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UN Security Council recommends Sanctions Committee visit

The UN Security Council has recommended that its Sanctions Committee visits Somalia to reinforce the Council’s commitment to fully enforce the arms embargo against the war-ravaged, Horn of Africa country.

The Council further recommended that the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, re-establish the group monitoring the Somalia arms embargo for a period of six months, a press statement issued by the Council said on Tuesday.

The recommendations followed a report by the UN-appointed monitoring group which said weapons had continued to enter Somalia despite the ban, a trend, they said, that could undermine efforts to install a new government in the country.

The report warned that there was a "seriously elevated level of threat of possible violence" against the peaceful establishment of the transitional federal government (TFG) if the violations continued.

The Council’s Sanctions Committee was set up in 1992 to assist in the effective implementation of the arms embargo imposed on Somalia in the same year.

The release urged the Committee to consider and recommend to the Council ways "to improve implementation of and compliance with the arms embargo, including ways to develop capacity of States in the region to implement the embargo".

The re-establishment of the monitoring group was necessary, the Council said, to facilitate continued analysis of trends and patterns to provide the Council with a meaningful understanding of the violations, and to enable continued investigations into violations.

The report also recommended that the monitoring group establish a more formal and structured relationship with the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and possibly Somalia’s neighbours to aid cooperation and exchange of information.

In addition, the Council said more focus should be put on criminalising illegal financial activities, through which, many arms embargo-violators got the funds for their activities.

The conflict in Somalia dates back to 1989, when growing discontent with then-President Muhammad Siyad Barre's regime resulted in a civil war. Following the deposition of his regime in 1991, the country descended into civil war, and remained without a legitimate government for nearly a decade and a half.

In October 2004, a two-year peace process culminated in the formation of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed’s TFG, which is currently attempting to relocate from its base in Nairobi, Kenya to Somalia.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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