Security Council: 1) Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan and South Sudan - 8795th meeting 2) The situation in Somalia - 8796th meeting

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14-Jun-2021 00:28:36
Targeted sanctions, Darfur arms embargo continue to thwart spoilers of peace in Sudan, chair of 1591 Committee tells Security Council.

Updated sanctions list can help Somalia in its fight against Al-Shabaab, chair of Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) tells Security Council.

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Permanent Representative Says Measures Imposed 15 Years Ago ‘No Longer Justified’, Calls for Their Lifting

Implementation of the peace process in Sudan remains limited with intercommunal violence in Darfur on the rise, the Security Council heard today as the head of that country’s sanctions committee reiterated the need for targeted sanctions.

Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), briefing the 15-member organ in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, said that through the reporting period — 25 March to 14 June — targeted sanctions, including the Darfur arms embargo, continue thwarting actions that may spoil peace in the country.

He informed Member States that the Committee held two informal consultations in the form of closed videoconferences. The first was held on 30 March when the Committee was briefed by the Panel of Experts on its work programme for the current mandate. The second took place on 17 May, when the Committee was briefed by Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Ms. Gamba outlined Sudanese efforts to protect civilians but warned that national capacities to do so remain limited, requiring additional engagement between the Government and armed groups to address violations.

Also, during the reporting period, on 28 May, the Committee received its first quarterly update from the Panel of Experts on the Sudan, he said, covering implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, regional dynamics, the status of armed groups in the region, intercommunal violence and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Highlighting elements of the quarterly update, Mr. Jürgenson said that while signatories to the peace agreement — which include the Government and several non-State groups — remain committed to its implementation, the process remains limited. Turning to Darfur, the Panel reported that intercommunal violence continues to grow in several areas, resulting in new displacement. In most cases, the Government of Sudan was able to restore order. Throughout the past year, Sudan’s Government has taken measures to respond to the surge of clashes in different parts of Darfur, he said, noting that certain capacity constraints continue to limit the State’s capacity to respond.

Mr. Jürgenson told the Council that the Committee completed a review of the list of individuals under targeted sanctions, with the aim of bringing it up to date with current realities. As a result of this review process, one individual was removed from the sanctions list and three individuals remained under sanctions. He assured the Council that targeted measures and the arms embargo on Darfur serve the sole purpose of helping Sudan to achieve peace, concluding that these actions ultimately serve the purpose of preventing further proliferation of arms.

In his response to the briefing, Ammar Mohammed Mahmoud Mohammed (Sudan) said the security situation in Darfur is steadily improving, as the regional ceasefire has not been breached since its declaration and the Government is implementing the Juba Peace Agreement on the ground “in coordination with all peace partners”. Further, the Government is collecting unlicensed weapons, upholding the national plan for the protection of civilians and adopting measures to prevent intercommunal fighting. It also assists children affected by conflict, with specific units for the protection of women and children incorporated into the Sudanese armed forces.

In light of these developments, he stressed that the punitive measures, including sanctions, that were imposed on Sudan 15 years ago pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) and subsequent resolutions “have completely lost their grounds and are no longer justified”. Sudan is undergoing a crucial transformation, and the Council must lift its sanctions in response to positive developments on the ground in Darfur so that the Government can rebuild the capacity of its security forces and law enforcement agencies. Ending these measures will also enable the Government to strengthen peace in Darfur and the larger region, where transnational organized criminals engage in the trafficking of weapons and persons.

For its part, Sudan is prepared to constructively engage with the Organization to develop clear, well-defined benchmarks in accordance with resolution 2562 (2021) that can guide the Council’s review and subsequent ending of sanctions, he assured.

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Three members of the Al-Shabaab armed group have been listed for sanctions during the reporting period to further help the federal Government of Somalia fight the insurgents, the Chair of the Security Council’s sanctions regime for the country said today.

“While it is too early to see the impact of these listings, an updated sanctions list can be a significant tool in supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in its fight against Al-Shabaab,” said Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia, during a briefing on the subsidiary organ’s work from 26 February to 14 June. She added that those three individuals hold various positions in the armed group.

She also noted that the Committee received the comprehensive midterm update of the Panel of Experts on Somalia on 14 May and discussed the content at a second informal virtual meeting on 4 June. During that meeting, she said, the acting Coordinator of the Panel, who was appointed following the resignation of the Coordinator on 27 April 2021, highlighted four key areas of the Panel’s midterm update — the continued threat posed by Al-Shabaab, including the use of improvised explosive devices; violations of international humanitarian law; ongoing investigations into the group’s finances; the management of weapons and ammunition by the federal Government; and the ban on the export of charcoal from the country.

She said Committee members welcomed the Panel’s work on Al-Shabaab’s finances, expressed concern over the reported violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and noted that effective weapons and ammunition management procedures instituted by the Federal Government were key to preventing military equipment from falling into the hands of Al-Shabaab and a faction of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Committee is currently considering the six recommendations contained in the Panel’s midterm update, including the idea of a consultative process with the Federal Government on the requirements of the arms embargo regime, she reported.

Following the briefing, Abukar Dahir Osman (Somalia) said that the arms embargo against his country is the longest and widest regime, stressing that sanctions are a tool, not an end in itself. Requesting the establishment of practical and achievable benchmarks for lifting the measures, he welcomed recent steps towards evidence-based reporting and more institutionalized process. Turning to action by Kenya’s air forces in 2019, he said they systematically destruct Somali property. Their use of cluster munitions, which is prohibited under the relevant Convention, was confirmed by the Panel of Experts. More recently, their air raids killed sleeping Somali families, including innocent children. These systematic attacks constitute war crimes and should be referred to the International Criminal Court, he said, questioning the peacekeeping role of Kenya.

Michael Kapkiai Kiboino (Kenya) rejected false allegations levelled against his country by the previous speaker, reemphasizing his nation’s commitment to the peace process in Somalia as a good neighbour. For many years, a peaceful and stable Somalia is in Kenya’s interest and Al-Shabaab is a common enemy.

Speaking again, Somalia’s delegate asked his Kenyan counterpart if the widespread air bombing and systematic destruction of property in Somalia are considered peacekeeping. “Arsonists cannot be firefighters,” he warned, urging Kenya to correct misguided action in Somalia.

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