SECURITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDS EXPERT PANEL TO STUDY VIOLATIONS OF SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO

22 July 2002
SC/7459

SECURITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDS EXPERT PANEL TO STUDY VIOLATIONS OF SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO

22/07/2002

Press Release SC/7459

Security Council

4580th Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDS EXPERT PANEL TO STUDY

VIOLATIONS OF SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO

The Security Council recommended today that a three-member panel of experts be set up to gather information on violations of the 1992 arms embargo on Somalia, with a view to strengthening it.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1425 (2002), the Council decided that the panel, to be established within one month, should be based in Nairobi for a period of six months.  It would pursue all relevant sources, including States, international law enforcement bodies, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions and the business community, in seeking information on the arms embargo.

[Set out in resolution 733 (1992), the arms embargo on Somalia prohibits financing of all acquisitions and deliveries of weapons and military equipment.  It also prohibits the direct or indirect supply to Somalia of technical advice, financial and other assistance, and training related to military activities.]

Further to today's text, the panel would carry out field research in Somalia and other States, including through review of national customs and border control regimes, and recommend measures to strengthen the embargo.  The panel should have sufficient expertise in armament and its financing, civil aviation, maritime transport and regional affairs.

The Council requested that individuals, entities and States contacted by the panel provide it with all available information on arms violations.  All States should assist with visits to sites and actors, and provide full access to government officials and records as required by the panel.

If any States, authorities, individuals or entities fail to cooperate with the panel, the Council should be immediately notified.

The Council requested that the panel submit a final report at the end of its mandated period to the Council for its consideration.

The meeting began at 12:55 p.m. and adjourned at 12:56 p.m.

Background

The Council had two reports before it.

In his 3 July letter addressed to the President of the Security Council, the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia submits the report (document S/2002/722) of the team appointed last May in preparation for the establishment of a panel of experts on the implementation of the arms embargo against that country.

[A two-expert team was appointed for a period of 30 days to provide the Committee with an action plan detailing the resources and expertise that a future panel of experts would need to generate independent information on violations and improve enforcement of the weapons and military equipment embargo on Somalia, which was established in 1992 by Council resolution 733.  The team left for the region on 11 June.]

In its report, the team recommends the establishment of a panel of experts consisting of at least three persons based in Nairobi, Kenya, with administrative support from Nairobi and New York.  The experts observe that while no effective central government has been in place in Somalia since 1991, a number of groupings there sustain significant military capacity through acquisitions of arms and military equipment from outside the country.  Within the region, there is currently an attempt to find a political solution leading to the creation of an effective government and administration in Somalia.  The failure to enforce the arms embargo threatens to undermine that attempt.  Another aspect of the situation is that Somalia’s internal situation contributes to insecurity and instability in neighbouring countries.

The report notes allegations that, in order to further their own political and strategic objectives, some governments supply arms and military equipment to armed groupings in Somalia.  It is also alleged that international networks motivated by political or ideological factors supply arms to Somalia.  Arms acquisitions are financed in different ways, including through revenues from local business activities, remittances from overseas Somali populations, donations from other States and international agencies, from the proceeds of organized crime and through contact with terrorist networks. 

The experts conclude that there is a need to define the scope of the embargo more clearly.  In the short term, its effectiveness can be enhanced through direct interventions with States neighbouring Somalia.  A regional monitoring system needs to be established, sustained by local initiatives in cooperation with the United Nations.

Also before the Council was the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Somalia (document S/2002/709), which covers the developments in the country since February, highlighting regional peace efforts spearheaded by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in support of national efforts.  The document also provides an update on the humanitarian and security situation, as well as developmental activities undertaken by United Nations programmes and agencies. 

According to this document, despite the efforts of the Government of Kenya in coordinating the IGAD initiative to convene a national reconciliation conference for Somalia in Nairobi, the IGAD peace process is at an impasse because of differences on how to proceed.  The environment of apparent suspicion, both among regional countries and inside Somalia, needs to be urgently defused in order to hold a productive conference.  The Secretary-General expresses hope that the Somalia Contact Group will prove to be a useful forum for the exchange of information and coordination of peacemaking efforts among external actors.  In his view, the efforts of Member States in the months ahead should be focused on helping the IGAD members to reach an understanding on a common approach to national reconciliation in Somalia.

In general, says the report, Somalia has witnessed an escalation of violence in recent months, particularly in Mogadishu and Gedo, which has cost many civilian lives and resulted in a worsening of the humanitarian crisis.  The Secretary-General shares the view of the Security Council that much more needs to be done in the country in humanitarian and development areas, as well as peace-building efforts.  The response to the 2002 Consolidated Appeal for Somalia has been disappointing, and he urges Member States to contribute to it, in order to enable effective humanitarian and recovery efforts in Somalia to continue.  He also appeals to Member States to contribute generously to the Trust Fund for Peace-Building in Somalia to support preparations for a United Nations peace-building mission in the country.

Resolution

Security Council resolution 1425 (2002) reads, as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular on the weapon and military equipment embargo established by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 1992 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘arms embargo’), resolution 1407 (2002) of 3 May 2002, and the statement of its President of 28 March 2002 (S/PRST/2002/8),

"Noting with serious concern the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia from sources outside the country, in contravention of the arms embargo, which is severely undermining peace and security and the political efforts for national reconciliation in Somalia,

"Reiterating its call on all States and other actors to comply scrupulously with the arms embargo, and its insistence that all States, in particular those of the region, should not interfere in the internal affairs of Somalia. Such interference only further destabilizes Somalia, contributes to a climate of fear and impacts adversely on human rights, and could jeopardize the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,

"Underlining the role of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in particular the frontline States (Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya), in bringing lasting peace to Somalia, and expressing its support and expectation that the planned National Reconciliation Conference for Somalia to be held in Nairobi will move forward as a matter of urgency and with the pragmatic and result-oriented involvement of the frontline States,

"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 27 June 2002 (S/2002/709) and the report of the expert team appointed by the Secretary-General (S/2002/722), detailing the resources and expertise required for a Panel of Experts to generate independent information on the violations and for improving the enforcement of the arms embargo, in accordance with resolution 1407 (2002),

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1.Stresses that the arms embargo on Somalia prohibits financing of all acquisitions and deliveries of weapons and military equipment;

"2.Decides that the arms embargo prohibits the direct or indirect supply to Somalia of technical advice, financial and other assistance, and training related to military activities;

"3.Requests the Secretary-General to establish, within one month from the date of adoption of this resolution, in consultation with the committee established by resolution 751 (1992) of 24 April 1992 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Committee’), a Panel of Experts consisting of three members to be based in Nairobi for a period of six months, in order to generate independent information on violations of the arms embargo and as a step towards giving effect to and strengthening the embargo, with the following mandate:

-- investigating the violations of the embargo covering access to Somalia by land, air and sea, in particular by pursuing any sources that might reveal information related to violations, including relevant States, intergovernmental organizations and international law enforcement cooperation bodies, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions and intermediaries, other brokering agencies, civil aviation companies and authorities, members of the Transitional National Government, local authorities, political and traditional leaders, civil society and the business community;

-- detailing information in relevant areas of expertise related to violations and measures to give effect to and strengthen the arms embargo in its various aspects;

-- carrying out field based research, where possible, in Somalia, States neighbouring Somalia and other States, as appropriate;

-- assessing the capacity of States in the region to implement fully the arms embargo, including through a review of national customs and border control regimes;

-- providing recommendations on possible practical steps and measures for giving effect to and strengthening the arms embargo;

"4.Further requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the Panel of Experts comprises, and have access to, sufficient expertise in the areas of armament and financing thereof, civil aviation, maritime transport, and regional affairs, including specialized knowledge of Somalia, in accordance with the resource requirements, administrative and financial arrangements outlined in the report of the expert team pursuant to resolution 1407 (2002);

"5.Requests the Panel of Experts in its work in accordance with its mandate to take fully into account the recommendations provided in the report of the experts team pursuant to resolution 1407 (2002), including regarding cooperative arrangements, methodology and issues related to the strengthening of the arms embargo;

"6.Requests all States and the Transitional National Government and local authorities in Somalia to cooperate fully with the Panel of Experts in its quest for information in accordance with this resolution, including by facilitating visits to sites and actors and by providing full access to government officials and records, as required by the Panel of Experts;

"7.Calls again upon all States, in particular those in the region, to provide the Committee with all available information on violations of the arms embargo;

"8.Urges all other individuals and entities contacted by the Panel of Experts to cooperate fully by providing relevant information and facilitating its investigations, including political and traditional leaders, members of the civil society and the business community, financial institutions and intermediaries, other brokering agencies, civil aviation companies and authorities, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations and international law enforcement cooperation bodies;

"9.Requests the Panel of Experts to notify the Security Council immediately, through the Committee, of any lack of cooperation by the States, authorities, individuals and entities referred to in paragraphs 6 and 8 above;

"10.Further requests the Panel of Experts to brief the Chairman of the Committee to inform his mission to the region, scheduled for October 2002, and to provide an oral briefing to the Council, through the Committee, in November 2002;

"11.Requests the Panel of Experts to submit a final report at the end of its mandated period to the Security Council, through the Committee, for its consideration;

"12.Requests the Chairman of the Committee to forward the report of the Panel of Experts, within two weeks of its reception, to the Security Council for its consideration;

"13.Expresses its determination to consider the report of the Panel of Experts and any relevant proposals for follow-up action and recommendations on possible practical steps for strengthening the arms embargo;

"14.Requests the Secretary-General, in his next report due on 31 October 2002, to include updates on:

-- the activities undertaken to coordinate ongoing peace-building initiatives and to provide for their incremental expansion, and on the preparatory activities undertaken on the ground in preparation for a comprehensive peace-building mission once security conditions permit, in accordance with the statement of its President of 28 March 2002;

-- the technical assistance and cooperation provided to enhance the administrative and judicial capacities throughout Somalia to contribute to the monitoring of and giving full effect to the arms embargo, in accordance with the statement of its President of 28 March 2002 and resolution 1407 (2002);

-- the reporting by States to the Committee on measures they have in place to ensure the full and effective implementation of the arms embargo, in accordance with resolution 1407 (2002);

"15.Further requests the Secretary-General to invite Member States to make contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Peace-Building in Somalia, acknowledging any pledges already made, and to ensure proper coordination among the involved United Nations agencies in implementing the tasks to be carried out in accordance with the statement of its President of 28 March 2002;

"16.Calls on Member States to come forward with contributions to the United Nations activities in support of Somalia, including the Consolidated

Inter-Agency Appeal for 2002;

"17.Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.