Tuesday, April 01, 2003

SOMALIA: UN recommends sanctions for arms embargo violators
NAIROBI, 1 APRIL 2003 (IRIN) - A United Nations panel of experts has recommended imposing sanctions on violators of the UN arms embargo on Somalia.

Last August, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan named the three-member panel of experts to investigate violations of the arms embargo on Somalia. The UN imposed the embargo in 1992, following the outbreak of civil war in Somalia.

In a report to the UN Security Council, the panel said the embargo was consistently being breached, and recommended that the Council send a clear signal that all future violators would face sanctions.

"As the arms embargo has been consistently violated since its imposition, it has no normative value, and none of the Somali faction leaders or their regional sponsors has been held accountable. A feeling that 'business as usual' will continue indefinitely prevails," said the report to the Council, issued on Tuesday.

The panel said the arms market in Somalia was also supplied by external sources.

"It [the report] cites Ethiopia as one such country that has played an overt military role in Somalia," the UN said. "Eritrea is also said to have been a major supplier of arms and ammunition. Yemen and Djibouti, among other nations in the region, are reported to have helped provide weapons to Somalia, mainly to the Transitional National Government."

"An effective implemented arms embargo can cut the flow of arms to Somalia and concomitantly limit the level of armed conflict," the report said. "This may then create the political space necessary for the successful completion and implementation of a Somali peace agreement."


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