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Security Council Adopts Resolution Extending Arms Embargoes Imposed on Somalia

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 resolution2244(2015) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter by a vote of 14in favour and 1abstention (Venezuela) the Council also extended the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group until 15December 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 12June 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.

RAFAEL DARO RAMREZ CARREO (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 imitation van cleef turquoise earrings not be used to punish countries and hurt their people. They were only helpful in bringing about political solutions. The resolution's operative paragraph7 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 imitation alhambra van cleef earrings 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 imitation van earrings 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.

"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,

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