July 2012 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 June 2012
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AFRICA

Somalia

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea which expires on 29 July and is likely to then also extend the humanitarian exemption to the targeted sanctions regime for Somalia. 

The Chair of the Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea is due to brief the Council on the work of the Committee.

Also in July, it is possible that the Council will request a briefing on the status of the transitional process.

The Council is expecting several reports relating to the situation in Somalia:  

  • The Monitoring Group is due to submit two separate final reports—one on Somalia and one on Eritrea—and to brief the Sanctions Committee. (For sanctions issues related specifically to Eritrea, please refer to a separate brief in this Forecast.)
  • The Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia is due to submit a report by 15 July on implementation of the humanitarian exemption provision and any misuse or obstruction of humanitarian assistance. A briefing in the Sanctions Committee on this report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is expected.
  • The AU is due to submit its periodic report on the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as requested by resolution 2036.

Several Council members will also participate in the meeting of the International Contact Group for Somalia scheduled for 2-3 July in Rome, as well as the meeting of the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia to be held in New York on 26 July.

Key Recent Developments
The situation in Somalia was last considered by the Council in a 15 May meeting featuring briefings by Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga. Mahiga, who briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report and more recent developments, emphasised that the transitional process had entered its most critical stage. He called for logistical and financial support and international cooperation and coordination to enable implementation of the roadmap for ending the transition before the 20 August deadline. He also raised the issue of spoilers, warning that such elements must be dealt with “before they succeed in undermining the peace process.” (Mahiga met with the Sanctions Committee on 14 May to discuss this issue in more detail.)

Following the meeting, Council members issued a press statement expressing concern that some of the roadmap’s deadlines had been missed, calling on all the signatories to “redouble their efforts to complete the roadmap tasks,” emphasising the importance of a transparent and legitimate political process and reiterating their readiness to support measures against internal or external actors seeking to undermine or block the peace process.

Subsequently, the roadmap signatories met twice to resolve remaining implementation issues and revise timelines, first in Addis Ababa on 23 May and then from 20-22 June in Nairobi. Among other things, they decided at the second meeting on protocols for the establishment of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) and the Federal Parliament and also agreed on the official draft of the provisional constitution to be forwarded to the NCA. It was agreed that the NCA will convene on 12 July and should conclude its work by 20 July.

On 31 May and 1 June, Turkey hosted an international conference on Somalia in Istanbul attended by representatives from 57 countries and 11 regional organisations, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and regional administrations as well as civil society. The objective was to reaffirm international support for Somalia, ensure a smooth end of the transition and build consensus on a long-term approach for the post-transition period.  

The communiqué, which focused on political, security and economic development issues, reiterated many of the key messages from the 23 February London conference with regard to the political process as well as support for AMISOM and strengthening Somali security and rule of law institutions. It also emphasised the importance of economic development and reconstruction and called for the early conclusion of negotiations to establish a joint financial management board. (The role of this new mechanism is to ensure transparency and accountability with regard to public funds. According to a World Bank report circulated at the conference, the TFG collected $164 million in revenue in 2009 and 2010 but only reported $33 million.)

AMISOM and Somali security forces continued to expand their control beyond Mogadishu. On 25 May they captured Afgoye (a strategic town situated approximately 30 kilometres from the capital that had been held by the Islamist rebel group Al Shabaab) and on 27 May secured control of the corridor linking it with Mogadishu, an area with one of the highest concentrations of internally displaced persons in the world.

On 2 June, the AU signed a long-awaited Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kenya as a troop-contributor to AMISOM.  

Human Rights-Related Developments
On 2 May the UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, urged the Somali authorities and the international community to re-establish a legitimate justice system in Mogadishu and South Central Somalia. Bari stressed that strengthening access to justice and the rule of law was crucial to protect and promote the fundamental rights of the Somali people. Expressing deep concern about the collapse of institutions for law enforcement and administration of justice, he noted that women, internally displaced persons and minorities suffered particularly from the lack of access to justice and due process. Bari pointed out that participants at the 23 February London Conference had underlined that human rights should be at the heart of the peace process and rebuilding of Somalia.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council in July is the effectiveness of the sanctions regime for Somalia, including the recently established international trading ban on Somali charcoal and the impact of the expansion of the sanctions criteria to include recruitment and use of child soldiers and targeting of civilians.

A closely related issue is how to respond to the findings of the Monitoring Group and recommendations for follow-up Council action.

Another key issue is the renewal of the Monitoring Group’s mandate and whether any changes should be considered.

Another related issue is the fact that the Monitoring Group’s coordinator, Matt Bryden, was declared persona non grata by the TFG.

A separate key issue for the Council is how best to support the constitutional process and help ensure an orderly end to the transition by the 20 August deadline.

A further issue is the continued implementation of AMISOM’s new strategic concept endorsed by resolution 2036 and progress achieved so far.

Options
Main options for the Council include:

  • renewing the mandate of the Monitoring Group and the humanitarian exemption for a further 12 months without any significant changes;
  • renewing the mandate for 13 months (this was recently done in the cases of the sanctions regimes for Iran and DPRK  in order to ensure that the inevitable delay between mandate adoption and appointment of experts would not unduly shorten the time available for the experts to do their work);
  • in the Sanctions Committee, considering and possibly endorsing some or all of the recommendations of the Monitoring Group; and
  • depending on developments, adopting a statement on the transitional process.

Council Dynamics
At press time, Council members had yet to receive the final report of the Monitoring Group or that of the Humanitarian Coordinator and had not started considering the Group’s mandate renewal. It was expected, however, that the mandate would be renewed without any major changes and that the humanitarian exemption would also be extended.  

With regard to the political process, the focus seems to be very much on the end of the transition and on keeping up the pressure on the Somalis to finalise the constitutional process, and there has been little discussion of post-transitional issues. There are expectations, however, that the 2-3 July Contact Group meeting, which is viewed as important, will consider concrete proposals for the post-transitional period that can provide the basis for an international consensus.

On the security front, there seems to be some concern among Council members about the lack of transparency surrounding Kenya’s engagement in Somalia. While the understanding is that, following the signing of the MoU on 2 June, Kenyan troops are now under AMISOM command, it seems they are not yet fully integrated and the exact size and composition of the Kenyan contingent is still unclear.

The UK is the lead country on Somalia in the Council, while India chairs the Sanctions Committee and Russia has taken the lead on legal issues related to piracy.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2036 (22 February 2012) authorised an increase in AMISOM’s troop strength as well as a further expansion of its UN support package and imposed a ban on importing or exporting Somali charcoal.
  • S/RES/2010 (30 September 2011) extended the authorisation of AMISOM until 31 October and expanded the logistical support package for the mission from assessed contributions.
  • S/RES/2002 (29 July 2011) extended the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea as well as the humanitarian exemption to the Somalia sanctions regime for 12 months and expanded the criteria for targeted sanctions to include recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and targeting of civilians.
  • S/RES/1844 (20 November 2008) imposed targeted sanctions relating to the situation in Somalia.

Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2012/4 (5 March 2012) welcomed the 23 February London conference on Somalia and fully supported its communiqué.

Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2012/283 (1 May 2012) was the latest report on Somalia.

Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6770 (15 May 2012) was the latest Council meeting on Somalia featuring briefings by the Somali president and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.  

Other

  • S/2012/468 (20 June 2012) contained the 60-day AU report on AMISOM requested by resolution 2036.
  • S/2012/408 (5 June 2012) was a letter from Turkey submitting the Istanbul communiqué.
  • SC/10649 (15 May 2012) was a Council press statement on the political process.
  • S/2011/433 (18 July 2011) was the final report from the Monitoring Group under its previous mandate.