|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5575th Meeting (PM)
Security Council condemns ‘significant increase’ in somalia weapons flow,
Calls for re-establishment of group monitoring arms embargo
Resolution 1724 (2006) Adopted Unanimously; Group’s
New Recommendations Aim at Reducing Momentum towards ‘Military Catastrophe’
Condemning the “significant increase” in the flow of weapons to and through Somalia in violation of the 1992 arms embargo, the Security Council today requested the Secretary-General to re-establish, within 30 days and for a six-month period, the Monitoring Group focusing on the ongoing arms embargo violations.
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter and through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1724 (2006), 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 and has had its mandate renewed for subsequent six-month periods.]
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 consider the Monitoring Group’s recommendations and to advise the Council of ways to improve implementation of and compliance with the arms embargo.
In its recent report (document S/2006/913), the Monitoring Group proposes, in view of the “unprecedented and highly exacerbated security situation” in Somalia, a new and interrelated set of recommendations intended to reduce the level of tension and “offset the continuous momentum towards a military catastrophe”. Those recommendations call for: increasing the strength of the arms embargo through an all-border surveillance and interdiction effort for Somalia by air, sea and land; the application of financial sanctions on significant Somali-owned and -operated business entities; and a high-level, international diplomatic and political effort intended to encourage the will of States in the region to avert war.
The meeting, which began at 12:50 p.m., adjourned at 12:54 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1724 (2006) 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, resolution 1558 (2004) of 17 August 2004, resolution 1587 (2005) of 15 March 2005, resolution 1630 (2005) of 14 October 2005, and resolution 1676 (2006) of 10 May 2006,
“Reaffirming the importance of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,
“Stressing the need for the Transitional Federal Institutions to continue working towards establishing effective national governance in Somalia,
“Reiterating the urgent need for all Somali leaders to take tangible steps to continue political dialogue,
“Commending the efforts of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the League of Arab States for their continued support for national reconciliation in Somalia, and urging both the Transitional Federal Institutions and the Union of Islamic Courts to recommit to the principles of the 22 June Khartoum Declaration and the agreements made at the 2-4 September Khartoum meeting and to engage in the next round of talks without further delays,
“Reiterating its strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General,
“Taking note of the report of the Monitoring Group dated 22 November 2006 (S/2006/913, annex) submitted pursuant to paragraph 3 (i) of resolution 1676 (2006) and the observations and recommendations contained therein,
“Condemning the significant increase in the flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia, which constitutes a violation of the arms embargo and a serious threat to peace and stability in Somalia,
“Reiterating its insistence that all Member States, in particular those in the region, should refrain from any action in contravention of the arms embargo and should take all necessary steps to hold violators accountable,
“Reiterating and underscoring the importance of enhancing 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 Member States to comply fully with the measures imposed by resolution 733 (1992);
“2. Expresses its intention, in light of the report of the Monitoring Group dated 22 November 2006 (S/2006/913, annex), to consider specific action 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 30 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 the tasks outlined in paragraphs 3 (a) to (c) of resolution 1587 (2005);
(b) to continue to investigate, in coordination with relevant international agencies, all activities, including in the financial, maritime and other sectors, which generate revenues used to commit arms embargo violations;
(c) to continue to investigate any means of transport, routes, seaports, airports and other facilities used in connection with arms embargo violations;
(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, S/2005/153, S/2005/625, S/2006/229 and S/2006/913) appointed pursuant to resolutions 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003, 1558 (2004) of 17 August 2004, 1587 (2005) of 15 March 2005, 1630 (2005) of 14 October 2005, and 1676 (2006) of 10 May 2006;
(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 midterm briefing within 90 days from its establishment, and to submit progress reports to the Committee on a monthly basis;
(i) to submit, for the Security Council’s consideration, through the Committee, a final report covering all the tasks set out above, no later than 15 days prior to the termination of the Monitoring Group’s 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 the recommendations in the reports of the Monitoring Group dated 5 April and 16 October 2006 and recommend to the Council ways to improve implementation of and compliance with the arms embargo, in response to continuing violations;
“7. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
When the Council met today, it had before it the final report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia (document S/2006/913). The report contains observations and information regarding violations of the 1992 arms embargo and related matters, in the context of unfolding events since its last report of 5 May.
According to the report, the Islamic Courts Union has become the pre-eminent force in Somalia’s southern and central regions. Bolstered by aggressive support from seven States, it is consolidating its grip on military and political power and the economic infrastructure in the areas under its control. A much weaker Transitional Federal Government, backed by aggressive support from three States, is attempting to hold on to its power base in Baidoa. The possibility of a military confrontation between the two is an ever present threat.
The report points to a rampant arms flow to the Transitional Federal Government and the Islamic Courts Union, as well as military support from States. It details support for the Union from Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia, as well as Hizbollah’s (Lebanon) support –- noting that the Union had sent a 720-person military force to Lebanon to fight alongside Hizbollah in July 2006. For the Transitional Federal Government, support comes from Ethiopia, Uganda and Yemen. Both sides were also supported inside the country by combat troops, military trainers and advisers from certain States, including Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda, all members of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD).
All the ingredients are there for a violent, widespread and protracted military conflict in Somalia, according to the report, more so as the Islamic Courts Union has publicly stated its intention to violently oppose any IGAD or African Union military force. There is also the distinct possibility that the momentum towards a military solution inside the country might spill over into a direct State-to-State conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as acts of terrorism in other vulnerable States of the region.
In seeking responses from the multitude of actors involved in arms embargo violations, the Monitoring Group has sent a total of 54 letters to a combination of States, businesses and other entities, and has received 26 replies (annexed to the report). All respondents denied any involvement in violating the arms embargo, but the unbridled military build-up in Somalia continues, the report notes.
In view of the “unprecedented and highly exacerbated security situation” in Somalia, the Monitoring Group proposes a new and interrelated set of recommendations intended to reduce the level of tension and offset the continuous momentum towards a military catastrophe. The recommendations call for: increasing the strength of the arms embargo through an all-border surveillance and interdiction effort for Somalia by air, sea and land; the application of financial sanctions on significant Somali-owned and -operated business entities; and a high-level, international diplomatic and political effort intended to encourage the will of States in the region to avert war and to give States a reason to disengage from contributing to the military build-up.
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