On September 2019, Mr. Mahmoud Adam Jama “Galaal’, current Spokesperson for Waddani opposition party and former Deputy Minister of Health who also served as Somaliland’s Ambassador to the UK and Ethiopia, sent below message to the President of the Republic of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi on the Somalia’s weapon’s embargo and its annual review by the United Nation’s Security Council and its implication for Somaliland and the whole region. The United Nations Security Council has lifted the weapons embargo on Somalia and Somaliland has since condemned and protested the action. Below is the message from Ambassador Galaal in verbatim.
To: H.E Muse Bihi Abdi - President of the RSL
From: Mahmoud Adam Jama “Galaal’
Subject: Arms Embargo on Somalia
Date: 28 September 2019
Summary of background – Arms Embargo on Somalia
Security Council Resolution 733 first established the arms embargo on Somalia in 1992. Since the partial lifting of the embargo in 2013 there has been more than 20,000 weapons and 75 million rounds of ammunition delivered to Somalia and donated by a number of states including China, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti amongst others. A sizeable number of these weapons have found their way to Al Shabab and arms dealers in Puntland, Yemen, and Mogadishu as a result of non-compliance with the United Nations sanctions on arms to Somalia. There is a United Nations Somalia Sanctions Committee which is supported by the Monitoring Group on Somalia and a Panel of Experts (PoE) mandated under various resolutions including 2036 (2012), 2060 (2012), 2093 (2013) and 2182 (2014) and 2444 (2018). The mandate is to monitor and ensure compliance.
Concerns on current situation Corruption and a lack of accountability continue to undermine the arms embargo and consequently security and stability of the region. It is important to highlight that whilst international financial institutions have praised the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) for implementing financial reforms, between 2017 and 2018, the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia expressed serious concerns with regard to corruption and misappropriation. This included specific allegations against some ministries as well of misuse of funds in the Benadir regional administration. In addition, the UN Monitoring Group of Somalia found a lack of transparency regarding Federal Government contracts and there have been reports of significant off-budget income and expenditure. A review found misappropriation and a lack of accountability of the Somali National Army and the security sector.
Mr. President, the disparity between international financial institutions and the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia on issue of misappropriation and corruption should be of serious concern to the international community both in the context of the arms embargo and a wider unholy collusion between FGS and international financial institutions. Non-compliance to the arms embargo and institutional corruption create unfavourable conditions for regional security and must therefore be of grave concern to the government of the Republic of Somaliland.
It is also very important we are able to contest allegations made by the Monitoring Group. For example, the Monitoring Group claims it had not received a response to correspondence sent to Somaliland on 6 September 2018, requesting confirmation of the circumstances of the alleged torture and execution of the four detainees from Puntland (Tukaraq conflict) and details of the steps taken, if any, to investigate these allegations.
The Monitoring Group further claims to have sent the government of the Republic of Somaliland correspondence on 2 February 2018, stating the establishment of a foreign military base in Berbera would constitute a violation of the arms embargo on Somalia, and that any support to Somaliland’s security sector would require the notification of and approval by the Committee, in accordance to the UN Security Council resolutions, specifically paragraph 11 (a) of Security Council resolution 2111 (2013). The Monitoring Group further claims Somaliland has not responded to the correspondence.
Conclusion and recommendation
Mr. President, | hope you will agree that it’s essential we formulate a clear policy on the United Nations Arms Embargo and a strategy to influence and engage with the UN Sanctions Committee. Whilst the arms embargo is the principal aim of the Monitoring Group’s reporting, there are often detailed regional political, economic and security related information and analysis, which includes the Republic of Somaliland, contained in their reports.
The arms embargo does not differentiate the Republic of Somaliland from the Federal Government of Somalia. It is therefore imperative we observe and scrutinise the work of the Monitoring Group so we may be in a position to provide robust written challenges to incorrect, inaccurate and unfavourable findings of its interim reports in order to ensure our position and views are represented in the final reports to the UN Security Council. We should also use political, diplomatic, and public relations opportunities to augment our written submissions for maximum impact.
Mr. President, | would like to discuss the above matters with you in detail, however the most urgent and pressing at this time is we formulate a comprehensive submission document which clearly articulates our staunch opposition to the easing of the arms embargo when the matter is reviewed on 15 November 2019.