What's In Blue

Posted Tue 13 Sep 2011

Somalia Debate and Resolution

Tomorrow (September 14), during a public debate, the Council will be briefed on developments in Somalia and the Secretary-General’s latest report on Somalia by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Augustine Mahiga. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra and AU Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Fred Mugisha are also expected to speak. Later this week the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution re-authorising AMISOM.

It seems that Council experts had a first meeting yesterday afternoon to discuss a draft resolution circulated by the UK, the lead country on Somalia in the Council, last Friday. Although the current Council authorisation does not expire until 30 September, it appears that the adoption of the resolution was scheduled for 16 September in order to have the issue dealt with before the high-level week of the General Assembly which starts on 20 September.

It seems that the draft resolution would extend the authorisation of AMISOM until 31 October 2012 while requesting the AU to urgently deploy the additional troops needed to reach the authorised strength of 12,000 troops. Among the new elements there appears to be an expansion of the logistical support package for AMISOM to include catering and communications equipment as well as sanitary materials while emphasising the exceptional nature of such a decision. It also apparently envisages the establishment of a special guard force of 300 troops within AMISOM’s existing troop ceiling to protect international personnel.

Additionally, it seems the draft resolution addresses recent political developments, including the obligation of the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions to implement the road map agreed to at the consultative meeting in Mogadishu from 4 to 6 September. The draft apparently also demands that all parties in Somalia ensure unhindered humanitarian access and calls for an expanded UN presence in Mogadishu.

There seems to be some tension among Council members regarding the timing of the start of the negotiations of the draft resolution. The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) is scheduled to meet today to discuss the situation in Somalia and is likely to adopt conclusions on AMISOM to be forwarded to the Security Council. (This meeting was originally scheduled for 9 September, but was postponed.) It appears the African Council members wanted negotiations on the resolution to be delayed in order to take into account the AU position. As that did not happen, South Africa and Nigeria have apparently reserved their position on the draft, and it remains unclear whether they will insist on a delay in the adoption.

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