July 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 June 2006
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Update on Sanctions Committees

In the month ahead, Council sanctions committees are expected to make progress on some of the recommendations of their expert panels, including: 

  • the Somalia Monitoring Group, which issued a  report on 4 May 2006;
  • the Sudan Panel of Experts, which issued a report on 19 April 2006;
  • the Al-Qaida/Taliban 1267 Sanctions Committee, which is due to send the Monitoring Team its report before the end of July; and
  • the Democratic Republic of Congo Group of Experts, whose final report to the Council is due before 10 July. Both the sanctions measures and the term of the Group of Experts are expected to be renewed.

Somalia Sanctions Committee
In the light of recent developments in Somalia, the Sanctions Committee’s work is likely to be the focus of much greater interest than usual.

The conclusions contained in the Somalia sanctions Monitoring Group’s last report to the committee posed a number of challenges, both for the committee and the Council. The Group noted that the arms embargo violations comprised a number of different types and forms, including arms and ammunition, military advice and training, military materiel and equipment, and financial support. 

Furthermore, the Group noted that a widening circle of states are providing arms and military-related support to Somalia in violation of the arms embargo. It identified specifically Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It also reported that groups, individuals, including dissident ministers of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, local warlords, and members of the private sector operating within and outside of Somalia are involved in providing financing and other support in violation of the arms embargo.  The Group also identified Kenya as the one country in the region that has failed to cooperate with it.

The Council has yet to react to these findings. The Group has recommended an “integrated arms embargo” that would serve to reduce the funds available to certain sanctions violators.  The concept of an integrated arms embargo involves:

  • reaffirming and sustaining the arms embargo on Somalia, pursuant to resolution 733, paragraph 5;
  • implementing a trade embargo on the export of charcoal originating in Somalia; and
  • implementing a ban on foreign vessels fishing in Somali waters and a trade embargo on the export of fish taken in Somali waters.

The future activities of the Monitoring Group seem likely to include continuing to refine and update the information on the draft list of individuals and entities that violate the measures specified by resolution 733, as the Council requested in paragraph 3(d) of resolution 1630.  The Group has recommended that the Council consider applying targeted sanctions in the form of asset freezes and travel bans on the individuals and entities already identified in the draft list.

Sudan Sanctions Committee
The Sudan Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts made a number of specific recommendations to the Council, aimed specifically at strengthening and enforcing the arms embargo. Those yet to be acted on include:

  • the establishment of a verification component and a resultant arms inventory;
  • modification of the existing arms embargo by complementing it with a verification component that would require end-user certification for the sale of all military goods and services to Sudan;
  • expansion of the arms embargo to the entire country, with exemptions for the government of south Sudan similar to those in place for the government of Sudan;
  • having states that engage in trade of military goods and services with Sudan play a more active role in enforcing the arms embargo by insisting on end-user certification;
  • the preparation by the committee of a list of dual-use items and requiring the government of Sudan to apply to the committee for approval to transfer such equipment to Sudan; and
  • providing technical assistance to states bordering on Sudan that demonstrate a willingness to enforce the arms.

Despite the signature of the Darfur Peace Agreement in Abuja, it seems that a number of Council members consider that the above recommendations should still be on the table. However, the Panel also made recommendations covering broader aspects of the peace process, which had not been acted upon by the Council before the peace agreement was signed. These included a possible air exclusion zone over the entire Darfur region for all Sudanese government aircraft and aircraft utilised by parties to the conflict in Darfur. If the Darfur Peace Agreement holds it seems unlikely that these particular recommendations will be pursued by the Panel.  On the other hand, non-compliance could lead them to being raised again.

Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee
The Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee is expected to continue discussion of the delisting procedures and to conclude it by the end of July.  The committee has not yet acted on a number of the Monitoring Team’s prior recommendations, and the Team’s fifth report is expected to contain fewer recommendations than in its past reports.

In the meantime, in an effort to avoid overlap and to improve collaboration and cooperation among the three antiterrorism committees (the 1267 Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, the 1540 WMDs Committee, and the Counterterrorism Committee), it has been decided to do joint country visits in the future.  But the issue of burdensome reporting by states to the three committees has not yet been resolved.  Further work on this issue is expected upon completion of current rounds of reporting to the committees.  Furthermore, during phase two of its work, the Council’s mandate review mechanism is expected to address the issue of consolidation of reporting requirements of the three antiterrorism committees and establishment of a single antiterrorism subsidiary body.

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UN Documents

 Selected Security Council Documents

  • S/PRST/2006/28 (22 June 2006) contained the Council’s most recent statement on the “listing/delisting” issue.
  • S/2006/229 (4 May 2006) contained the latest report of the Somalia Sanctions Monitoring Group.
  • S/2006/250 (19 April 2006) contained the latest report of the Sudan Sanctions Panel of Experts.

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