Arms Embargo

I. Relevant paragraphs of Security Council resolutions and Committee Guidelines

The exemptions from the arms embargo on Somalia are provided for by the following:

  • Security Council Resolution 2444 (2018): paragraphs 14-16
  • Security Council Resolution 2385 (2017): paragraphs 2 to 4
  • Security Council Resolution 2142 (2014): paragraphs 2 to 9
  • Security Council Resolution 2111 (2013): paragraphs 6 to 11
  • Committee Guidelines: Section 10

II. Who is entitled to submit the arms embargo exemption requests or notifications?

Only Member States (usually through their Permanent Missions to the United Nations) and international, regional or subregional organizations can submit arms embargo exemption requests or notifications.

III. What type of arms embargo exemptions are currently in force?

There are four types of arms embargo exemptions:

  • for the Committee’s consideration;
  • for the development of Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia;
  • for the Committee’s information;
  • standing exemptions;

1. Arms embargo exemptions for the Committee’s consideration

a) Pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 2111 (2013), supplies of items contained in the annex of resolution 2111 (2013) to the Federal Government of Somalia are to be submitted for Committee’s consideration, in advance and on a case-by-case basis. Such requests must contain the following information:

  1. The type and technical specification of weapons, ammunitions, military equipment and material to be delivered;
  2. The means of transport to be used for the supply of the equipment;
  3. The proposed date of delivery;
  4. The specific place of delivery in Somalia.

b) Pursuant to paragraph 11 (a) of resolution 2111 (2013), and as further clarified in the Committee’s Guidelines and its Implementation Assistance Notice No.2, supplies of weapons or military equipment and technical assistance solely for the purposes of helping develop Somali security sector institutions other than the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia are to be submitted for Committee’s consideration, in advance. Such notifications must contain the following information:

  1. The type and technical specification of the equipment and/or technical assistance and training;
  2. The intended recipient and end-user of the equipment and/or of the technical assistance and training;
  3. The means of transport to be used for the supply of the equipment;
  4. The port of entry into Somalia.

2. Arms embargo exemptions for the development of Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia (advance notifications for the Committee’s information)

a) Pursuant to paragraph 14 of resolution 2444 (2018), notifications of 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 Federal Government of Somalia (except in relation to deliveries of the items set out in the annex of resolution 2111 (2013)) are to be submitted for Committee’s information, at least five days in advance.

Please Note that the Federal Government of Somalia has the primary responsibility to submit such notifications and that, in the alternative, the Member State, international, regional or subregional organization delivering assistance may also submit such notifications. Notifications must contain the following information:

  1. Details of the manufacturer and supplier of the arms and ammunition;
  2. A description of the arms and ammunition to be delivered, including the type, calibre and quantity;
  3. The proposed date of delivery;
  4. The specific place of delivery;
  5. All relevant information concerning the intended destination unit in the Somali National Security Forces, or the intended place of storage.

b) Pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2142 (2014), the Federal Government of Somalia must, no later than 30 days after the delivery of arms or ammunition, submit to the Committee a written confirmation of the completion of deliveries, notified pursuant to paragraph 3 of resolution 2142 (2013), including:

  1. The serial numbers for the arms and ammunition delivered;
  2. Shipping information, bill of lading, cargo manifests or packing lists;
  3. The specific place of storage.

Please Note that the supplying Member State, international, regional or subregional organization is encouraged to submit this information as well, in cooperation with the Federal Government of Somalia.

c) Pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 2444 (2018), the Federal Government of Somalia shall incorporate the notifications regarding the destination unit in the Somali National Security Forces upon distribution of imported arms and ammunition, detailed in paragraph 7 of resolution 2142 (2014), into the regular FGS reporting to the Security Council requested in paragraph 20 of resolution 2444 (2018).

3. Arms embargo exemptions for the Committee’s information

Pursuant to paragraph 10 (g) of resolution 2111 (2013), supplies of non-lethal equipment intended solely for humanitarian and protective use are to be submitted for Committee’s information. Such notifications must contain the following information:

  1. The type and technical specification of the equipment;
  2. The intended recipient and end-user of the equipment;
  3. The humanitarian or protective use to which it will be put;
  4. The means of transport to be used for the supply of the equipment;
  5. The port of entry into Somalia;

Please Note that where a request or a notification does not contain all the information, the Chair of the Committee may seek further information from the Member State, international, regional or subregional organizations that submitted the request or the notification.

4. Standing Arms Embargo exemptions

Pursuant to paragraph 10 of resolution 2111 (2013), the following materials and recipients are exempt from the arms embargo. As such, no request or notification needs to be submitted to the Committee for its consideration or information.

a) Supplies of weapons or military equipment or the provision of assistance, intended solely for the support of or use by United Nations personnel, including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM);

b) Supplies of weapons and military equipment, technical training and assistance intended solely for the support of or use by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM);

c) Supplies of weapons or military equipment or the provision of assistance intended solely for the support of, or use by, AMISOM’s strategic partners, operating solely under the African Union Strategic Concept of 5 January 2012 (or subsequent AU strategic concepts), and in cooperation and coordination with AMISOM;

d) Supplies of weapons and military equipment, technical training and assistance intended solely for the support of or use by the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia;

e) Supplies of weapons and military equipment destined for the sole use of Member States or international, regional and subregional organizations undertaking measures to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, upon the request of the Federal Government of Somalia for which it has notified the Secretary-General, and provided that any measures undertaken shall be consistent with applicable international humanitarian and human rights law;

f) Supplies of protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to Somalia by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel for their personal use only.

IV. How to make the request for exemptions from the general arms embargo?

Please address requests/notifications in connection with arms embargo exemptions to:

  • The Chair of the Committee, His Excellency Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, through the Permanent Mission of Belgium to the United Nations

With copies to:

V. Decision-making of the Committee

The Chair will inform in writing the Member States (usually through their Permanent Missions to the United Nations), international, regional or subregional organizations of the decision of the Committee regarding its consideration of exemption requests.