14/07/2005
Press Release
SC/8449


Security Council

5227th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL URGES SOMALI TRANSITIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO IMMEDIATELY

 

CONCLUDE NATIONAL SECURITY, STABILIZATION PLAN, INCLUDING CEASeFIRE


Presidential Statement Calls for Maximum Restraint by Somali Leaders;

Says No Lasting Progress Possible if Arms Flow across Border Unchecked


Expressing concern at the recent disagreements threatening the viability of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Institutions, the Security Council this afternoon urged the immediate conclusion of a national security and stabilization plan, to include a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement leading to final disarmament.


A statement read out by Adamantios Th. Vassilakis (Greece), Council President, called on all Somali leaders to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate effective steps to reduce tension.  It added that violence or military action by any members of the Transitional Federal Institutions or other parties was unacceptable as the means for dealing with the current differences.  The Council reiterated that any members of those Institutions or other parties who persisted on the path of confrontation and conflict, including military action, would be held accountable.


The Council condemned in the strongest terms the brutal 11 July murder of Somali peace activist Abdulkadir Yahya Ali in Mogadishu.  It called for the incident to be investigated immediately and for those responsible to be held fully accountable.  The Council also deplored the recent hijacking off the Somali coast of a vessel that had been chartered by the World Food Programme (WFP) to carry food aid for tsunami victims.  Noting WFP’s subsequent decision to suspend all shipments of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, it called for the quick and appropriate resolution of that incident.


Taking note of a request by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council for an exemption on the arms embargo imposed against Somalia by resolution 733 (1992), the Council expressed its readiness to consider that matter in due course.  It reminded all parties in Somalia, including all members of the Transitional Federal Institutions, as well as all Member States, of their obligation to implement and enforce the embargo.  Continued non-compliance undermined the efforts of those seeking to establish peace in Somalia.  There could be no effective and lasting progress as long as arms and ammunition flowed unchecked across Somalia’s borders.  A stable and secure environment was essential to the future success of the national reconciliation process.


Encouraged by the relocation now under way of the Transitional Federal Institutions to Somalia, the Council urged further progress in that regard and called upon Somali leaders to continue to work towards reconciliation through inclusive dialogue and consensus-building in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic adopted in February 2004.  It commended the commitment of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in support of the relocation and reiterated its support for those efforts in assisting the transition in Somalia.


The Council welcomed the readiness of the African Union and IGAD to reinforce their continued support for the establishment of a functioning central government, including the possible deployment of a Peace Support Mission to Somalia.  Those two organizations were expected to work out a detailed mission plan in close coordination with the Transition Federal Institutions and consistent with a national security and stabilization plan.


Stressing that improving the humanitarian situation was an essential component of support for the peace and reconciliation process, the Council reiterated that ensuring humanitarian access to all Somalis in need and providing guarantees for the safety and security of aid workers was an immediate priority and obligation of the Transitional Federal Institutions.  The Council further welcomed the ongoing efforts and work of the business community, humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society and women’s groups to facilitate the demilitarization of Somalia.


The meeting began at 12:10 p.m. and ended at 12:20 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2005/32 reads, as follows:


“The Security Council reaffirms all its previous decisions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular the statements by its President (S/PRST/2004/43) dated 19 November 2004 and (S/PRST/2005/11) of 7 March 2005.


“The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of
16 June 2005 (S/2005/392), reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia and its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, consistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.


“The Security Council is encouraged by the relocation now under way of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) to Somalia, urges further progress in this regard and calls upon the Somali leaders to continue to work towards reconciliation, through inclusive dialogue and consensus-building within the framework of the TFIs, in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic adopted in February 2004.


“The Security Council expresses its concern at the recent disagreements and increased tensions among Somali leaders, which threaten the viability of the TFIs.  The Security Council calls on all leaders in Somalia to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate effective steps to reduce tension.  Violence or military action by any members of the TFIs or other parties is unacceptable as the means for dealing with the current differences within the TFIs.  The Security Council reiterates that any members of the TFIs or other parties who persist on the path of confrontation and conflict, including military action, will be held accountable.


“The Security Council urges the Transitional Federal Institutions to conclude without delay a national security and stabilization plan, to include a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement leading to final disarmament, and welcomes the willingness of the United Nations to provide advice in this regard.


“The Security Council commends the commitment of the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in support of the TFIs’ relocation to Somalia and reiterates its support for those efforts in assisting the process of transition in Somalia.  The Security Council welcomes the readiness of the AU and IGAD to reinforce their continued support for the establishment of a functioning central government of Somalia, including the possible deployment of a Peace Support Mission to Somalia, and encourages the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) to keep the Security Council informed of all developments.  The Security Council expects the AU and IGAD to work out a detailed mission plan in close coordination with and with the broad consensus of the TFIs and consistent with a national security and stabilization plan.


“The Security Council takes note of the PSC’s request to the Security Council for the authorization of an exemption on the arms embargo imposed against Somalia by resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 1992, contained in the AU’s PSC Communiqués of 12 May and 3 July 2005.  The Security Council stands ready to consider this matter on the basis of information on the mission plan mentioned in paragraph 6 in due course.


“The Security Council further reminds all parties in Somalia, including all members of the TFIs, as well as all Member States, of their obligation to implement and enforce the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council under resolution 733 (1992).  Continued non-compliance with this measure undermines the efforts of those who seek to establish peace in Somalia.  There can be no effective and lasting progress in Somalia as long as arms and ammunition flow unchecked across Somalia’s borders.  A stable and secure environment in Somalia is essential to the future success of the national reconciliation process.


“The Security Council welcomes the continued engagement of donors in supporting the establishment of a functioning government in Somalia through the mechanism of the Coordination and Monitoring Committee (CMC) and in fulfilment of the Declaration of Principles.  The Security Council encourages donor countries, regional and subregional organizations to continue to contribute to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Somalia, in particular through the mechanism of the Rapid Assistance Programme and efforts coordinated by the United Nations.


“The Security Council stresses that improving the humanitarian situation is an essential component of support for the peace and reconciliation process.  The Security Council reiterates that ensuring humanitarian access to all Somalis in need and providing guarantees for the safety and security of aid workers is an immediate priority and obligation of the TFIs.  The Security Council further welcomes the ongoing efforts and work of the business community, humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society and women’s groups to facilitate the demilitarization of Somalia.


“The Security Council deplores the recent hijacking of a vessel off the coast of Somalia that had been chartered by the World Food Programme (WFP) and was carrying food aid for tsunami victims, and notes the subsequent decision by the WFP to suspend all shipments of humanitarian assistance to Somalia.  The Security Council expresses its concern at the impact of these developments, and calls for the quick and appropriate resolution of this incident.  The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the brutal murder of Somali peace activist Abdulkadir Yahya Ali on 11 July in Mogadishu.  The Security Council calls for the incident to be investigated immediately and for those responsible to be held fully accountable.


“The Security Council welcomes the steps being taken to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and reaffirms its strong support for the leadership of the Secretary-General Special Representative (SRSG) in his efforts in fostering inclusive dialogue among the leaders of the TFIs.  The Security Council calls upon all Somali parties and Member States to extend to him their fullest cooperation in this regard.


“The Security Council reaffirms its full support for the peace process in Somalia and the commitment of the United Nations to assist the regional and sub-regional efforts in this regard.”


Background


When the Security Council met this afternoon on Somalia, it had before it a letter dated 8 March 2005 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia, addressed to the President of the Security Council (document S/2005/153), transmitting the report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia.


That report, which covers the period from September 2004 through February 2005, states that, owing to the continued heavy flow of arms into Somalia, much of which has been directed to those elements opposed to the Transitional Federal Government, there is a seriously elevated level of threat of violence against the peaceful establishment in Somalia of the Transitional Federal Government. These opposition elements have a considerably enhanced military capability, are well organized and funded and have publicly expressed their intent to violently oppose the Transitional Federal Government and its supporters if they enter Somalia.


It is very clear that arms shipments moving into and through the Bakaarah market are a fundamental source of arms that helps perpetuate and provide fuel for violent clashes and instability in Somalia.  Additionally, the Monitoring Group is convinced that another arms market, located in Yemen, operates in conjunction with the Bakaarah arms market by functioning as a continuing source for the arms routinely received by the Bakaarah arms market. The impact of the existence of these two arms markets on the instability of Somalia, in particular, and the many arms-related problems to the front-line States, in general, should not be underestimated.


Given the reduced role of aviation in the shipment of arms to Somalia and the emergence of the sea and road as the preferred modes of transport, the Somali coastline and its borders with its neighbours have become linchpins of the entire arms embargo violations.  However, this is not to say that the role of air transport should be ignored.  To enforce the arms embargo effectively, it is critical that both the border crossings and the Somali coastline be monitored effectively.  In this regard, it is necessary fully to engage the neighbouring and regional States, as well as the Transitional Federal Government and International Maritime Organization (IMO).


The continued monitoring of the arms embargo is necessary to ensure its effectiveness, states the report.  The Group should continue to develop the draft list of violators, including the compilation of dossiers of relevant and evidentiary materials, for eventual submission to the Security Council Committee for future punitive actions.  It may also be necessary or appropriate to submit the draft list to the neighbouring and regional States for actions against the violators.  The Group should establish a more formal and structured relationship with the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and possibly the frontline and neighbouring States, to facilitate cooperation and exchange of information as appropriate.


Also before the Council is the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia (document S/2005/392), which states that it is of utmost importance that the Transitional Federal Government and the transitional federal institutions relocate to Somalia so as to ensure continued credibility with the people of Somalia and the international community. There are serious challenges linked to the relocation, including security, the choice of capital city and lack of infrastructure and resources.  However, it is clear that the Government’s relocation plan has become fraught with controversy and opposition, which could assume further divisions along clan and regional lines.


There is an urgent need for Somali leaders to enter into a serious dialogue in the search for a consensus on the important issues regarding relocation.  The Secretary-General welcomes the efforts of the leaders in Mogadishu to restore stability in the capital.  He urges the international community to help in providing the necessary technical and material support that would improve the quality of those efforts.  However, their efforts must become national in order to give confidence to all Somalis.  He reiterates his appeal to the Transitional Federal Government and Parliament, as a matter of priority, to seek an agreement from all faction and militia leaders to cease hostilities and enter into immediate negotiations for a comprehensive ceasefire agreement.  The United Nations is ready to support negotiations for such an agreement, in collaboration with other partners.


With the support for the expansion of United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) by the necessary organs of the United Nations, the Secretary-General looks forward to a further energized role of the United Nations in the stabilization of Somalia.  Also, planning is under way for a peace support mission for Somalia by the IGAD and the African Union.  As part of the expansion of UNPOS, a military adviser is expected to join the Office’s staff.  One of his tasks will be to liaise with military counterparts in the African Union, IGAD and other relevant institutions.


The fact that the deployment of any foreign military force in Somalia will require an exemption from the Security Council arms embargo on Somalia poses a challenge for the international community, at large, and the United Nations, in particular.  In its resolution 1587 (2005), the Security Council mandated the Monitoring Group to continue monitoring the proper implementation of the arms embargo. The enforcement of the arms embargo, with improved monitoring capacity and the establishment of enforcement measures, would considerably enhance security in Somalia.


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