9071st Meeting (PM)

Somalia’s Successful Presidential Elections Present Renewed Chances to Collaborate with Government, Chair of 751 Committee Tells Security Council

Members of the Security Council’s committee on the sanctions regime for Somalia are of the view that the successful conclusion of presidential elections presents a renewed opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with that country’s Government on important issues which fall under that committee’s remit, the Chair of the subsidiary body told the Council today.

Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia, briefed the Council on the Committee’s work from 25 February to 21 June, noting that it met twice over that period.

She reported that on 27 May, the Committee were briefed, in closed video-teleconference format, by Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, who updated the Committee on the trends and patterns of grave violations against children in Somalia and presented recommendations.  

On 3 June, she continued, the Committee met in informal consultations to receive a presentation from the Panel of Experts on Somalia on its midterm update, covering matters relating to the arms embargo, Al-Shabaab finances, humanitarian issues and a case of charcoal export involving the vessel MV Fox.

She went on to note that the Committee is currently considering recommendations presented in the Panel’s midterm update, also detailing the subsidiary organ’s communication with Member States on various matters during the reporting period and summarizing statistics relating to arms-embargo exemption requests and notifications.  

On that subject, she pointed out that the Committee received the Somali Government’s first biannual report pursuant to resolution 2607 (2021) and — with the Panel’s assistance — updated its guidance for Member States on the procedure for submitting approval requests and notifications and on ensuring the implementation of restrictions on improvised-explosive-device components.  She added that the Committee also received a thematic report from the Panel, informing it of a list of individuals of interest to the Panel who may meet the sanctions-designation criteria.

Following the briefing, Harold Adlai Agyeman of Ghana welcomed the election of Somalia’s new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and the formation of a Government.  “These are indeed twin ingredients that are needed to engender economic and judicial reforms that will bring freedom and prosperity to Somalia,” he said.  However, he voiced concern regarding the security situation and deadly attacks — mostly attributable to Al-Shabaab — especially during the period leading to the presidential elections that resulted in over 17,000 persons fleeing their homes in Somalia’s South-West State.  

Also of great concern were the recent attacks against peacekeeping troops, he said.  In addition, there have been multiple violations involving over 2,600 children and 50 cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence by Al-Shabaab and Federal Government Forces, as well as by clan militia and regional forces.  He emphasized the need for cooperation and unified action within the Council, which is crucial for ensuring strict compliance with all sanctions measures and for sustained pressure on all parties to end and prevent all grave violations against children.

Michel Xavier Biang of Gabon said that an inclusive federal Government with the full and meaningful participation of women will help advance the country’s priorities and facilitate the help of the international community in the transition process.  Moreover, protection of the civilian population, including the protection and promotion of children’s rights, should be at the heart of the peace process in Somalia.

He voiced his support for the federal Somali Government and partners to deploy various efforts to “dry up” Al-Shabaab’s funding through seizures of money essential for the group’s activities.  However, those efforts will only be effective with information-sharing and genuine cooperation between the Somali Government, neighbouring Governments and international partners, in coordination with the Panel of Experts, he said.

The meeting began at 3:29 p.m. and ended at 3:47 p.m.

For information media. Not an official record.