Expected Council Action
In October, the Council will be briefed by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on three reports: from Somalia regarding developments since modification of the arms embargo in March; from the AU and the UN regarding a review of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and benchmarking for a potential UN peacekeeping operation; and from the Secretary-General regarding piracy. Council members will also hold consultations. An outcome is not expected as reauthorisation of anti-piracy measures, which expire on 21 November, will not be taken up until November.
Key Recent Developments
On 12 September, the Council was briefed by Nicholas Kay, the Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and Mahamat Salah Annadif, the Special Representative of the AU and head of AMISOM (S/PV.7030). The briefing discussed the first report of the Secretary-General on UNSOM (S/2013/521) and was followed by consultations.Council members issued a press statement on 13 September expressing support for the recent agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Jubba leader Ahmed Madobe (SC/11121).
The pact signed on 27 August in Addis Ababa, titled “Agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and Jubba Delegation”, was brokered by Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia in his capacity as Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The agreement puts Madobe in charge of a newly created Interim Jubba Administration for two years, establishes federal control over the Kismayo port and airport, states that militias should be integrated into the national army and contains language on national reconciliation. The agreement was welcomed by Kay, the AU and the EU.
Improving the security situation in Mogadishu and other areas remains a challenge. On 7 September, a terrorist bomb attack on a Mogadishu restaurant killed at least 15 people according to media reports. Five days later, there was an assassination attempt on Madobe in Kismayo which killed at least 10 people and left Madobe reportedly unharmed. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for both attacks.
On 12 September, a promiment Al-Shabaab member, Omar Hammami—also known by his nom de guerre Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki and one of 13 individuals designated for UN sanctions under resolution 1844 (2008)—was reportedly killed by fighters loyal to Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane. The death of Hammami, who was apparently allied to a breakaway faction of Al-Shabaab that once included Hassan Dahir Aweys (now in government custody), seems to indicate that Godane is consolidating control over the Islamist insurgency.
On 16 September, the EU hosted an international donor conference in Brussels, called “A New Deal for Somalia”. Donors pledged $2.4 billion in new assistance for Somalia to be dispersed under a three-year plan. The conference issued a communiqué that announced the endorsement of a compact based on the New Deal principles for development in fragile and conflict-affected states agreed at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan, Republic of Korea, in November 2011. The compact for Somalia has five peace and statebuilding goals: inclusive politics, security, justice, economic foundations and revenue and services. It further includes cross-cutting issues—gender, capacity development, peace dividends, human rights and external relations. There is also a separate section detailing a “Somaliland Arrangement”, although the self-declared, unrecognised country was not represented in Brussels.
On 21 September, Al-Shabaab initiated a terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack and reiterating their resolve to combat terrorism (SC/11129). The four-day siege resulted in the death of at least 61 civilians, six Kenyan security and five Al-Shabaab militants. Al-Shabaab has stated the attack in Nairobi is in retribution for Kenya’s involvement in AMISOM, which is similar to the claim made following the group’s terrorist bombing in Kampala, Uganda on 11 July 2010, which killed 74 people.
Human Rights-Related Developments
On 27 August, the FGS endorsed a human rights roadmap for the period 2013-2015 and announced the creation of a Ministry for Human Rights. The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, who last visited the country from 26 to 29 August, hailed the endorsement but urged the authorities to broaden the consultation process to ensure implementation. On 24 September, during the 24th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Bari participated in a stand-alone high-level meeting to discuss how to guarantee maximum effectiveness of assistance to Somalia as well as ensuring implementation of the roadmap. The following day, he presented his report to the HRC (A/HRC/24/40 and Corr.1).
On 10 September, the chair-rapporteur of the working group on the use of mercenaries, Anton Katz, presented to the HRC a report on its visit last December to Somalia (A/HRC/24/45/Add.2). The report raised concerns about the influx of foreign security companies without sufficient regulation and control by the government and the use of private military security companies (PMSCs) by shipping companies to guarantee the safety of their crews and cargo. As Somalia is one of three states in which the UN has hired PMSCs, the working group called on the UN to consider applying the principles contained in the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy when hiring private security contractors. It also informed the HRC that it recently launched a study of the use of PMSCs by the UN.
Implementation of the partial lifting of the arms embargo, authorised in resolution 2093 of 6 March, will be an area of focus for the Council as it reviews the six-month report from the government of Somalia due 7 October.
Other issues of particular interest will be the conclusions and recommendations regarding the recently conducted joint UN/AU strategic review of AMISOM and benchmarking exercise for a potential UN peacekeeping operation.
Depending on the content of the government’s report regarding implementation of changes to the arms embargo, the Council may wish to consider modification of the regulatory framework to improve monitoring, reporting and other procedures.
The Council could also reiterate the need for increased financial donations to the UN Trust Fund for AMISOM. Council members might also individually consider contributing AU-requested military assets to AMISOM, such as helicopters.
Council and Wider Dynamics
The partial lifting of the arms embargo, which was strongly advocated by the US but had been opposed by most Council members, may re-emerge as a fault-line within the Council. Given the limited institutional capacity of the FGS, reasonable questions regarding the current regulatory framework persist. On the other hand, the attention of the Council has largely shifted toward building the fighting capabilities of the Somali National Security Forces. For some Council members, this might imply a more passive approach toward oversight on small arms.
Regarding the forthcoming joint UN-AU strategic review of AMISOM and benchmarking exercise for UN peacekeeping, Council members are likely to be in agreement on three points: first, a lack of appetite for the immediate establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation as the security conditions in Somalia are not yet appropriate; second, limited backing at best for the partial re-hatting of AMISOM to create a UN-AU hybrid mission, at least in part because the precedent in Darfur has not been generally perceived as a success; and third, potentially growing support for increased financing, troops and weaponry for AMISOM (as the evidence has been mounting that it remains under-resourced to fully accomplish its mandate). The recent terrorist attack in Nairobi by Al-Shabaab is likely to increase support among Council members for enhancing AMISOM’s military capacity.
The UK is the penholder on Somalia and the Republic of Korea is the chair of the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee.
UN Documents on Somalia
|Security Council Resolutions|
|24 July 2013 S/RES/2111||This resolution reauthorised the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group until 25 November 2014.|
|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.|
|3 September 2013 S/2013/521||This was the Secretary-General’s UNSOM report.|
|Security Council Meeting Record|
|12 September 2013 S/PV.7030||This was a briefing on UNSOM.|
|Security Council Press Statements|
|21 September 2013 SC/11129||This statement condemned the terrorist attack by Al-Shabaab in Nairobi, Kenya.|
|13 September 2013 SC/11121||This statement expressed support for the agreement regarding the Interim Jubba Administration.|
Useful Additional Resources
Communiqué: A New Deal for Somalia, EU, 16 September 2013.
The Somali Compact, Federal Republic of Somalia, 16 September 2013.
Agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and Jubba Delegation, IGAD, 27 August 2013.