Monday, July 30, 2012

Mandate of UN monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea extended for another year

Security Council in session. UN Photo/Ryan Brown
25 July 2012 – 
The Security Council today extended for another year the mandate of the United Nations panel of experts monitoring compliance with the embargoes on the delivery of weapons and military equipment to Somalia and Eritrea.In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council decided to extend until 25 August 2013 the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia, which also investigates all activities – including in the financial and maritime sectors – which generate revenue that is then used to break the arms embargoes.
The Group is also tasked with examining any means of transport, routes, seaports, airports and other facilities used in connection with violations of the embargoes.
By the resolution, the Council also decided that the arms embargo on Somalia shall not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment, or the provision of assistance, for use by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).
It also decided that the Eritrea arms embargo shall not apply to protective clothing temporarily exported to Eritrea by UN personnel, media representatives and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel for their personal use only. It shall also not apply to supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use.
In addition, the Council welcomed the Monitoring Group’s recommendation to set up a Joint Financial Management Board to improve financial management, transparency and accountability of Somalia’s public resources, and called for an end to the misappropriation of funds.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue British Office for Somalia
Minister for Africa welcomes the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group report, and emphasises the need to make further progress in promoting transparency in Somalia and in ensuring the Transition is completed on time.
Speaking today, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham said:
“I welcome the Somalia & Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) report.  The evidence compiled by the group is thorough and well researched.
I am very concerned at some of the findings in the report and will of course endeavour to investigate further.  In particular, the SEMG’s findings on the mismanagement of resources are deeply troubling – they are a sobering reminder of the problems that are caused by the lack of effective and transparent governance in Somalia.  As we look to the next phase in Somalia’s political process, the international community must increase its efforts to tackle corruption and ensure that resources meant for the Somali people are used for the Somali people.
The UK Government has been concerned about the transparency of finances in Somalia for some time. That is why we have been working with Somali and international partners on a proposal for a Joint Financial Management Board.  The Joint Financial Management Board would enable the Somali government and its partners to demonstrate that the money it is receiving from a variety of sources is being put to public use – transparently and accountably.  This will increase trust between the Somali government, ordinary Somalis and the international community by increasing financial transparency and reducing the opportunities for corruption.  The Monitoring Group report underlines the importance of implementing this Board as soon as possible – and I’m pleased to see the importance of this has been re-emphasised by the UN Security Council, which today unanimously adopted Resolution 2060 on Somalia and Eritrea.
I also want to take the opportunity to welcome the opening today of the National Constituent Assembly in Mogadishu.  This is a very important step in the process of ending the Transition and building a better government for all of the people of Somalia. I urge all those with responsibility for the political process in Somalia to continue their efforts to ensure the Transition is completed by 20 August.

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