Briefing Security Council, Chair of Somalia’s Sanctions Regime Committee Details Need for Proceedings’ Confidentiality, Recommendations on Humanitarian Matters
Country Representative Requests Full Lifting of Arms Embargo, Highlighting Growing Disconnect between Sanctions’ Regime, Situation on Ground
Briefing the Security Council today, the Chair of the committee concerning the sanctions regime for Somalia gave an overview of its activities, including concerns regarding the confidentiality of its proceedings and follow-up actions on the Panel of Expert’s recommendations on humanitarian matters.
Ishikane Kimihiro (Japan), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992), reporting on the Committee’s work from 28 February to 15 June, said that during its second informal consultations of the year, the Committee received the Panel of Experts on Somalia’s midterm update, covering, among other things, acts by al-Shabaab and other actors that threaten the peace, security and stability of Somalia; the Government’s efforts to degrade al-Shabaab; implementation of the arms embargo, including an update on the Government’s weapons and ammunition management initiatives; and the implementation of the ban on charcoal.
The Committee also received a thematic report on the conflict in Las Anod from the Panel, he continued. However, he also noted that some media outlets released extracts or alleged extracts from this report, stressing that such actions have not helped the Committee or the Panel’s work. He reiterated the need to maintain confidentiality of Committee proceedings, as the release of information could, in some cases, impact the Experts’ safety and security.
He also reported that on 26 May, the Committee placed Abdullahi Osman Mohamed Caddow, also known as Engineer Ismail on its sanctions list. An al-Shabaab senior explosives expert responsible for managing the group’s explosives operations and manufacturing, Mr. Caddow is now subject to the targeted arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze.
Turning to the ban on charcoal, the Committee recently received another letter from the Government of Somalia regarding the disposal of existing charcoal stockpiles, he said. On 18 May, the Committee also updated its implementation assistance notice No.1, which contains recommendations on procedures and notification requirements related to the inspection of vessels suspected of carrying charcoal from Somalia, and/or the seizure of charcoal suspected to originate in Somalia, by Member States.
Lastly, on 23 March, he said that the Committee agreed on follow-up actions relating to four recommendations in the Panel of Experts’ thematic report on humanitarian matters. The Panel submitted this information in its previous mandate under resolution 2607 (2021). One recommendation, for the Council’s consideration, is to mandate the Panel of Experts to monitor and report on the unintended humanitarian consequences of the sanctions regime.
He also said that a second recommendation of the Panel requests the Emergency Relief Coordinator to report on impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, the provision of services, the safety of humanitarian workers and access to areas and people in need. This would focus specifically on areas controlled by al-Shabaab. The Committee hopes that a humanitarian expert will soon be able to join the Panel and provide its fully authorized strength of six experts, he noted.
Following the briefing, Abukar Dahir Osman of Somalia, requesting the full lifting of the arms embargo, pointed out that there appears to be a growing disconnect between the sanctions regime and the situation on the ground, particularly around the Government’s fight against the terrorist group, al-Khawarij. Sanctions should target those posing a threat to peace and security in the country, while supporting the Government’s robust security policies.
Mr. Osman voiced concern about the MV Fox case and reported sale of confiscated Somali charcoal by Omani authorities, adding that the distribution of the proceeds of a resale to his Government will ensure their return to the original owner, in line with relevant Council resolutions.
Welcoming the recent Council press statement on the conflict in Laascanood in the country’s northern region, he said President [Hassan Sheikh Mohamud] has invited the SSC-Khaatumo elders in Mogadishu and sent a delegation to Hargeisa to pave the way for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of forces from Laascanood. Humanitarian assistance is being provided to displaced people and he called for scaling up assistance and removing barriers. In addition, the Somali Government is pursuing inter- and intra-clan reconciliation at all levels,
Turning to proposed designations, he said he looked forward to working with Council members on listing individuals, groups and supporters under the 751 Committee, underscoring that the Council must hold accountable those undermining peace and security in Somalia.
Finally, he stressed that the Somali Security Forces should receive adequate military enablers and logistical support, reiterating that Council sanctions are not conducive to its mandate of protecting the population and Somalia’s territorial integrity. Nonetheless, he said his country is prepared to assume full security responsibility from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in 2024.
The meeting began at 10:21 a.m. and ended at 10:32 a.m.