SC / 14703


Country’s significant contribution is not reflected in text, says key representative, reiterating call for sanctions to be lifted

To enforce the arms embargo against Somalia, the Security Council today decided to re-authorize the maritime ban on illicit arms imports and charcoal exports, while also renewing the Group’s mandate. experts on Somalia.

Adopting resolution 2607 (2021) (to be issued as S / RES / 2607 (2021)) by a vote of 13 for, zero against, with 2 abstentions (China and Russian Federation), the 15-member Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, renewed and extended the provisions set out in paragraph 15 of resolution 2182 (2014) until 15 November 2022. In doing so, it authorized Member States to inspect ships in Somali territorial waters and on the high seas extending to and including the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf that they had “reasonable grounds” to believe were carrying charcoal or weapons or military equipment, including components of improvised explosive devices.

However, the resolution also notes that the arms embargo does not apply to arms, military equipment, technical advice, financial and other assistance and training related to military activities intended only for development. Somali national security forces. The exemption is also extended, inter alia, to United Nations and African Union missions in Somalia as well as to States or to international, regional and sub-regional organizations taking measures to suppress acts of piracy and theft. armed robbery off the Somali coast.

Through the other provisions of the text, the Council, reiterating that the terrorist and other activities of Al-Shabaab have a destabilizing impact in Somalia and in the region, underlined the need to target the finances of the group, to improve the knowledge of the maritime domain, to prevent the generation of illicit income, including from the sale of charcoal, and to reduce the threat posed by improvised explosive devices.

On statebuilding and peacebuilding, Council called on the federal government, in coordination with federal member states, to accelerate the implementation of the National Security Architecture and the Transition Plan for Somalia. In addition, the Council called on the international community to provide additional and coordinated support to help the federal government and federal member states continue to develop their arms and ammunition management capacities, with particular emphasis on training. , storage, infrastructure support and distribution, assistance and capacity building.

As for the mandate of the Expert Group on Somalia, which was renewed until December 15, 2022, the Council asked the experts to include gender as a cross-cutting issue in its surveys and reports.

The Council also requested the Secretary-General to take stock, no later than July 31, 2022, on any new development towards the normalization of relations between Eritrea and Djibouti.

The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking after the adoption, noted her delegation’s abstention and regretted that the Council could not reach consensus while it was at hand. Moscow could not agree on maintaining a provision regarding Djibouti and Eritrea because sanctions against the latter were lifted in 2018. Their current relationship does not constitute a threat to international peace and security and their outstanding issues can be resolved through bilateral diplomacy, she said. The provision is obsolete and has nothing to do with the Somali sanctions regime; the retention of this provision in the text is intended to serve the bilateral interests of certain members of the Council or to put pressure on the country they do not like. In addition, her delegation could not agree on the wording of operative paragraph 38, which obliges the Group of Experts to advance gender issues throughout its mandate without taking into account the specificity of the country, she said, adding that such action is artificial and politicized.

The Chinese delegate stressed that Somalia has made considerable progress towards national reconstruction. The government has updated its transition plan, demonstrating its ability to independently take responsibility for security and take charge of its own destiny. Based on the country’s request, the Council is expected to modify the arms embargo so that the Federal Government can strengthen its security capacity and restore state authority. It is unfortunate that the resolution does not contain enough settings. On the other hand, the resolution added new mandates against the general orientation towards the lifting of sanctions. He did not respond to concerns about a financial information leak that posed security risks for some staff and institutions. China had no choice but to abstain, he said.

The representative of Somalia also noted that he regretted that, for the third year in a row, the important contribution of his delegation had not been taken into account. He officially called for the lifting of the sanctions that had been imposed on his country in 1992. This arms embargo is one of the oldest embargoes with the broadest mandate, he observed. “Sanctions are a tool but not an end in themselves,” he added, stressing that they should be directed against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

The annual adoption of the sanctions regime over the past three decades should not be a monumental event, he continued, urging Council members to be guided by compelling evidence, not by intuition or the emotions. The implementation of sanctions must be regularly evaluated and modified to defeat Al-Shabaab, he stressed, calling for the complete lifting of the regime. Evidence-based reports are the best practice for amending the UN embargo, he added, citing a questionable level of expertise in the reports provided. He urged serious reflection on establishing confidentiality and a recourse mechanism within the Panel of Experts to address leaks and unwarranted allegations.