Expected Council Action
In June, the UK plans to hold a briefing on Somalia. UK Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds will likely preside at the meeting and UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson is expected to brief. The Council will also be briefed by a representative of the government of Somalia, potentially Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan. A presidential statement is a possible outcome.
Key Recent Developments
On 2 May, the Council adopted resolution 2102, creating the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to be deployed as of 3 June for an initial period of one year. UNSOM’s mandate has five components: “good offices” functions; providing advice to the government and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on peacebuilding and statebuilding; assisting the government with donor coordination; capacity-building in the areas of human rights and protection of civilians; and human rights monitoring and reporting. There is a strong emphasis on integration within UNSOM and coordination and alignment with other actors. Previously, on 25 April the Secretary-General announced his intention to appoint Nicholas Kay (UK) as his Special Representative for Somalia and head of the new UN mission.
On 7 May, the UK hosted an international conference on Somalia in London. UK Prime Minister David Cameron, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Eliasson were among those who spoke. Neither Somaliland (an internationally unrecognised, self-declared country) nor Puntland (a semi-autonomous state) were represented at the conference. The UK pledged $279 million—the largest contribution of new funds among donors at the conference—for the police force, prison construction, training judges, mobile courts and anti-piracy. The US pledged $40 million in new funds. The conference issued a final communiqué emphasising the international community’s commitment to supporting the government of Somalia, particularly in the areas of security, justice and public financial management.
On 10 May, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) issued a communiqué repeating its call for “greater support to AMISOM, particularly with respect to force multipliers and enablers”, urging the UN and other partners to assist with these needs and requesting the AU Commission to report within 30 days on steps taken to deal with issues raised in resolution 2093. Adopted on 6 March, resolution 2093 re-authorised AMISOM through February 2014 but did not directly respond to an earlier request by the AU for an enhanced support package from the UN. Although the Secretary-General’s 19 April report on the technical assessment mission (TAM) conducted in March noted the need for further support to AMISOM’s military and civilian components, this was also not addressed in resolution 2102. It seems that differing positions regarding the amount of funding and the scope of the mandate for AMISOM remains a source of recurring tension between the UN and AU.
The current sensitivity in relations between the UN and AU was once again apparent on 9 May, when comments by Eliasson at a press conference in New York suggesting AMISOM had sustained up to 3,000 casualties since 2007 prompted a minor controversy, including a rebuttal from AMISOM and a clarification from the office of the UN spokesperson. AMISOM called the estimate “simply untrue”, while the UN said, “The casualty figures used by the Deputy Secretary-General were an estimate based on information from informal sources; dissemination of exact casualty statistics is solely the responsibility of the African Union and the individual troop contributing countries”.
On 15 May, Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, was named president of the self-declared state of Jubaland in the southern region bordering Kenya. (Formerly aligned with the Islamic Courts Union and ousted by Ethiopia in 2006, Madobe fought alongside Kenya against Al Shabaab during 2012.) Just hours later, a former defence minister and rival militia leader widely seen as backed by Mogadishu, Barre Hirale, claimed that he is actually the president of Jubaland. The central government officially recognises neither the Jubaland state formation process nor either of the rival assertions of presidency. Most immediately, control over revenue generated by the lucrative port of Kismayo is at stake. As the Financial Times recently reported, matters are further complicated by competing claims to nearby offshore oil concessions made by Kenya and Somalia. In a significant precedent, both Somaliland and Puntland have already negotiated oil concession contracts independently of the federal government in Mogadishu.
As for the humanitarian situation, on 2 May the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network released a jointly commissioned study on food insecurity and famine in Somalia from October 2010 to April 2012. The report states that approximately 258,000 people died during that period, which is more than the 220,000 people estimated to have died during the 1992 famine. Half of the deaths were children under the age of five. The UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazarini, said: “The report confirms we should have done more before the famine was declared on 20 July 2011. Warnings that began as far back as the drought in 2010 did not trigger sufficient early action”. According to a 10 May bulletin from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia, there are currently 1.05 million people in “humanitarian emergency and crisis”, 1.67 million people “in stress”, 1.1 million internally displaced persons and 1 million Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa and Yemen.
With the imminent deployment of UNSOM in Somalia (its predecessor, the UN Political Office for Somalia, was primarily based in Nairobi), several relevant issues arise, including:
- ensuring UN staff security in Mogadishu and elsewhere;
- agreeing on an acceptable division of labour with the AU;
- sorting out the logistics of collaboration with the government; and
- managing tensions regarding Somaliland, Puntland and Jubaland.
The UK is likely to use the upcoming briefing during its Council presidency to build on the momentum generated by UNSOM’s creation and the international conference held in London. A presidential statement could address a number of different areas:
- expressing support for the deployment of UNSOM;
- recognising the significance of future UN-AU collaboration;
- stressing the need for regional and subregional cooperation; and
- highlighting themes from the communiqué of the London conference.
The statement could also acknowledge a few of the challenges facing Somalia, such as the difficult humanitarian situation, the fragility of military gains against Al Shabaab and the uncertain prospects for the effective implementation of a federal system.
Council and Wider Dynamics
At present, the Council appears to be united behind the creation and impending deployment of UNSOM, as the more contentious issues (e.g. lifting the arms embargo and structural integration) were previously addressed in resolution 2093.
The status of Somaliland, Puntland and Jubaland present critical challenges for the government of Somalia and the UN. For example, on 15 May Somaliland announced it is banning UN flights from its territory in response to the return of control over Somalia’s airspace from the UN Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority in Nairobi to the federal government in Mogadishu. Jubaland, in particular, has the potential to undo the military gains against Al Shabaab, as it could damage relations between Somalia and Kenya, which in turn would have negative implications for AMISOM. The future of Ethiopian forces in Somalia also continues to be ambiguous.
The UK is the penholder on Somalia, while the Republic of Korea is the chair of the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee.
UN DOCUMENTS ON SOMALIA
|Security Council Resolutions|
|2 May 2013 S/RES/2102||This resolution created UNSOM and authorised its deployment for one year as of 3 June 2013.|
|6 March 2013 S/RES/2093||This resolution authorised AMISOM deployment until 28 February 2014 and partially lifted the arms embargo on Somalia.|
|31 January 2013 S/2013/69||This was a report on Somalia containing recommendations for the reconfiguration of the UN presence.|
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|2 May 2013 S/PV.6959||This meeting concerned the creation and authorisation of UNSOM.|
|25 April 2013 S/PV.6955||This meeting concerned the Secretary-General’s letter to the Council on the TAM.|
|6 March 2013 S/PV.6929||This meeting concerned the re-authorisation of AMISOM.|
|Security Council Letters|
|25 April 2013 S/2013/251||This letter was from the Secretary-General regarding his intention to appoint Nicholas Kay (UK) as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia.|
|19 April 2013 S/2013/239||This was from the Secretary-General regarding the findings and observations of the TAM.|
|Security Council Press Statements|
|15 April 2013 SC/10972||This press statement condemned the terrorist attack in Mogadishu.|
Other Relevant Facts
Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Nicholas Kay (UK)
Size and Composition of AMISOM
Authorised strength: 17,731 total uniformed personnel. The main contingents are from Uganda (6,223 troops), Burundi (5,432 troops), Kenya (4,652 troops*), Djibouti (960 troops) and Sierra Leone (850 troops*), with 361 police from eight countries.
*The contingents of Sierra Leone and Kenya are in transition; numbers are approximate.
Special Representative of the AU and Head of AMISOM
Mahamat Salah Annadif (Chad)
USEFUL ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Katrina Manson, “Somalia: Oil thrown on the fire”, Financial Times, 13 May 2013.
Communique of the 375th PSC meeting on the situation in Somalia, http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/psc-375-somalia-10-05-2013.pdf.
International Somalia Conference final communiqué, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/somalia-conference-2013-communique.
Mortality among populations of southern and central Somalia affected by severe food insecurity and famine during 2010-2012, FAO Somalia and Famine Early Warning Systems Network, 2 May 2013.