August 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 July 2009
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Somalia and Related Horn of Africa Issues

Expected Council Action
Somalia is not expected to be on the Council work programme as such in August. However, because of interrelated issues, including the work by the Somalia Sanctions Committee on a list of individuals and entities for targeted sanctions (including possibly persons from Eritrea), the pressure for Council action against Eritrea from Djibouti, and the dynamics created by recent developments in Somalia (including French personnel being held hostage), it seems inevitable that Council members will be continuing to discuss Somalia in various ways during August.

Key Recent Developments
Please see our Update Report of 20 July 2009 for background on the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea and the linkages between this issue and wider problems in the Horn of Africa, including Eritrea’s alleged support for the insurgency in Somalia.

A key development is the progress made by the Somalia Sanctions Committee. It seems that it is close to producing names for the list of persons and entities that would be subject to targeted sanctions. And it seems that among the peace spoilers envisaged for sanctions are some persons in Eritrea.

A related development is that Djibouti continues to press for more explicit Council action against Eritrea.

The transfer to Al-Shabaab insurgents of two French personnel abducted in Mogadishu while providing training to Transitional Federal Government security forces has added a new dimension to the issues.

Council Dynamics
A number of Council members are sensitive to the possibility that adopting sanctions against Eritrean personnel at this time could complicate efforts to secure the freedom of the French advisers.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1862 (14 January 2009) demanded that Eritrea withdraw its forces to the positions of the status quo ante within five weeks and requested a follow-up report from the Secretary-General.
  • S/RES/1844 (20 November 2008) expanded the Somalia sanctions regime to include targeted sanctions on individuals or entities violating the arms embargo, threatening the peace, security and stability of Somalia or impeding the delivery of or access to humanitarian assistance.

Selected Security Council Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2009/15 (18 May 2009) condemned the renewed fighting by Al-Shabaab and other extremists, demanded an immediate end to the violence, and called on the Somalia Sanctions Monitoring Group to investigate reports that Eritrea had supplied arms to insurgent groups.
  • S/PRST/2008/20 (12 June 2008) called for a ceasefire between Djibouti and Eritrea.

Selected Report of the Secretary-General

Letter from the Secretary-General

  • S/2009/163 (30 March 2009) was the Secretary-General’s response to the Council’s request in resolution 1862 for a report on the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea and the parties’ compliance with their obligations.


  • S/2009/319 (19 June 2009) was a letter from Djibouti requesting action on its border dispute with Eritrea as soon as possible.
  • S/2009/217 (23 April 2009) was a letter from Djibouti submitting to the Council decisions of IGAD, AU, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference calling for the implementation of resolution 1862.
  • S/2009/180 (6 April 2009) was a letter from Djibouti calling for the implementation of resolution 1862 and asking the Council to refrain from making any further statement “as such action would only tend to compromise the significance and integrity of the resolution.”

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