What's In Blue

Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Regime

This afternoon, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the Somalia/Eritrea Monitoring Group and requesting the Secretary-General to re-establish the Monitoring Group for another 12 months.

The resolution is in blue and it has some significant new elements. A new criteria related to children has been added to the sanctions regime. Now political and military leaders recruiting or using children in armed conflict and individuals committing violations of applicable international law in Somalia involving the targeting of civilians, including children and women in situations of armed conflict, killing and maiming, sexual and gender-based violence, attacks on schools and hospitals and abduction and forced displacement could have targeted measures imposed on them.

The new mandate also highlights the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Somalia and demands safe access for the delivery of humanitarian aid. It seems that the resolution also makes clear that the Council is ready to apply targeted sanctions against those that obstruct the delivery, access to or distribution of humanitarian assistance.

Unlike in the last resolution renewing the Somalia/Eritrea sanctions regime, the request for the UN Humanitarian Aid Coordinator for Somalia to report every 120 days to the Council has been deleted. It appears that the Council may have found this unnecessary as the 17th March 2011 resolution (S/RES/1972) renewing the Somalia arms embargo asked for the Emergency Relief Coordinator to report to the Council by 15 November 2011 and 15 July 2012 on the implementation of the humanitarian provisions.

The resolution also asks for the Committee to consider the recommendations in the report (S/2011/433) of the Somalia/Eritrea Monitoring Group (which was released on 18 July) on ways to improve implementation and compliance with the Somalia and Eritrea arms embargoes and implementation of targeted measures. (The Monitoring Group report contains information on arms embargo violations by Eritrea as well as evidence of Eritrean support for Somali armed opposition groups.)

Also new in the resolution appears to be the request for two final reports, one on Somalia and one on Eritrea. In the past only one report was required.

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