps to hold violators accountable."The Security Council expresses its concern over recent reported military activities and hostile rhetoric and emphasizes that any resort to military force as a means for dealing with the current differences within the transitional federal institutions is unacceptable. The Council condemns in the strongest terms the assassination attempt on 6 November 2005 against Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi in Mogadishu," it said.The Council emphasized that the primary responsibility for restoring an effective functioning government lay with the leaders and members of the Somali transitional federal institutions and expressed "its concern and disappointment over the lack of progress in ameliorating the contention between the leaders of the transitional federal institutions, and over the non-functioning of the Transitional Federal Parliament, which has an essential role in promoting the peace process."The UN has been leading international efforts to find a peaceful solution, but tensions between Jahwar-based Prime Minister Gedi and President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed on the one hand, and Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan and ministers based in Mogadishu, on the other, have been exacerbated.The Security Council also called on national and international organizations to address the increasing incidents of piracy off the Somali coast and the recent hijackings of vessels in the area, particularly of ships carrying humanitarian supplies to Somalia."The Security Council expresses its growing concern over the situation of 1 million Somalis in a state of humanitarian emergency or suffering from severe livelihood distress and the rising civil and food insecurity in parts of Southern Somalia, where malnutrition levels have increased," it said.The Security Council commended the neighbouring countries, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU), the League of Arab States, the European Union (EU) and concerned Member States for their keen interest and persistent efforts in supporting the country's peace process.In a press encounter after the Council meeting, Mr. Fall said warring factions in Somalia had to engage in dialogue to resolve their impasse and move the political process forward.The Security Council had said that it would take some action against the piracy, which it did not specify, he said, adding that exceptions had already been made to the embargo to allow for the training of Somali police. Such training was taking place in Uganda and Kenya and plans were being made to bring that training to Somalia, he said.The Council would also have to find a solution to the problem that countries in the region were shipping arms to Somali factions, he said. Meanwhile, it had asked IGAD and the AU to work out an agreement on the composition of their upcoming peacekeeping operation, the IGAD Peace Support Mission to Somalia (IGASOM), Mr. Fall said.

Source: UN News Centre

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "the Center for Peace and Democracy in Somalia (CPD)"