posted on MON 9 DEC 2013 4:53 PMSomalia Briefing and Consultations
Tomorrow morning, 10 December, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Nicholas Kay, will brief the Security Council via video conference. The briefing will concern the most recent report of the Secretary-General on UNSOM (S/2013/709), covering the period from 16 August to 15 November. Council members will also hold consultations following the briefing. A Council outcome is not anticipated.
The Secretary-General’s report, issued on 2 December, provides an update on major political and security developments, highlights the work of UNSOM in five key areas (i.e. “good offices”, peacebuilding and statebuilding, human rights, humanitarian and development), summarises the activity of the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) and outlines the evolving UN field presence in Somalia.
Kay and Council members are likely to discuss operational security challenges for the UN field presence in Somalia. The Secretary-General’s report notes that as of 7 November there were 329 international staff for UNSOM, UN agencies, funds and programmes deployed in Somalia. While field offices have been opened in cities such as Baidoa and Kismayo, ongoing security concerns have prevented the full operation of UN offices in Mogadishu. The Secretary-General’s report also mentions that planning for a UN Guard Unit has started and that the specific requirements will be shared with the Council.
On the humanitarian front, Council members may be interested to hear more from Kay regarding the Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees signed in Nairobi on 10 November by Deputy President William Ruto of Kenya, Deputy Prime Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam of Somalia and the UNHCR. In particular, as the Secretary-General’s report notes that “returns must be voluntary, and that conditions for large-scale returns are not yet in place”, it will be critical that the agreement is implemented in a way that protects the safety of approximately 500,000 Somali refugees in Kenya and avoids further destabilisation in Somalia.
In terms of more recent political developments not covered in the Secretary-General’s report, Kay and Council members may be interested in discussing the significance of the parliamentary vote of no-confidence (184-65) on 2 December removing Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon from office. Kay issued a press statement on 2 December, noting that the vote “was managed in accordance with the provisional constitution and the rules of procedure of Parliament” and further stating that “Somalia’s institutions are coming of age”. According to media reports, Shirdon’s dismissal was precipitated by a power struggle with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud regarding the composition of a new cabinet. Shirdon’s removal after 13 months in office and its potential implications for stability may be of concern to Council members.
Finally, with regard to the security situation in Somalia, Council members are likely to be interested in getting Kay’s perspective on Ethiopia’s stated intention to consider re-hatting its forces to AMISOM. According to a government spokesperson on 10 November, Ethiopia had preferred to stay outside AMISOM’s structure in order to maintain “command control” and “operational freedom”, but the country would reassess its position in response to an increase in AMISOM’s troop ceiling. (Resolution 2124 of 12 November authorised an increase in the mission’s size from 17,731 to a ceiling of 22,126 uniformed personnel). The spokesperson also commented that the total number of Ethiopian troops deployed in Somalia would not likely be increased, in which case their re-hatting to AMISOM (as opposed to other new troop contributions to AMISOM from outside Somalia) may not improve the overall counter-insurgency capacity against Al-Shabaab.
posted on MON 9 DEC 2013 12:42 PMLiberia Sanctions
The Security Council will adopt a resolution Tuesday morning (10 December) that renews the Liberia sanctions regime for a further 12 months while significantly rolling back the sanctions. The draft resolution was put in blue Friday evening (6 December). Some members of the Council, notably France, the UK and the US, the penholder on Liberia, have been keen to begin scaling back the sanctions arguing that they have been in place for 10 years and are poorly implemented. They also… Read more »
posted on FRI 6 DEC 2013 3:47 PMConsultations on Security Situation and Political Developments in Libya
Monday morning (9 December), the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing by Tarek Mitri, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), followed by consultations. The Council will also receive the periodic briefing by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), and hold consultations on Libya sanctions. Although at press time no draft outcome had been circulated, some Council members may be interested in discussing… Read more »
posted on FRI 6 DEC 2013 2:36 PMGuinea-Bissau Presidential Statement
The Security Council is set to adopt a presidential statement on Guinea-Bissau on Monday (9 December). Togo, as penholder on Guinea-Bissau, expressed its intention to seek a presidential statement last week and circulated a first draft on 30 November. It was put under silence procedure on the evening of 4 December (Wednesday). However, although Morocco and Rwanda objected to wording in the final paragraph regarding conditions for future reengagement with Guinea-Bissau, a compromise was found late in the afternoon of… Read more »
posted on THU 5 DEC 2013 2:48 PMExtraordinary Election to the Security Council
Tomorrow morning (6 December), the General Assembly will hold an extraordinary election to fill one of the five non-permanent seats in the Security Council for the 2014-2015 term. On 17 October, Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia were elected for a two-year term starting on 1 January 2014. In an unprecedented move, on 18 October, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement announcing its “apology for not accepting [the] membership of the Security Council” citing the double… Read more »
posted on WED 4 DEC 2013 12:10 PMAdoption of a Resolution on the Central African Republic
Tomorrow (5 December), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution authorising the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), an AU peacekeeping force known by its French acronym MISCA, and a UN trust fund to support it, the deployment of French troops to assist MISCA and a sanctions regime.… Read more »
posted on WED 4 DEC 2013 11:05 AMConsultations on Sudan and South Sudan and UN Interim Security Force for Abyei
Tomorrow morning (5 December), the Security Council is expected to be briefed in consultations by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet on Sudan and South Sudan issues and on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).… Read more »
posted on TUE 3 DEC 2013 4:03 PMDecember Programme of Work for the Security Council
The Sahel and West Africa feature prominently on the December programme of work of the Security Council. France, the President of the Council for December, has chosen to hold a high-level meeting on drug trafficking in the Sahel and West Africa during which the Council is expected to adopt a presidential statement. The head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Said Djinnit, and Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime will brief… Read more »
posted on MON 2 DEC 2013 4:20 PMBriefing on Humanitarian Situation in Syria
Tomorrow (3 December), Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Valerie Amos will brief Council members in consultations on the humanitarian situation in Syria.… Read more »
posted on WED 27 NOV 2013 3:53 PMWorking Group on Children and Armed Conflict: Myanmar Visit
Members of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, led by its chair, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), will be visiting Myanmar from 1 - 4 December. The delegation is expected to convey key messages from their conclusions on the Secretary-General’s report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Myanmar, which the Working Group adopted on 16 August (S/AC.51/2013/2). Members are also interested in getting a better understanding of progress on the action plan and the peace process… Read more »