Security Council Adopts Resolution Extending Arms Embargoes Imposed on Somalia, Eritrea by Vote of 14 in Favour, 1 Abstention

SC/12094
23 October 2015
7541st Meeting (AM)

Security Council Adopts Resolution Extending Arms Embargoes Imposed on Somalia, Eritrea by Vote of 14 in Favour, 1 Abstention

The Security Council this morning extended the arms embargo on Somalia until 15 November 2016 while reaffirming the country’s sovereignty over its natural resources.  It also reaffirmed the arms embargo on Eritrea.

Adopting resolution 2244 (2015) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter — by a vote of 14 in favour and 1 abstention (Venezuela) — the Council also extended the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group until 15 December 2016, and reiterated its expectation that the Government of Eritrea would facilitate the Group’s entry into that country.

Reaffirming Somalia’s sovereignty over its natural resources, the Council underlined the vital importance of the Federal Government of Somalia putting in place a resource-sharing agreement to ensure that the national petroleum sector did not become a source of increased tension.  The Council condemned the ongoing export of charcoal from Somalia in violation of the total ban on charcoal exports.

The Council expressed serious concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia and condemned in the strongest terms increased attacks against humanitarian actors.  It also expressed concern about continued reports of corruption, diversion of public resources and financial impropriety involving members of the Federal Government Administrations and the Federal Parliament, underlining that individuals engaged in acts that threatened Somalia’s peace and reconciliation process might be listed for targeted sanctions.

Also by the text, the Council urged the Government of Eritrea to allow access or provide information, including to the Monitoring Group, on the Djiboutian prisoners missing in action since clashes between the two countries from 10 to 12 June 2008.

Following the vote, Venezuela’s representative explained that his delegation had abstained because the negotiating process had not taken certain points of view into account.  Venezuela had requested more consultations with a view to reflecting the certain points of view in a balanced and dynamic text.

Somalia’s representative said the Federal Government had worked tirelessly over the last year to reduce threats to peace and security, and had shown its commitment to ensuring compliance with the Council’s resolutions.  Somalia now had functioning institutions, and four legislative instruments pending before Parliament related to public finance management reform.  While Somalia did not agree with all the Monitoring Group’s findings, it would seek to strengthen their relationship further, and the Government would be pleased to welcome it on a more frequent basis.

Eritrea’s representative noted that the two justifications used to impose sanctions on his country were alleged support for Al-Shabaab and Asmara’s dispute with Djibouti.  However, the Monitoring Group had found no evidence of support Al-Shabaab, he said, adding that Eritrea and Djibouti had asked Qatar to mediate their dispute.  The Council had sadly decided to extend the sanctions for another year, he said, noting that sanctions affected the poor and restricted Eritrea’s ability to defend its sovereignty.

Representatives of the Russian Federation, New Zealand, China, United Kingdom and United States also spoke.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and adjourned at 10:42 a.m.

Statements

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said his delegation had abstained because the negotiating process had not taken certain points a view into account.  Venezuela had requested more consultations in order to reflect various points of view in a balanced and dynamic text, but had been surprised to find that negotiations had reopened within a small group of members.  That recurring practice affected the transparency and inclusiveness necessary to guarantee the participation of all members, he said, demanding respect in the Council for the points of view of all members, be they permanent or elected.

Pointing out that his delegation chaired the Sanctions Committee, he said better relations with the two concerned Member States were necessary, emphasizing that sanctions should not be used to punish countries and hurt their people.  They were only helpful in bringing about political solutions.  The resolution’s operative paragraph 7 gave the impression that some permanent members felt the sanctions regime was an end in itself and wished to extend its mandate indefinitely.  Venezuela called upon all Council members to revise the organ’s working methods and the ways in which its sanctions committees worked.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution because its imperative purpose was to achieve peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.  The Russian Federation had concerns, however, about intrusive provisions that undermined national sovereignty, some of which were based on facts not confirmed by the Monitoring Group.  Experts should not transcend the purview of their mandates, and should base their reporting on facts, he stressed.

GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) welcomed the fact that the resolution enabled Somalia to exercise governance over its natural resources, including fisheries.  As for Eritrea, New Zealand hoped that improved relationship between that country and the Committee would enable the Council to make decisions in line with the purpose for which the sanctions had been applied.

YONG ZHAO (China) said he had voted in favour of the text because the Federal Government of Somalia, with international support, had been dedicated to the implementation of its Vision 2016, which China welcomed.  It was to be hoped that the resolution would be implemented fully and play a constructive role in promoting Somalia’s reconstruction.  The Monitoring Group’s report had indicated no evidence of Eritrea’s support for Al-Shabaab and the Council should adjust its sanctions with a view to eventually lifting them.  African issues should be solved in an African way, notably through dialogue, and efforts to foster regional peace, stability and development, he emphasized.

MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom), while welcoming the adoption, said that, unfortunately, the text reflected two approaches.  The one between the Monitoring Group and Eritrea was on the wrong path because the experts had not been able to visit the country since February 2011.  “The text couldn’t be clearer on what Eritrea must do,” he said.  “Eritrea is master of its own destiny.”  It could either admit the Group and engage in a serious discussion on sanctions, or choose continued isolation.  It was to be hoped that Eritrea would choose the first course of action.  On the other hand, the Monitoring Group had built a strong relationship with the Federal Government of Somalia, he said, commending its progress on weapons management.  While progress in public financial management had been made, more was needed because it was essential that the Government ensure the trust of its people.

DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) expressed strong support for the text, which mandated that the Monitoring Group continue its work and reflected the Council’s understanding that the international response in the Horn of Africa must be comprehensive in order to be effective.  Somalia had transitioned from “State failure” to State building, which was why the United States supported language concerning stronger, more transparent legal frameworks.  The United States continued to support the commitment to eliminate funding for Al-Shabaab, including by renewing the interdiction of charcoal exports.

He went on to caution that without stronger legal frameworks and resource agreements, resources risked becoming a driver of conflict, adding that his delegation welcomed the importance that the Somali Government had placed on addressing such issues.  It had sought international support in relation to extensive illegal fishing in waters where it had jurisdiction, he noted, before going on to call upon all countries to cooperate with the Monitoring Group, and upon Eritrea to allow a visit by the Group.  Its refusal to engage must change before calls for the lifting of sanctions could be considered.

ELMI AHMED DUALE (Somalia) said the Federal Government had worked tirelessly over the last year to reduce threats to peace and security, and had shown its commitment to compliance with the Council’s resolutions.  In 1992, Somalia had faced civil unrest and later, during a nascent Transitional Government, had lacked federal and regional institutions and financial oversight mechanisms.  Today, by contrast, the country had functioning institutions, including the Board of Directors of the Central Bank and the Parliamentary Oversight Committees.

He said four legislative instruments relating to public finance management reform were pending before Parliament:  the audit bill; the public finance management bill; the public procurement, concession and disposal bill; and the anti-money laundering bill and counter-terrorist financing bill.  Moreover, three years into its Vision 2016, he continued, Somalia was revising its constitution and supporting the formation of three interim regional administrations.  The last one, for the Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, was proceeding soon, which would complete the federalized map of Somalia.  Just this week, the process to complete the third strand of statehood had begun, he said, adding that the National Consultation Forum aimed to facilitate a citizen-led State-building process.

On the security front, he drew attention to “sweeping” reforms that committed the Government to building a more integrated and accountable security sector.  An upcoming review would include a national threat assessment that would streamline roles, missions and resource allocations.  Also, Somalia had significantly improved its compliance with the requirements of weapons and ammunition management notification, reporting and control.  He reiterated that while Somalia did not agree with all the Monitoring Group’s findings, it would work with the Group during the next mandate and seek to strengthen their relationship further.  The Government would be pleased to welcome it on a more frequent basis.

GIRMA ASMEROM TESFAY (Eritrea) said the two justifications for imposing sanctions on his country were alleged support for Al-Shabaab in Somalia and the dispute with Djibouti.  The Monitoring Group had found no evidence of support for Al-Shabaab, whereas Eritrea and Djibouti had asked Qatar to mediate their dispute.  As the reasons for imposing sanctions were non-existent, the logical action for the Council should have been to lift them immediately and unconditionally, and to end Monitoring Group’s activities.  However, the Council had sadly decided to extend the sanctions for another year, he said, adding that sanctions affected the poor and restricted Eritrea’s ability to defend its sovereignty.

Referring to a press release from Eritrea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said the Council had, despite the objections of some of its members, opted to extend the sanctions under pressure from the United States and its usual allies, while invoking non-existent facts in its desire to punish Eritrea.  Meanwhile, Ethiopia continued to occupy parts of Eritrea in violation of Council resolutions, he said.  That country enjoyed the protection of the United States, adding that, in the short term, his country and the region would suffer the effects of unwarranted United Nations actions.  In the long term, however, international law as well as regional peace and security would be the victims.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2244 (2015) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous resolutions and statements of its President on the situation in Somalia and Eritrea, in particular resolutions 733 (1992), 1844 (2008), 1907 (2009), 2036 (2012), 2023 (2011), 2093 (2013), 2111 (2013), 2124 (2013), 2125 (2013), 2142 (2014), and 2182 (2014),

Taking note of the final reports of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (the SEMG) (on Somalia (S/2015801) and Eritrea (S/2015/802)) and their conclusions on the situations in both Somalia and Eritrea,

Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea respectively,

Condemning any flows of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia in violation of the arms embargo on Somalia and to Eritrea in violation of the arms embargo on Eritrea, as a serious threat to peace and stability in the region,

Expressing concern that Al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to the peace and stability of Somalia and the region,

Welcoming the improved relationship between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the SEMG, and underlining the importance of this relationship improving further and strengthening in the future,

Welcoming the efforts of the FGS to improve its notifications to the Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea (“the Committee”), and looking forward to further needed progress in the future, particularly in relation to post-delivery notifications, and recalling that improved arms and ammunition management in Somalia is a fundamental component of greater peace and stability for the region,

Underlining the importance of financial propriety in the run up to, and conduct of, elections in Somalia in 2016, and stressing the need for further efforts to fight corruption, promote transparency and increase mutual accountability in Somalia,

Expressing serious concern at reports of illegal fishing in waters where Somalia has jurisdiction, underlining the importance of refraining from illegal fishing, and encouraging the FGS, with the support of the international community, to ensure that fishing licenses are issued in a responsible manner and in line with the appropriate Somali legal framework,

Expressing serious concern at the increasing difficulties in delivering humanitarian aid in Somalia, condemning in the strongest terms any party obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as the misappropriation or diversion of any humanitarian funds,

Recalling that the FGS has the primary responsibility to protect its population, and recognising the FGS’ responsibility to build its own national security forces,

Taking note of the two videoconference meetings and three letters between the representative of the Government of Eritrea and the SEMG, expressing concern that the SEMG has not been able to visit Eritrea since 2011 and fully discharge its mandate urging the Government of Eritrea to deepen its cooperation with the SEMG, including through regular visits to Eritrea by the SEMG, and underlining that deepened cooperation will help the Security Council be better informed about Eritrea’s compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Taking note that during the course of its current and previous mandate the SEMG has not found any evidence that the Government of Eritrea is supporting
Al-Shabaab,

Expressing concern over reports by the SEMG of ongoing Eritrean support for certain regional armed groups, and encouraging the SEMG to provide further detailed reporting and evidence on this issue,

Underlining the importance it attaches to all Member States complying with the terms of the arms embargo imposed on Eritrea by resolution 1907 (2009),

Stressing its demand that Eritrea make available information, including to the SEMG, pertaining to the Djiboutian combatants missing in action since the clashes of 2008 so that those concerned may ascertain the presence and conditions of the Djiboutian prisoners of war, and expressing its hope that the mediation efforts of the State of Qatar helps lead to the resolution of this issue as well as the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea,

Determining that the situation in Somalia, as well as the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea, continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

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

“1.   Reaffirms the arms embargo on Somalia, imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and further elaborated upon in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) and modified by paragraphs 33 to 38 of resolution 2093 (2013) and paragraphs 4 to 17 of resolution 2111 (2013), paragraph 14 of resolution 2125 (2013), and paragraph 2 of resolution 2142 (2014) (hereafter referred to as “the arms embargo on Somalia”);

“2.   Decides to renew the provisions set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 2142 (2014) until 15 November 2016, and in that context reiterates that the arms embargo on Somalia shall not apply to deliveries of weapons, ammunition or military equipment or the provision of advice, assistance or training, intended solely for the development of the Security Forces of the FGS, to provide security for the Somali people, except in relation to deliveries of the items set out in the annex of resolution 2111 (2013);

“3.   Affirms that the entry into Somali ports for temporary visits of vessels carrying arms and related materiel for defensive purposes does not amount to a delivery of such items in violation of the arms embargo on Somalia, provided that such items remain at all times aboard such vessels;

“4.   Requests the Committee, within 90 days of adoption of this resolution, to publish an implementation assistance notice summarising the arms embargo restrictions in place for Somalia and Eritrea, as well as outlining exemptions to the arms embargo;

“5.   Reiterates that weapons or military equipment sold or supplied solely for the development of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia may not be resold to, transferred to, or made available for use by, any individual or entity not in the service of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, and underlines the responsibility of the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure the safe and effective management, storage and security of their stockpiles;

“6.   Welcomes in this regard the commencement, by the FGS, of a more rigorous weapons registration, recording and marking procedure, expresses concern at reports of continued weapons diversion from within the FGS, notes that further improved weapons management is vital in order to prevent the diversion of weapons, calls upon the FGS to conduct a baseline inventory of military equipment, arms and ammunition in the possession of the security forces of the FGS, assessed against their respective strength and needs, and urges Member States to support improved weapons and ammunition management and the establishment of a ‘Joint Verification Team’ to improve the capacity of the FGS to manage weapons and ammunition;

“7.   Requests the FGS to report to the Security Council by 15 April 2016 and then by 15 October 2016 in accordance with paragraph 9 of resolution 2182 (2014), and calls on the FGS to include more information in its reporting, including through the provision of full and accurate information on the structure, composition, strength and disposition of its security forces, including the status of regional and militia forces;

“8.   Recalls that the Federal Government of Somalia has the primary responsibility to notify the Committee, pursuant to paragraphs 3 to 8 of resolution 2142 (2014), welcomes the efforts of the FGS in improving its notifications to the Committee, and calls upon the FGS to improve the timeliness and content of notifications regarding the completion of deliveries, as set out in paragraph 6 or resolution 2142 (2014) and the destination unit upon distribution of imported arms and ammunition, as set out by paragraph 7 of resolution 2142 (2014);

“9.   Underlines the importance of Member States coordinating with the Office of the National Security Adviser of Somalia, which coordinates FGS reporting obligations to the Security Council pursuant to the notification procedures set out in paragraphs 3 to 7 of resolution 2142 (2014), and underlines the need for Member States to strictly follow the notification procedures for providing assistance to develop Somali security sector institutions;

“10.  Urges cooperation between AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA), as set out in paragraph 6 of resolution 2182 (2014), to document and register all military equipment captured as part of offensive operations or in the course of carrying out their mandates, involving other Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia as appropriate;

“11.  Calls upon the FGS to enhance civilian oversight of its security forces, in particular through investigation and prosecuting individuals responsible for violations of international humanitarian law, and in this context recalls the importance of the Secretary-General’s Human Rights and Due Diligence Policy in relation to the support provided by the UN to the Somali National Army;

“12.  Underlines the importance of timely and predictable payment of salaries to the Somali security forces and encourages the FGS to implement systems to improve the timeliness and accountability of payments to Somali security forces;

“13.  Further reaffirms the arms embargo on Eritrea imposed by paragraphs 5 and 6 of resolution 1907 (2009) (hereafter referred to as “the arms embargo on Eritrea”);

“14.  Expresses concern at the continued reports of corruption and diversion of public resources which pose a risk to state-building efforts, expresses serious concern at reports of financial impropriety involving members of the Federal Government, Regional Administrations and Federal Parliament, which pose a risk to state-building efforts, and in this context underlines that individuals engaged in acts which threaten the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia may be listed for targeted measures;

“15.  Welcomes the efforts which the FGS has made in order to improve its financial management procedures including engagement between the FGS and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and encourages prompt implementation of IMF-recommended reforms to support the commencement of a Staff Monitored Programme; the development of the Somali Financial Management Information System; and the forthcoming independent review of the Financial Governance Committee;

“16.  Reaffirms Somalia’s sovereignty over its natural resources;

“17.  Reiterates its serious concern that the petroleum sector in Somalia could be a driver for increased conflict, and in that context underlines the vital importance of the FGS putting in place, without undue delay, a resource-sharing arrangement and credible legal framework to ensure that the petroleum sector in Somalia does not become a source of increased tension;

“18.  Reaffirms the ban on the import and export of Somali charcoal, as set out in paragraph 22 of resolution 2036 (2012) (“the charcoal ban”), condemns the ongoing export of charcoal from Somalia, in violation of the total ban on the export of charcoal from Somalia, and reiterates that the Somali authorities shall take the necessary measures to prevent the export of charcoal from Somalia, and further reiterates its requests in paragraph 18 of resolution 2111 (2013), that AMISOM support and assist the Somali authorities in doing so, as part of AMISOM’s implementation of its mandate set out in paragraph 1 of resolution 2093;

“19.  Welcomes the efforts of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in their efforts to disrupt the export and import of charcoal to and from Somalia, and further welcomes the cooperation between the SEMG and CMF in keeping the Committee informed on the charcoal trade;

“20.  Expresses concern that the charcoal trade provides funding for
Al-Shabaab, and in that context reiterates paragraphs 11 to 21 of resolution 2182 (2014), and further decides to renew the provisions set out in paragraph 15 of resolution 2182 (2014) until 15 November 2016;

“21.  Encourages the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to continue its work, within its current mandate, under the Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime to bring together relevant Member States and international organisations to develop strategies to disrupt the trade in Somali charcoal;

“22.  Expresses serious concern at the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia, condemns in the strongest terms increased attacks against humanitarian actors and any misuse of donor assistance and the obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian aid, and reiterates paragraph 10 of resolution 2158 (2014) in this regard;

“23.  Decides that until 15 November 2016 and without prejudice to humanitarian assistance programmes conducted elsewhere, the measures imposed by paragraph 3 of resolution 1844 (2008) shall not apply to the payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources necessary to ensure the timely delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Somalia, by the United Nations, its specialized agencies or programmes, humanitarian organizations having observer status with the United Nations General Assembly that provide humanitarian assistance, and their implementing partners including bilaterally or multilaterally funded NGOs participating in the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia;

“24.  Requests the Emergency Relief Coordinator to report to the Security Council by 15 October 2016 on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia and on any impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia, and requests relevant United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations having observer status with the United Nations General Assembly and their implementing partners that provide humanitarian assistance in Somalia to increase their cooperation and willingness to share information with the United Nations;

“25.  Welcomes the SEMG’s ongoing and significant efforts to engage with the Government of Eritrea, in that context recalls the two meetings by video conference between the Representative of the Government of Eritrea and the SEMG, reiterates its expectation that the Government of Eritrea will facilitate the entry of the SEMG to Eritrea, to discharge fully its mandate, in line with its repeated requests, including in paragraph 52 of resolution 2182 (2014); and underlines that deepened cooperation will help the Security Council be better informed about Eritrea’s compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions;

“26.  Calls on Eritrea to cooperate with the SEMG, including on public finance issues, in accordance with the SEMG’s mandate, in order to demonstrate that Eritrea is not violating the terms of relevant Security Council resolutions;

“27.  Urges the Government of Eritrea to allow access or provide information, including to the SEMG, on the Djiboutian prisoners of war missing in action since the clashes of 10 to 12 June 2008, and expresses its hope that the mediation efforts led by the State of Qatar helps lead to the resolution of this issue and the dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti;

“28.  Recalls resolution 1844 (2008) which imposed targeted sanctions and resolutions 2002 (2011) and 2093 (2013) which expanded the listing criteria, and notes one of the listing criteria under resolution 1844 (2008) is engaging in acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia;

“29.  Reiterates its willingness to adopt targeted measures against individuals and entities on the basis of the above mentioned criteria;

“30.  Requests Member States to assist the Monitoring Group in their investigations, and reiterates that obstructing the investigations or work of the Monitoring Group is a criterion for listing under paragraph 15 (e) of resolution 1907 (2009);

“31.  Decides to extend until 15 December 2016 the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group as set out in paragraph 13 of resolution 2060 (2012) and updated in paragraph 41 of resolution 2093 (2013), expresses its intention to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding the further extension no later than 15 November 2016, and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures as expeditiously as possible to re-establish the Monitoring Group, in consultation with the Committee, until 15 December 2016, drawing, as appropriate, on the expertise of the members of the Monitoring Group established pursuant to previous resolutions;

“32.  Requests the Monitoring Group to provide monthly updates to the Committee, and a comprehensive midterm update, as well as to submit, for the Security Council’s consideration, through the Committee, two final reports; one focusing on Somalia, the other on Eritrea by 15 October 2016, covering all the tasks set out in paragraph 13 of resolution 2060 (2012) and updated in paragraph 41 of resolution 2093 (2013) and paragraph 15 of resolution 2182 (2014);

“33.  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 contained in the reports of the Monitoring Group and recommend to the Council ways to improve the implementation of and compliance with the Somalia and Eritrea arms embargoes, the measures regarding the import and export of charcoal from Somalia, as well as implementation of the measures imposed by paragraphs 1, 3 and 7 of resolutions 1844 (2008) and paragraphs 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 13 of resolution 1907 (2009) in response to continuing violations;

“34.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.