SECURITY COUNCIL REQUESTS RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF GROUP MONITORING SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS

17 August 2004
SC/8169

SECURITY COUNCIL REQUESTS RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF GROUP MONITORING SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS

17/08/2004
Press ReleaseSC/8169

Security Council                                           

5022nd Meeting (PM)                                         

Security Council REQUESTS RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF GROUP MONITORING

SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS

Resolution 1558 (2004) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council this afternoon, condemning the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia, requested the Secretary-General to re-establish, within 30 days and for a period of six months, the Monitoring Group focusing on the ongoing arms embargo violations, including transfers of ammunition, single use weapons and small arms.

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter and through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1558 (2004), the Council requested the Group, whose mandate expired today, to continue the tasks entrusted to it, including the investigation of the violations of the arms embargo covering access to Somalia by land, air and sea.

Also, the Group would continue to provide the Committee, established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992), to oversee the arms embargo with a draft list of those who continued to violate it inside and outside Somalia, and their active supporters, for possible future measures by the Council.  The Council would also have the Group make recommendations based on its investigations.

Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Council resolution 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003, the Secretary-General established a monitoring group composed of four experts for a six-month period.  Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Group was mandated to focus on the ongoing violations of the arms embargo –- imposed by Council resolution 733 of 23 January 1992.

Under related provisions of the text adopted today, the Council further requested the Secretary-General to make the necessary financial arrangements to support the work of the Monitoring Group.  It also expected the Committee to recommend to the Council appropriate measures in response to violations of the arms embargo, by considering and developing, in close consultation with the Monitoring Group, specific proposals to improve compliance with the arms embargo.

In its recent report, the Group states that, at this critical stage of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference at Mbagathi, Kenya, the continuity of the Group is imperative, so that it can act as a deterrent to potential violators of the arms embargo during the Conference and, in that way, help ensure that opposition groups do not destabilize the new transitional government that may emerge out of the Conference, or minimize the violence that may erupt if the outcome of the Conference is inconclusive.

The meeting, which began at 12:25 p.m., adjourned at 12:28 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1558 (2004) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

Reaffirming its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 1992, which established an embargo on all delivery of weapons and military equipment to Somalia (hereinafter referred to as the “arms embargo”), and resolution 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003,

Reiterating its firm support for the Somali National Reconciliation Process and the ongoing Somali National Reconciliation Conference under the sponsorship of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and reaffirming the importance of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,

Condemning the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia, in contravention of the arms embargo, and expressing its determination that violators should be held accountable,

Reiterating the importance of enhancing the monitoring of the arms embargo in Somalia through persistent and vigilant investigation into the violations, bearing in mind that the Somali National Reconciliation Process and the implementation of the arms embargo serve as mutually reinforcing processes,

Determining that the situation in Somalia constitutes a threat to international peace and security in the region,

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

“1.   Stresses the obligation of all States to comply fully with the measures imposed by resolution 733 (1992);

“2.   Takes note of the report of the Monitoring Group dated 11 August 2004 (S/2004/604) submitted pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1519 (2003), and the observations and recommendations contained therein, and expresses its intention to give them due consideration in order to improve compliance with the measures imposed by resolution 733 (1992);

“3.   Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) of 24 April 1992 (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”), to re-establish, within thirty days from the date of the adoption of this resolution, and for a period of six months, the Monitoring Group as referred to in paragraph 2 of resolution 1519 (2003), with the following mandate:

(a)   To continue the tasks outlined in paragraph 2 (a)-(d) of resolution 1519 (2003);

(b)   To continue refining and updating information on the draft list of those who continue to violate the arms embargo inside and outside Somalia, and their active supporters, for possible future measures by the Council, and to present such information to the Committee as and when the Committee deems appropriate;

(c)   To continue making recommendations based on its investigations, on the previous reports of the Panel of Experts (S/2003/223 and S/2003/1035) appointed pursuant to resolutions 1425 (2002) of 22 July 2002 and 1474 (2003) of 8 April 2003, and on the Monitoring Group’s first report (S/2004/604);

(d)   To work closely with the Committee on specific recommendations for additional measures to improve overall compliance with the arms embargo;

(e)   To provide to the Council, through the Committee, a midterm report and a final report covering all the tasks set out above;

“4.   Further requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary financial arrangements to support the work of the Monitoring Group;

“5.   Reaffirms the need for implementation of the actions set out in paragraphs 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 of resolution 1519 (2003);

“6.   Expects the Committee, in accordance with its mandate, to recommend to the Council appropriate measures in response to violations of the arms embargo, by considering and developing, in close consultation with the Monitoring Group, specific proposals to improve compliance with the arms embargo;

“7.   Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Background

When the Security Council met today to consider the situation in Somalia, it had before it the report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia established by resolution 1519 of 11 November 2003.  The Group’s six-month mandate to monitor violations of the arms embargo was due to expire today.

The Monitoring Group reports that arms continue to flow into Somalia, and are circulating within and moving out of the country.  However, while in the past warlords were known to have been the main importers of arms and weapons, arms traders and other businessmen are increasingly playing a more active and bigger role.  Imported arms continue to be sold openly in the various local arms markets, and the Bakaaraha arms markets in Mogadishu are still the main source for arms in Somalia.  (The Bakaaraha arms market is a network of financially interlinked large-arms markets located in Somalia, with the single largest market –- Irtogte (south Mogadishu) –- in the commercially diverse Bakaaraha market.)

The flow of arms and weapons now comes from external sources to the north and south of Somalia, often delivered by dhows and sometimes by large vessels at several places along the Somali coastline.  There are indications that air transport of arms has decreased, although some airports in Somalia are still suspected of being used for arms traffic.

Information indicates that Somali warlords are all involved in the violation of the arms embargo.  There is also a possibility that proceeds from the khat trade and the sale of hashish in foreign countries is used for the purchase of arms.  Information from confidential sources indicates that some Somali warlords are not keen on seeing a government in place, because it would undermine their business operations.  In the absence of a central government that collects taxes and customs duties and enacts laws, the financial capacity of some businessmen and warlords and, consequently, their military capability have increased tremendously.

The flow of arms out of Somalia appears to be in small quantities, according to the Monitoring Group, but takes place on a daily basis, particularly to a neighbouring State.  There is evidence that arms are transported to a neighbouring State from Somalia and sold in a very insecure region of the neighbouring State.  Numerous sources have stated that an organized network of Somalis and other individuals from that neighbouring State has been smuggling armaments into and through the ports of that State by sea.

No customs administration in the region considers the stopping of arms trafficking as part of its mandate.  Corruption is a major problem with regard to regional customs enforcement.  There is a need for governments of neighbouring States to demonstrate their political will to improve their customs departments.  Cooperation between countries would considerably enhance the effectiveness of the arms embargo.

The Monitoring Group in its report recommends continued monitoring of the arms embargo.  At this critical stage of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference at Mbagathi, Kenya, it states, the continuity of the Monitoring Group is imperative, so that it can act as a deterrent to potential violators of the arms embargo during the Conference and, in that way, help ensure that opposition groups do not destabilize the new transitional government that may emerge out of the Conference, or minimize the violence that may erupt if the outcome of the conference is inconclusive.

The Monitoring Group also recommends that the draft list of those who continue to violate the arms embargo and their active supporters, as called for in resolution 1519 (2003), be called a watch list and remain confidential.  The draft list will include individuals who should be investigated further to establish clearly whether they continue to violate the arms embargo.

The report makes further recommendations regarding the basis for a draft list and measures to be taken against individuals on the draft list, as well as recommendations concerning the arms embargo.

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For information media. Not an official record.