SECURITY COUNCIL RE-ESTABLISHES GROUP MONITORING SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1587 (2005)

15 March 2005
SC/8337

SECURITY COUNCIL RE-ESTABLISHES GROUP MONITORING SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1587 (2005)

15/03/2005
Press ReleaseSC/8337

Security Council

5142nd Meeting (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL RE-ESTABLISHES GROUP MONITORING SOMALIA ARMS EMBARGO

FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1587 (2005)

Report Says Recent Arms Shipments Strengthened Military Capacity

Of Elements Intending Violent Opposition to Transitional Government

The Security Council today 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 in Somalia, including transfers of ammunition, single use weapons and small arms.

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter and through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1587 (2005), the Council requested the Group to continue the tasks entrusted to it, including the investigation of the implementation of the arms embargo by Member States and violations, as well as actions taken by the Somali authorities. 

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 requested the Committee to consider, when appropriate, a visit to Somalia and/or the region to demonstrate the Council’s determination to give full effect to the arms embargo.

The meeting, which began at 11:40 a.m., adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1587 (2005) 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”), resolution 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003 and resolution 1558 (2004) of 17 August 2004,

Welcoming further progress in the process of national reconciliation in Somalia and expecting further steps by the Transitional Federal Government towards establishing effective national governance in Somalia,

Reaffirming the importance of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,

Commending the efforts of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in support of the Transitional Federal Government and welcoming the African Union’s continued support for reconciliation in Somalia,

Taking note of the report of the Monitoring Group dated 14 February 2005 (S/2005/153) submitted pursuant to paragraph 3 (e) of resolution 1558 (2004) and the observations and recommendations contained therein,

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

Reiterating the importance of the implementation of the arms embargo by Member States and the enhancement of the monitoring of the arms embargo in Somalia through persistent and vigilant investigation into the violations, bearing in mind that strict enforcement of the arms embargo will improve the overall security situation in Somalia,

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.   Expresses its intention to give the report of the Monitoring Group dated 14 February 2005 (S/2005/153) due consideration in order to improve implementation of and compliance with 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 referred to in paragraph 3 of resolution 1558 (2004), with the following mandate:

(a)   to continue investigating the implementation of the arms embargo by MemberStates and violations, inter alia, through field-based investigations in Somalia, where possible, and, as appropriate, in other States, in particular, those in the region;

(b)   to assess actions taken by Somali authorities, as well as Member States, in particular, those in the region, fully to implement the arms embargo;

(c)   to make specific recommendations based on detailed information in relevant areas of expertise related to violations and measures to give effect to and strengthen the implementation of the arms embargo in its various aspects;

(d)   to continue refining and updating information on the draft list of those individuals and entities who violate the measures implemented by Member States in accordance with resolution 733 (1992), 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;

(e)   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 previous reports of the Monitoring Group (S/2004/604 and S/2005/153) appointed pursuant to resolutions 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003 and 1558 (2004) of 17 August 2004;

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

(g)   to assist in identifying areas where the capacities of States in the region can be strengthened to facilitate the implementation of the arms embargo;

(h)   to provide to the Council, through the Committee, a mid-term briefing within 90 days from its establishment;

(i)   to submit to the Council through the Committee, no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate, a final report covering all the tasks set out above, which the Committee will subsequently consider and convey to the Security Council prior to the expiration of its mandate;

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

“5.   Reaffirms paragraphs 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 of resolution 1519 (2003);

“6.   Requests the Committee, in accordance with its mandate and in consultation with the Monitoring Group and other relevant United Nations entities, to consider and recommend to the Council ways to improve implementation of and compliance with the arms embargo, including ways to develop capacity of States in the region to implement the arms embargo, in response to continuing violations;

“7.   Further requests the Committee to consider, when appropriate, a visit to Somalia and/or the region by its Chairman and those he may designate, as approved by the Committee, to demonstrate the Security Council’s determination to give full effect to the arms embargo;

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

Background

Before the Council was a letter dated 8 March 2005 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia, which transmits the report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia to the President of the Security Council.  The report (document (S/2005/153) notes that arms embargo violations have continued at a brisk and alarming rate and that the Monitoring Group uncovered 34 individual arms shipments from February 2004 to the time of writing.  They ranged in size from individual weapons such as large and expensive anti-aircraft guns to ocean freight containers full of explosives, ammunition, small arms and anti-tank weapons.

Noting the soaring demand for financial sources by major parties to the conflict in Somalia to fund the arms purchases, the report says that information developed by the Monitoring Group indicates the existence of a sophisticated financial network operating inside and outside the country that may be directly involved in arms purchases.  An increasing demand for funds has been noticed during the mandate period, although financial sources required by warlords to fund their operations remain basically the same.  However, methods of moving funds are dynamic and, on some occasions, these illegal funds are being operated under the umbrella of legal businesses or financial networks.

The report states that recent purchases have strengthened the military capacity of well armed and funded opposition elements which have publicly expressed their intention to violently oppose the Transitional Federal Government and its supporters, e.g., foreign troops, if they enter Somalia.  In addition, the Bakaaraha arms market inside Somalia, particularly in Mogadishu, and arms markets in the neighbouring Gulf States continue to play a central role as sources of arms that fuel violent clashes and remain an obstacle to peace and stability.  These markets are also a main cause of the many arms-related problems in the frontline States.

With an increasing number of arms embargo violations, the trend has continued to rely less on air transport to ferry the illegal shipments, the report says.  Instead, ocean transport and road transport have been the predominant means of delivery.  However, the role of air transport should not be ignored.  To enforce the embargo effectively, it is critical to monitor effectively both the border crossings and the Somali coastline, as well as to engage fully the neighbouring and regional States, the Transitional Federal Government and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Emphasizing the need for any future monitoring group to work closely and effectively with these States and the Transitional Federal Government, the report notes that the Monitoring Group has investigated arms shipments that were offloaded by a combination of road and dhows.  Organized criminal groups involved in the clandestine movement of arms shipments from source to recipient have consistently circumvented customs and police authorities of various States responsible for the interdiction of illegal shipments.  Although customs border enforcement in the region has improved since the beginning of the Monitoring Group’s mandate, all customs authorities in the region should adopt the technique of customs risk assessment in dealing with the illicit arms trafficking.  The customs authorities may also consider establishing a mechanism to share information and best practices in implementing the United Nations arms embargo.

The report recommends continued monitoring of the arms embargo to ensure its effectiveness, for the following reasons:  (a) analysis of trends and patterns provides the Security Council with a perspective and a meaningful understanding of ongoing violations and accompanying activities; and (b) continued investigations of specific violations and those parties involved expose individual violators to possible sanctions.  The Monitoring 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.

According to the report, the Monitoring Group should establish a more formal and structured relationship with the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and possibly the frontline and neighbouring States in order to facilitate cooperation and the exchange of information.  In addition, international and regional financial organizations should enhance their support for financial local authorities in the frontline and neighbouring States in terms of promoting cooperation, training, workshops, information-sharing and financial networking.  Efforts should be made in focusing on topics related to criminalizing financial illegal activities, money-laundering, freezing and confiscation of assets, and the regulation and control of alternative remittance systems (hawalas).

Annexed to the report are an explanation of the Monitoring Group’s evidentiary standards and verification process; a list of arms purchases and sales at Mogadishu’s Irtogte arms market during the mandate period; and a list of questions submitted to the Government of neighbouring Yemen.

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For information media. Not an official record.