(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Mandate of UN arms embargo panel extended

The UN Security Council has ordered an extension of the mandate of the UN panel of experts investigating violations of the arms embargo against Somalia for a further six months.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan named the three-member panel last September. The UN imposed the embargo in 1992, following the outbreak of civil war in Somalia.

According to a UN press statement, the Council's decision comes after it considered a report presented by the panel late last month. According to the report, the embargo was consistently being breached, and it recommended that the Council send a clear signal that all future violators would face sanctions.

The Council said the panel "was commissioned to identify those who continue to violate the arms ban both inside and outside Somalia, as well as their active supporters".

It authorised the panel to make specific recommendations in areas of expertise related to violations and measures to strengthen the embargo.

"This includes exploring the possibility of establishing a monitoring mechanism with partners inside and outside Somalia, in close cooperation with regional and international organisations, specifically the African Union," the statement said.

The Council called on all Somali and regional parties to fully cooperate with the panel to enable it to discharge its mandate effectively. It asked the panel "to immediately report any lack of cooperation".

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