December 2011 Monthly Forecast



Expected Council Action
Developments in Somalia are expected to be on Council members’ minds in December. The Secretary-General’s report is likely to be issued early in the month, to be followed by a briefing. At press time, it seemed unlikely there would be any outcome.

Key Recent Developments
Following Kenya’s military incursion into Somalia on 16 October, the prime ministers of both countries confirmed in a joint communiqué on 31 October that the operation was being carried out with the support of and in close coordination with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and under the leadership of TFG forces. They also called for the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to deploy troops into liberated areas in southern Somalia. Additionally, the communiqué stated that the TFG would seek the assistance of the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity committed by the Islamist rebel group Al Shabaab.

In November, there were reports from several sources that Ethiopian troops had entered into Somalia, but this was denied by both governments.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development welcomed the joint Kenya/TFG operation on 25 November, called on Kenya to consider integrating its forces into AMISOM and also called on Ethiopia to support the ongoing military operations in Somalia. It additionally called on the Council “to enhance the mandate of AMISOM” and authorise a strength “appropriate for the consolidation of peace and security in Mogadishu and south and central Somalia and other secured areas.” It also reiterated its request for a no-fly zone and a naval blockade to restrict access to areas controlled by Al Shabaab.

On 28 November, Al Shabaab banned 16 international aid organisations, including several UN agencies, from operating in areas under its control. (While it had previously imposed restrictions, Al Shabaab had not outright banned operations.)

On 16 November, the chair of the Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea, Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, briefed Council members in informal consultations on the work of the Committee. (The Committee met on 9 November to discuss the latest report of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia and was briefed by Philippe Lazzarini of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.)

On 22 November, the Council adopted resolution 2020 extending for another 12 months the authorisation to take action against piracy off the coast of Somalia first established in 2008.

In a 23 November meeting with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the TFG reconfirmed its commitment to implement an action plan to end the use and recruitment of child soldiers.

Key Issues
A continuing key issue for the Council is the timely implementation of the road map and whether additional international involvement and support is warranted to keep the process on track.

Another key issue is the security situation, the implications of the Kenyan operation, the possible involvement of Ethiopia and the risk of broader regional destabilisation.

A further key issue is that AMISOM may soon reach its authorised strength of 12,000 as deployment of additional troops from Djibouti seems imminent and integration of Kenyan troops into AMISOM is being discussed, and the Council may again be asked to raise the mission’s troop ceiling.

Humanitarian access continues to be an issue, in particular in light of Al Shabaab’s recent decision to close down aid agencies. Concerns have also been raised about the humanitarian impact of the military operations in the south.

Main options for the Council include:

Council Dynamics
There seems to be growing concern among Council members about lack of progress in the implementation of the road map. It appears the Kenyan operation has put the TFG under additional pressure and taken some of its focus away from the road map. While Council members recognise the importance of international material support, there is also a sense that much of what needs to be done depends less on financial resources than on political will. 

On the security situation, Council members do not see the intervention of Kenya as an issue for the Council as long as it is done with the approval of the TFG and in compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law. While not openly supporting it, there appears to be a sense that any measure that can increase the chances of defeating Al Shabaab is welcome. Council members seem aware, however, that the situation may soon become an issue for the Council if the AU decides to integrate Kenyan forces into AMISOM.

The UK is the lead country on Somalia in the Council.

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UN Documents

Security Council Resolution

  • S/RES/2020 (22 November 2011) renewed for a period of 12 months the authorisation for international action against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Latest Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6646 (31 October 2011) was a briefing on piracy by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.


  • S/2011/694 ( (9 November 2011) was the latest report by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

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