September 2011 Monthly Forecast

AFRICA

Somalia

Expected Council Action
In September, the Council is expected to renew the authorisation of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) before it expires at the end of the month. At press time, Council members were anticipating the Secretary-General’s periodic Somalia report, due on 1 September. 

The Mogadishu consultative meeting, originally planned for June, is now scheduled to take place from 4 to 6 September. The meeting’s main objective is to endorse the road map called for by the Kampala Accord. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Augustine Mahiga, is expected to brief the Council on the outcome of the meeting and the Secretary-General’s report.

The AU Peace and Security Council will be meeting to review AMISOM on 9 September.

On 23 September, a high-level mini-summit on Somalia is expected to take place in New York on the margins of the General Assembly. A humanitarian pledging conference for the Horn of Africa is scheduled for 24 September.

A meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia is scheduled for 29 and 30 September in Copenhagen.

Key Recent Developments
On 10 August, Mahiga and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Catherine Bragg briefed the Council on recent developments in Somalia.

Mahiga said he was encouraged by recent progress in implementing the Kampala Accord, noting the parliament’s endorsement of the new prime minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, on 28 June and the appointment of a new cabinet on 20 July. He warned, however, of significant challenges ahead and called for “unequivocal support and attention” from the international community. In particular, he stressed the need to immediately fill the vacuum left by Islamist rebel group Al Shabaab’s departure from Mogadishu on 6 August. He said the UN Political Office for Somalia was actively planning for an expanded in-country UN presence and called on the Council to strengthen the support package for AMISOM.  

Bragg recalled that the situation in Somalia was the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today and warned that a further deterioration was likely. She said some progress had been made in scaling up assistance but stressed in particular the need to strengthen the response capacity of local government.  

Council members, in a 15 August press statement, expressed their strong upport for Mahiga and his role as facilitator for the consultative meeting in Mogadishu. They stressed that all Somali stakeholders must participate in the meeting and agree on the road map “in a timely manner.” They also recalled that future support for the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) would depend on implementation of the road map. In addition, they urged the TFIs to capitalise on the security gains in Mogadishu to ensure delivery of basic services and called on the international community to provide funding for AMISOM without caveats. Finally, they expressed concern at the humanitarian situation and called for unhindered humanitarian access.

On 17 and 18 August, a technical workshop on AMISOM, chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, was held in Addis Ababa to discuss the future of the mission. Participants agreed on the following recommendations:

Following Al Shabaab’s 6 August withdrawal, the Joint Security Committee, which was created in 2008 under the Djibouti Agreement, met in Mogadishu for the first time since its establishment. All eight of its previous meetings were held outside Somalia. As a further indication of the improved security situation in Mogadishu, there were also several high-level visits by foreign officials, including the UK’s secretary of state for international development and Turkey’s prime minister. Turkey announced it would establish an embassy in Somalia.

Human Rights-Related Developments
The UN experts on human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, and on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, urged the international community to step up efforts to address the severe food crisis in Somalia. Speaking in mid July shortly after a visit to the Horn of Africa, Bari said that he was “appalled by the plight of the Somali people who are experiencing the most acute humanitarian tragedy in the world today as a result of the most severe drought in ten years.” De Schutter added: “This crisis looks like a natural calamity, but it is in part manufactured. Climate change will result in such events being more frequent.”

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council in September is the outcome of the consultative meeting in Mogadishu and in particular whether there will be agreement on a road map with clear timelines to complete the transitional process, by the new deadline of 20 August 2012, and on a mechanism to monitor its implementation. 

Another key issue is the renewal of AMISOM’s authorisation and how to ensure that the mission is adequately funded and equipped. The Council will also be expected to consider any specific requests or recommendations resulting from the AU meeting on 9 September. A related issue is that AMISOM is still far from reaching its currently authorised troop level of 12,000 troops. The need for additional troops has become all the more urgent in light of Al Shabaab’s withdrawal from Mogadishu and new demands on the mission resulting from the humanitarian crisis. (AMISOM is mandated to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance.)

A further key issue is the critical importance of an expanded UN presence in Mogadishu. Such a presence is expected to significantly improve the organisation’s ability to support the TFIs and help them capitalise on recent security gains to rebuild state institutions and deliver basic services to the population. It seems, however, that the UN is still adjusting to recent developments and that a further expansion may take some time.

In relation to the humanitarian crisis, which remains a grave concern, a key issue for the Council is whether additional steps can be taken to help improve humanitarian access in areas controlled by Al Shabaab.   

A final key issue is whether to implement the latest recommendations of the Monitoring Group for the Somalia/Eritrea sanctions regime. (For more details on this, please see our Update Report on Somalia of 8 August.)

Options
Main options for the Council include:

Council Dynamics
Given that the AU has the lead on AMISOM’s mandate, the Council’s consideration of the mission’s re-authorisation will to a large extent depend on any outcome from the AU meeting scheduled for 9 September. It is unclear whether the AU will extend the mandate at that time (since it does not expire until January), but the issues discussed at the technical workshop in August are likely to be the focus of the deliberations.    

While Council positions have yet to emerge, it is possible that questions relating to the funding of the mission may lead to some difficult discussions. In the informal consultations following the 10 August Council meeting, African members once again raised the need to strengthen support for AMISOM. When the Council last renewed AMISOM’s authorisation, in December 2010, the UK and France firmly opposed any increase in support from UN assessed contributions. It is unclear whether they will be more flexible now that the situation on the ground has changed.  

The UK is the lead country on Somalia in the Council while India chairs the Sanctions Committee.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2002 (29 July 2011) extended the mandate of the Sanctions Monitoring Group for 12 months and expanded the targeted sanctions criteria to include recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and targeting of civilians.
  • S/RES/1964  (22 December 2010) renewed the authorisation of AMISOM until 30 September 2011 and raised its troop level from 8,000 to 12,000.

Latest Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2011/13 (24 June 2011) welcomed the signing of the Kampala Accord.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6599 (10 August 2011) was the meeting in which the Special Representative and the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs briefed the Council.
  • S/PV.6560 (21 June 2011) was a meeting on the Secretary-General’s report on specialised Somali anti-piracy courts.

Security Council Letters

  • S/2011/536 (24 August 2011) was from the Secretary-General informing the Council of the appointment of seven of the eight members of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.
  • S/2011/433 (18 July 2011) was from the chair of the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee transmitting the final report of the Monitoring Group.

Press Statements

  • SC/10360 (15 August 2011) was on Somalia.
  • SC/10350 (29 July 2011) was from the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee announcing the addition of two individuals to the sanctions list.
  • SC/10339 (25 July 2011) was on the humanitarian situation in Somalia.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Augustine Mahiga (Tanzania)

AMISOM

Maximum authorised strength: 12,000 troops, plus maritime and air components

Strength as of August 2011: about 9,500 Ugandan and Burundian troops

Duration: February 2007 to present. Council authorisation expires on 30 September 2011; AU mandate expires on 17 January 2012

Full forecast