Security Council Renews Sanctions Regime, Arms Embargo against Al-Shabaab, Adopting Resolution 2713 (2023) with 14 Votes in Favour, 1 Abstention
To degrade the threat posed by Al-Shabaab to Somalia and the region, the Security Council decided today to renew the sanctions regime and arms embargo against that terrorist group.
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council adopted resolution 2713 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2713(2023)) by a vote of 14 votes in favour to none against, with one abstention (France), and in so doing decided that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent all deliveries of weapons, ammunition and military equipment to Somalia, including prohibiting the financing of all acquisitions and deliveries of weapons, ammunition and military equipment.
It further decided that these measures shall not apply to deliveries or supplies to the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army, the National Intelligence and Security Agency, the Somali National Police Force or the Somali Custodial Corps.
By the terms of the text, the 15-member organ also renewed the provisions set out in paragraphs 15 and 17 of resolution 2182 (2014), and expanded by paragraph 5 of resolution 2607 (2021), to cover improvised explosive device components until 15 December 2024 and, in so doing, reauthorized Member States’ maritime interdiction of illicit charcoal exports from, and weapons or military equipment imports to, the country as well as improvised explosive device components.
By the text’s other provisions, the Council renewed until 15 January 2025 the mandate of the Panel of Experts, whose tasks shall include those referred to in paragraph 11 of resolution 2444 (2018) and paragraphs 5, 11 and 17 of today’s resolution, and which shall henceforth be known as the Panel of Experts pursuant to resolution 2713 (2023).
Moreover, the 15-member organ decided that future briefings from the Chair of the Committee to the Security Council shall take place annually to align with the latest scheduled meeting on Somalia before 15 December 2024 and that, henceforth, the Committee shall cease being described as “pursuant to resolution 751 (1992)” and instead be described as “pursuant to resolution 2713 (2023)”.
James Kariuki (United Kingdom), speaking before the vote, said his delegation worked closely with Somalia in preparing the two draft resolutions related to it, which together impose strong sanctions, including an arms embargo on Al-Shabaab, and lift the legacy arms embargo on Somalia. The texts represent compromises for many delegations, he said, expressing gratitude for their support. (For the Council’s adoption of the resolution lifting the arms embargo, see Press Release SC/15511.)
Speaking after the adoption, Nicolas de Rivière (France) expressed unequivocal support for the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia. While he welcomed the just-adopted resolution renewing the sanctions regime and arms embargo against Al-Shabaab, he had abstained because references to the territorial disputes between Djibouti and Eritrea are lacking in the resolution. References to that dispute in prior Council resolutions on the Al-Shabaab sanctions regime allowed the attention of the Council and the international community to be maintained, he said, adding: “We must not give the impression that this Council is less interested or losing interest in the situation, which still constitutes a threat to peace and security.”
Anna M. Evstigneeva (Russian Federation), noting her delegation’s support for the resolution, expressed hope that the measures therein will help Mogadishu to overcome its many-year-long difficulties and to combat that group.
Robert A. Wood (United States) said the renewal of the arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze measures will ensure that the Panel’s oversight and reporting will continue to inform the Al-Shabaab Sanctions Committee and the Council. All Member States must implement existing sanction measures to help curb Al-Shabaab's ability to access funds, weapons and other support they need to carry out attacks and support Somalia’s security and police institutions. Voicing disappointment by the omission of “Djibouti and Eritrea language”, he said his country remains committed to working constructively with all parties to support the normalization of relations between those two countries.