Update Report

Posted 23 June 2011
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Update Report No. 4: Somalia

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Expected Council Action
On 21 June the UK circulated a draft presidential statement on Somalia to Council members. It appears the statement would welcome the signing of the Kampala Accord on 9 June, call on the parties to continue working together to ensure its implementation and complete transitional tasks and emphasise the importance of the upcoming consultative meeting in Mogadishu. The statement is expected to be adopted this Friday, 24 June. 

Key Recent Developments
On 9 June, at a meeting in Kampala, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the speaker of parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, reached an agreement on transitional issues—the “Kampala Accord”. The accord stipulates that elections for the positions of president and speaker shall be held at the latest by 20 August 2012 “in order to adequately prepare and complete priority transitional tasks” (effectively extending the transitional period for another year). It also called for the prime minister to step down within 30 days in order for a new cabinet to be formed.  

Also, the agreement stipulates that the Somali government and parliament should work together with the international community to establish a roadmap “with benchmarks, timelines and compliance mechanisms for the implementation of priority tasks”. Its implementation is to be overseen by a political bureau comprising regional leaders, the UN Political Office for Somalia and the AU. In the case of failure to comply with the benchmarks and timelines, the regional bureau and “international partners” reserve the right to impose “appropriate measures”.

The Somali prime minister, Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, initially refused to resign and said he would only step down if the agreement was approved by a vote in parliament. (He was supported by large protests in Mogadishu.) But on 19 June he resigned, apparently after strong pressure from Uganda.

Uganda played an important role, along with the pressure exerted by Council members at their meeting with Somali leaders in Nairobi on 25 May, in bringing about the Kampala Accord. Uganda seems recently to have assumed a strong leadership role on Somalia. At a meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia on 2 and 3 June Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni reportedly threatened that Uganda would pull out its troops from Mogadishu if the Somali parties did not come to an agreement. (There are currently approximately 5,000 Ugandan peacekeepers in Mogadishu and they are a critical component of the AU Mission in Somalia, AMISOM.)

The consultative meeting initially scheduled for 6 to 11 June in Mogadishu was postponed in light of recent developments, but has now been rescheduled for mid-July, although no exact date has been announced.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is whether the Kampala Accord can effectively contain the power struggles among Somali leaders, improve the functioning of the Transitional Federal Institutions and open the way for real progress on remaining transitional tasks and in improving security. A related issue is how the Council can reinforce the recent positive developments and help keep them on track.

A second key issue is implementation of the agreement and in particular the need to establish a roadmap with benchmarks, timelines and compliance mechanisms which will provide the Council with a mechanism for monitoring progress.  (The road map should be agreed at the consultative meeting in Mogadishu.)

Options for the Council include:

  • adopting a statement as proposed by the UK welcoming the signing of the Kampala Accord;  
  • requesting a briefing in July on progress with implementation of the accord; and
  • planning a follow-up mission (perhaps involving a select group of Council members), before the end of the year.

Council Dynamics
Council members were briefed on the Kampala Accord on 17 June by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe as part of his monthly political briefing in informal consultations. Most Council members seem to agree that the accord is a major step forward and recognise that the Somalis have now done what the Council asked them to do. There are doubts, however, that the agreement will bring an end to the political infighting. There is also caution in that a lot of work remains to be done to ensure its implementation and concerns about the prospects for keeping the agreed process on track. This appears to be the reason why the UK proposes that the Council now sends a clear follow-up message to the parties about what is still expected of them.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1964 (22 December 2010) renewed the authorisation of AMISOM until 30 September and raised its troop level to 12,000.
  • S/RES/1950 (23 November 2010) renewed for a period of 12 months the anti-piracy measures of previous Council resolutions.
  • S/RES/1916 (19 March 2010) extended the mandate of the Monitoring Group for Somalia and established a humanitarian asset freeze exemption.
  • S/RES/1844 (20 November 2008) imposed targeted sanctions.

Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2011/10 (11 May 2011) focused on the consultative process on post-transitional arrangements for Somalia.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6532 (11 May 2011) was the Special Representative’s latest briefing on Somalia.