July 2013 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 June 2013
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AFRICA

Somalia

Expected Council Action

In July, the Council will likely renew the mandate of the Monitoring Group of the 751/1907 Sanctions Committee concerning Eritrea and Somalia (it expires on 25 August). The Council will also receive the final reports on Eritrea and Somalia from the Monitoring Group and a 120-day briefing from the chair of the 751/1907 Sanctions Committee. The report from the Emergency Relief Coordinator on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia is due on 22 July. 

Key Recent Developments

The security situation in Somalia took a dramatic turn for the worse in June. On 19 June, Al Shabaab attacked a UN compound in Mogadishu, resulting in at least 20 deaths including five civilians, four Somali security guards, three foreign contractors, one UN international staff member and seven Al Shabaab militants. Government and AMISOM troops secured the compound within an hour of the attack. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility, posting on Twitter during the attack: “The UN, a merchant of death & a satanic force of evil, has a long inglorious record of spreading nothing but poverty, dependency & disbelief”. The Council issued a press statement condemning the attack and reiterating its resolve to support Somalia’s transition to peace and stability (SC/11039).

The Council last received a 120-day briefing from Ambassador Kim Sook (Korea), chair of the 751/1907 Sanctions Committee, in consultations on 12 March. The briefing covered the work of the Committee as well as the semi-annual reports of the Monitoring Group, which highlighted regional and international networks of the Al Shabaab insurgency, chronic governmental corruption and weaknesses in the enforcement of sanctions on charcoal exports.

On 3 June, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) officially deployed for an initial period of one year, as specified in resolution 2102 of 2 May. Unlike its predecessor—the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), which was principally based in Nairobi—UNSOM staff will be located in Mogadishu, Hargeisia and Garowe. A further expansion of UNSOM’s field presence to Baidoa, Beletdweyne and Kismayo among other cities is anticipated as political and security conditions permit. The deployment of UNSOM has a particular significance both in terms of the Council’s intent and Somali public perception, considering the relative lack of UN staff based in the country since the departure of UN peacekeepers in March 1995.

On 6 June, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson briefed the Council on the report of the Secretary-General released 31 May (S/2013/326) and other recent developments in Somalia (S/PV.6975). Somali Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Adan and Ambassador Tekeda Alemu (Ethiopia) also addressed the Council, the latter speaking on behalf of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). After the briefing, the Council adopted a presidential statement welcoming the international conference on Somalia held in London on 7 May and the deployment of UNSOM (S/PRST/2013/7).

 Following conflicting claims on 15 May to the presidency of the self-declared state of Jubaland, whose formation remains unrecognised by the federal government, fighting erupted on 7 June among rival clans in the economically significant port city of Kismayo, leaving at least 18 dead after two days of clashes. On 13 June, Assistant Secretary-General Tayé-Brook Zerihoun briefed Council members in consultations under “any other business” regarding the situation in the Juba regions of Somalia. After the briefing by Zerihoun, the Council issued a press statement (SC/11032) welcoming the commitment of the federal government to take the lead in reconciliation and supporting the offer of assistance made by IGAD in its communiqué of 24 May.

 On 13 June, the Chairperson of the AU Commission released a report addressing several issues raised by resolution 2093 of 6 March. The report is highly critical of the current support package provided by the UN for the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM): low budgetary allocations; slow logistics; poor equipment servicing; and insufficient armoured personnel carriers and helicopters for the geography of operations. The report also suggests AMISOM is inadequately staffed and resourced to assume guard force tasks on the scale required by UNSOM. The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) then issued a communiqué on 13 June calling for: additional force multipliers and enablers; logistical support for the Somali National Security Forces; dedicated funds for training and capacity-building; and a re-evaluation of the guard force.

At press time, Hassan Dahir Aweys, one of Al Shabaab’s senior leaders, is reported to have surrendered to the government of Somalia.  Aweys is currently subject to an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo under the Somalia sanctions regime. 

The previous report from the Emergency Relief Coordinator was transmitted to the Council on 19 November 2012 (S/2012/856). The report noted problems with insecurity and “gatekeepers” but suggested that the diversion and misuse of humanitarian aid has decreased. 

Key Issues

In July, while watching the overall situation, the Council will be principally concerned with issues directly related to the sanctions regime, including:

  • the influence the partial lifting of the arms embargo has had on the dynamics of the conflict;
  • the effect the charcoal export ban has had on Al Shabaab finances;
  • the effect the travel ban and asset freeze have had on the insurgency; and
  • whether the sanctions have been effective, and options to improve implementation.       
Options

One option for the Council is to renew the mandate of the Monitoring Group for one year without any substantive revisions to the Somalia sanctions regime.

Another option would be to strengthen the Monitoring Group by increasing the number of arms experts. (Resolution 2093 gives the Monitoring Group responsibility for assessing the government’s infrastructure and procedures for storage, registration, maintenance and distribution of weapons, as well as monitoring the misappropriation or sale of weapons to other groups.)

In order to improve analysis and implementation of the charcoal export ban, a further option for the Council could be to consider the addition of an expert on conflict commodities to the Monitoring Group.

Another option could be increasing AMISOM’s authorisation by at least 1,000 troops, as suggested in the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, in order to provide an adequate guard force in all four sectors.

Council and Wider Dynamics

At present, the Council appears to be united on Somalia policymaking, particularly in comparison to when contentious issues such as structural integration and a partial lifting of the arms embargo had not yet been decided. This was evident in the Council quickly reaching consensus during negotiation of the presidential statement adopted 6 June and press statements issued on 13 and 19 June.

The difficult security situation in Somalia has significant implications for the UN’s relations and interaction with the government, Somali civil society and its own staff. Practical assistance with peacebuilding and statebuilding will require frequent interaction between government officials and UN staff, but even in Mogadishu the security conditions do not yet exist for the free movement of civilian personnel. After the 19 June attack on the UN compound, the UN Staff Union urged the Secretary-General to take additional security measures prior to increasing the size of UNSOM. However, the more substantial and restrictive these changes are, the more difficult it will be to interact with the government and civil society and the UN could ultimately run the risk of renewed accusations regarding a “bunker mentality”.

As evidenced by the content of the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the communiqué of the AU PSC issued on 13 June, relations between the AU and the UN are increasingly tenuous concerning Somalia. At a basic level, the core issue seems to be institutional contestation over who will bear the cost—both financial and human—for the war against Al Shabaab. At a deeper level, current disagreements reflect long-standing tensions and ambiguity regarding decision-making authority, the division of labour and financing obligations.

Conflicting positions regarding the implementation of a federal system also pose significant difficulties. Resolution of the worsening situation in the Juba regions will be critical for the central government, particularly because it has clear implications for relations between the core and periphery in other contexts. If Mogadishu concedes too much autonomy to local actors in the self-declared state of Jubaland, then it may never attain control over the regional state-formation process. On the other hand, if the central government either fails to facilitate reconciliation or attempts to impose what is perceived as an inequitable solution, then a negative precedent will have been set for future negotiations with Puntland and Somaliland.

There are also important regional inter-state dynamics. IGAD has offered to assist the government with mediation of the conflict in the Juba regions. However, the situation is potentially complicated by rival claimants to the “presidency” of the unrecognised state each having external backers: Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, has been aligned with Kenya, while Barre Hirale, a former defence minister, is widely perceived to be tacitly supported by the central government of Somalia. Kenya may see an allied administration in the Juba regions as a buffer against Al Shabaab and part of its exit strategy from AMISOM. The government of Somalia cannot afford to lose AMISOM’s Kenyan contingent, but it is also unwilling to cede control over Kismayo.

The UK is the penholder on Somalia, and the Republic of Korea is the chair of the Sanctions Committee on Somalia and Eritrea.

 UN DOCUMENTS ON SOMALIA
Security Council Resolutions
2 May 2013 S/RES/2102 This resolution created UNSOM and authorised its deployment for one year as of 3 June 2013.
6 March 2013 S/RES/2093 This resolution authorised AMISOM deployment until 28 February 2014 and partially lifted the arms embargo on Somalia.
25 July 2012 S/RES/2060 This resolution extended the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea for 13 months, as well as the humanitarian exemption to the Somalia sanctions regime for 12 months.
Security Council Presidential Statements
6 June 2013 S/PRST/2013/7 This presidential statement expressed support for the deployment of UNSOM and addressed other recent developments in Somalia.
Secretary-General’s Reports
31 May 2013 S/2013/326 The most recent report of the Secretary-General on Somalia.
Security Council Meeting Records
6 June 2013 S/PV.6975 This was a briefing on Somalia by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.
2 May 2013 S/PV.6959 This meeting concerned the creation and authorisation of UNSOM.
Security Council Press Statements
19 June 2013 SC/11039 This press statement condemned the attack by Al Shabaab on the UN Development Programme compound in Mogadishu.
13 June 2013 SC/11032 This press statement concerned the situation in the Juba regions of Somalia.
Sanctions Committee Documents
19 November 2012 S/2012/856 This letter contained the report of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
11 July 2012 S/2012/545 This letter contained the final report on Eritrea of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.
11 July 2012 S/2012/544 The final report on Somalia of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.

 

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Nicholas Kay (UK)

Special Representative of the AU and Head of AMISOM

Mahamat Saleh Annadif (Chad)

Size and Composition of AMISOM

Authorised strength: 17,731 total uniformed personnel. The main contingents are from Uganda (6,223 troops), Burundi (5,432 troops), Kenya (4,040 troops*), Djibouti (999 troops) and Sierra Leone (850 troops), with 490 police from eight countries.

*A Kenyan battalion is in the process of withdrawal; the number is approximate.

USEFUL ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Communiqué of the 379th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council, http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/psc-379-com-somalia-13-06-2013-3-2-.pdf.

Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Situation in Somalia, http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/psc-report-somalia-13-06-2013.pdf.

Communique of the 22nd IGAD Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State, http://www.igad.int/attachments/620_Communique%20of%20the%2022nd%20IGAD%20extra-ordinary%20Summit.pdf