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Posts Tagged ‘SOMALIA’

New Mission Commander for EU training mission in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on December 18, 2013


BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Brigadier General Massimo Mingiardi was today appointed new Mission Commander for the EU training mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia).

General Mingiardi, from Italy, will take up his duties on 15 February 2014. He will succeed Brigadier General Gerald Aherne, who had been in the position since February

2013.

EUTM Somalia, launched in spring 2010, has contributed to training about 3,600 Somali troops so far, with a special focus on officers, specialists and trainers. It is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach for a stable, democratic and prosperous Somalia and embedded in the EU strategic framework for the Horn of Africa.

The mission provides specialised military training and mentoring in the training domain. It also delivers political and strategic advice to the Somali ministry of defence and the chief of defence forces and advises on security sector development. This is to lay the foundations of a Somali-owned military training system. In the first months of 2014, the mission is set to conduct all its advisory, mentoring and training activities in Mogadishu,

Somalia.

Today’s decision was taken by the EU’s Political and Security Committee.

Brigadier General Massimo MIGIARDI

Brigadier General Massimo Mingiardi was born In 1963 in Florence. He joined the Army in 1982 and was commissioned Into the Airborne Brigade Folgore as a Platoon

Commander In 1986, after completing the four-year course at the Military Academy In

Modena and at the School of Military Studies In Torino. After two years he was appointed as an Instructor to the Military Academy.

In 1991 he was commissioned as a Company Commander In the Airborne School in Plsa.

In 1992 he was appointed as a Company Commander In the 186°Airborne Regiment In

Siena and with his company took part in Operation RESTORE HOPE and In UNISOM II In Somalia. After one year at the war college , 1994 to 95, he was appointed as a staff officer to the General Army Staff In the Intelligence Branch until 1998:

From 1998 to 1999 he attended the Joint Senior Staff Course and after one year as a staff officer In the General Defence Staff, he commanded the 5th Airborne Battalion In Siena from 1999 to 2001 taking part In Operation JOINT GUARDIAN In Kosovo.

From 2001 to 2006 he was appointed as Chief of Section In the J5 Plans Division In the IT

Joint Operations Headquarters (Italy’s PJHQ equivalent). From 2006 to 2008 he commanded the 183°Airborne Regiment Nembo In Plstola (Tuscany).

He joins the Royal College of Defence Studies In London upon completing two years as Chief of J5 Plans Division at the Italian Joint Operations Headquarters in Rome.

In October 2011 was appointed as Commander of Airborne Brigade Folgore.

From Aprll2013 Is the Deputy Commander of Infantry School.

He graduated in Political Science at Bologna University and In Military Studies at Torino University. He got a Master In Strategic Science at Torino University and a Master In International Strategic and Military Studies at Milano University.

He attended the European Security Defence Polley Orientation ourse. He enjoys a wide variety of sports (in particular skydiving} and hobbies.

SOURCE

European Council

 

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Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia condemns killing of MP

Posted by African Press International on December 8, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has strongly condemned the killing of Mohamed Warsame Feisal, a Member of the country’s Federal Parliament.

Mr. Warsame was killed this afternoon in Mogadishu when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated. At least three others are reported to have been injured in the attack.

“I condemn this killing in the strongest terms,” SRSG Kay said. “Somalis yearn for a better future. Their Members of Parliament play a vital role in building that future.”

SRSG Kay offers his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Warsame, as well as to the Federal Parliament of Somalia, and wishes those injured a quick recovery.

 

SOURCE

Mission of UN in Somalia

 

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Appealing for calm in Sool

Posted by African Press International on December 1, 2013

  • UN Special Representative for Somalia appeals for calm in Sool

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 1, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has expressed his deep concern at the recent outbreak of violence in the northern region of Sool.

“Violence cannot and will not resolve political issues. All those with a stake in the area must show calm and pursue reconciliation,” said SRSG Kay.

SRSG Kay deplored the loss of life and offered his condolences to the families of those killed in recent clashes.

“Political differences and competing claims should be solved by dialogue. Peace and stability are also critical to the Puntland election process”, he added.

SRSG Kay and UNSOM colleagues are in touch with regional leaders to urge restraint and offer support for dialogue and reconciliation.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Discussing tropical cyclone response and forthcoming elections

Posted by African Press International on November 22, 2013

GAROWE, Puntland, November 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay visited Garowe today, the first stop of a three-day tour in the Federal State of Puntland.

During his meeting with Puntland President Abdirahman Farole, he expressed his great sorrow over the recent tropical cyclone that hit Puntland causing deaths, damage to infrastructure and loss of livestock. He also congratulated the authorities on their hard work and timely response and said that the United Nations would do its utmost to support the people of Puntland during this difficult time. He noted that UN efforts to date included provision of food, water and basic provisions for thousands of affected people.

SRSG Kay discussed with President Farole progress on the Puntland electoral process especially on issues of women’s participation, security and the formation of the vetting committee (Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Committee), which will review the nominated MPs.

“I heard from President Farole his plans for providing the right security arrangements for presidential candidates. I underlined the importance of forming the vetting committee in good time and noted that it needed to command the confidence of candidates, traditional leaders and the people of Puntland” said SRSG Kay. “I urge all involved in this process to strengthen the upcoming Puntland Parliament by increasing the representation of women,” Mr. Kay added.

Mr Kay welcomed President Farole’s continuing commitment to holding the elections on 8 January 2014 and his invitation to visit Garowe at that time.

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2125 (2013), Tightening Anti-Piracy – considering Creation of Specialized Courts in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on November 20, 2013

A good step for enhancement of security in the African Continent

NEW YORK, November 19, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Reiterating its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, the Security Council today renewed for another year authorizations, first agreed in 2008, for international action to fight those crimes in cooperation with Government authorities.

Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2125 (2013) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council renewed its call upon States and regional organizations that had the capacity to do so to fight ongoing sea crimes by deploying naval vessels, arms and military aircraft, and through seizures and disposition of boats, vessels and weapons used in the commission of those crimes.

It also decided that the arms embargo imposed on Somalia by resolution 733 (1992) did not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment, or to the provision of assistance, destined for the sole use of States, international, regional and subregional organizations taking measures in line with the authorizations.

By other terms, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off their coast, requesting them to pass a complete set of anti-piracy laws without further delay, and urging continued efforts, with international support, to adopt an exclusive economic zone, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Somali authorities were also called on to bring to justice those who were using Somali territory to plan, facilitate or undertake those crimes. All States were urged to adopt legislation to facilitate the prosecution of suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, and to assist Somalia — at its request and with notification to the Secretary-General — in strengthening its maritime capacity. They were also called on to criminalize piracy under domestic law.

The Council affirmed that the authorizations, originally outlined in resolutions 1846 and 1851 of 2008, applied only with respect to the situation in Somalia, and followed receipt of the 12 November letter conveying the country’s consent. They did not affect States’ rights or obligations under international law, particularly the United Nations Convention. In that context, the Council reiterated its decision to consider the establishment of specialized anti-piracy courts in Somalia and other regional States, with substantial international participation, as outlined in resolution 2015 (2011).

More broadly, the Council urged all States to take measures under their domestic law to prevent the illicit financing of piracy and laundering of its proceeds, and further, to investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the Somali coast, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation. Urging States to share information with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), for use in a global piracy database, the Council also noted the importance of securing the safe delivery of World Food Programme (WFP) assistance by sea.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and 10:07 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2125 (2013) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Somalia, especially resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008), 1844 (2008), 1846 (2008), 1851 (2008), 1897 (2009), 1918 (2010), 1950 (2010), 1976 (2011), 2015 (2011), 2020 (2011) and 2077 (2012), as well as the statement of its President (S/PRST/2010/16) of 25 August 2010 and (S/PRST/2012/24) of 19 November 2012,

“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/623), as requested by resolution 2077 (2012), on the implementation of that resolution and on the situation with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia,

“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, including Somalia’s sovereign rights in accordance with international law, with respect to offshore natural resources, including fisheries,

“While welcoming the significant decrease in reported incidents of piracy off the coast of Somalia, which areat the lowest level since 2006, continuing to be gravely concerned by the ongoing threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea pose to the prompt, safe, and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia and the region, to the safety of seafarers and other persons, to international navigation and the safety of commercial maritime routes, and to other vulnerable ships, including fishing activities in conformity with international law, and also gravely concerned by the extended range of the piracy threat into the western Indian Ocean and adjacent sea areas and increased pirate capacities,

“Expressing concern about the reported involvement of children in piracy off the coast of Somalia,

“Recognizing that the ongoing instability in Somalia contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and stressing the need to continue the comprehensive response by the international community to repress piracy and armed robbery at sea and tackle its underlying causes, recognizing the need to undertake long-term and sustainable efforts to repress piracy and the need to create adequate economic opportunities for the citizens of Somalia,

“Recognizing the need to investigate and prosecute not only suspects captured at sea, but also anyone who incites or intentionally facilitates piracy operations, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance or profit from such attacks, and reiterating its concern over persons suspected of piracy having been released without facing justice, reaffirming that the failure to prosecute persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia undermines anti-piracy efforts,

“Noting the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/623), particularly section IX on ‘Allegations of illegal fishing and illegal dumping, including of toxic substances, off the coast of Somalia’,

“Further reaffirming that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (‘The Convention’), sets out the legal framework applicable to activities in the ocean, including countering piracy and armed robbery at sea,

“Underlining the primary responsibility of the Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia; noting the several requests from Somali authorities for international assistance to counter piracy off its coast, including the letter of 12 November 2013, from the Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations expressing the appreciation of Somali authorities to the Security Council for its assistance, expressing their willingness to consider working with other States and regional organizations to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and requesting that the provisions of resolution 2077 (2012) be renewed for an additional 12 months,

“Encouraging implementationof the Somali Maritime Resource and Security Strategy, which was endorsed by the President of the Federal Government of Somalia and participating states at the fourteenth Plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) in New York on 1 May 2013; at the International Somalia Conference in London on 7 May 2013, and at the European Union’s ‘New Deal for Somalia’ Conference in Brussels on 16 September 2013,

“Recognizing the work of the CGPCS to facilitate the prosecution of suspected pirates and, in accordance with international law, to establish an on-going network and mechanism for sharing information and evidence between investigators and prosecutors, welcoming the development of the Capacity Building Coordination Group under Working Group 1 of the CGPCS, and welcoming the work by Working Group 5 of the CGPCS to disrupt illicit financial flows linked to piracy,

“Welcoming the financing provided by the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Combating Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (the Trust Fund) to strengthen regional ability to prosecute suspected pirates and imprison those convicted in accordance with applicable international human rights law, noting with appreciation the assistance provided by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Counter-Piracy Programme, and being determined to continue efforts to ensure that pirates are held accountable,

“Commending the efforts of the European Union operation ATALANTA, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation Ocean Shield, Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 151 commanded by Pakistan and the United Kingdom, as well as United States ships assigned to Combined Task Force 151 and NATO Task Force 508, the counter-piracy activities of the African Union onshore in Somalia and the naval activities of the Southern Africa Development Community, and other States acting in a national capacity in cooperation with Somali authorities and each other, to suppress piracy and to protect vulnerable ships transiting through the waters off the coast of Somalia, and welcoming the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Initiative (SHADE) and the efforts of individual countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Russian Federation, which have deployed naval counter-piracy missions in the region, as stated in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2013/623),

“Noting the efforts of flag States for taking measures to permit vessels sailing under their flag transiting the High Risk Area (HRA) to embark vessel protection detachments and privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP), and encouraging States to regulate such activities in accordance with applicable international law and permit charters to favour arrangements that make use of such measures,

“Noting the request of some Member States on the need to review the boundaries of the HRA on an objective and transparent basis, taking into account actual incidents of piracy, and noting that the HRA is set and defined by the insurance and maritime industry,

“Welcoming the capacity-building efforts in the region made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)-funded Djibouti Code of Conduct, the Trust Fund and the European Union’s activities under EUCAP Nestor, which is working with the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen its criminal justice system, and recognizing the need for all engaged international and regional organizations to coordinate and cooperate fully,

“Supporting the development of a coastal police force, noting with appreciation the efforts made by the IMO and the shipping industry to develop and update guidance, best management practices and recommendations to assist ships to prevent and suppress piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, including in the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean area, and recognizing the work of the IMO and the CGPCS in this regard, noting the efforts of the International Organization for Standardization, which has developed industry standards of training and certification for Private Maritime Security Companies when providing privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in high-risk areas, and further welcoming the European Union’s EUCAP Nestor, which is working to develop the sea-going maritime security capacities of Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles and Tanzania,

“Noting with concern that the continuing limited capacity and domestic legislation to facilitate the custody and prosecution of suspected pirates after their capture has hindered more robust international action against the pirates off the coast of Somalia, too often has led to pirates being released without facing justice, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to support prosecution, and reiterating that, consistent with the provisions of ‘The Convention’ concerning the repression of piracy, the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (‘SUA Convention’) provides for parties to create criminal offences, establish jurisdiction, and accept delivery of persons responsible for or suspected of seizing or exercising control over a ship by force or threat thereof or any other form of intimidation,

“Underlining the importance of continuing to enhance the collection, preservation and transmission to competent authorities of evidence of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and welcoming the ongoing work of the IMO, INTERPOL and industry groups to develop guidance to seafarers on preservation of crime scenes following acts of piracy, and noting the importance for the successful prosecution of acts of piracy of enabling seafarers to give evidence in criminal proceedings,

“Further recognizing that pirate networks continue to rely on kidnapping and hostage-taking, and that these activities help generate funding to purchase weapons, gain recruits and continue their operational activities, thereby jeopardizing the safety and security of civilians and restricting the flow of free commerce, and welcoming international efforts to collect and share information to disrupt the pirate enterprise, as exemplified by INTERPOL’s Global Database on Maritime Piracy, and taking note of the ongoing efforts of the Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea (formerly the Regional Anti Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Coordination Centre), hosted by Seychelles to combat piracy,

“Reaffirming international condemnation of acts of kidnapping and hostage-taking, including offences contained within the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, strongly condemning the continuing practice of hostage-taking by pirates operating off the coast of Somalia, expressing serious concern at the inhuman conditions hostages face in captivity, recognizing the adverse impact on their families, calling for the immediate release of all hostages, and noting the importance of cooperation between Member States on the issue of hostage-taking and the prosecution of suspected pirates for taking hostages,

“Commending Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania for their efforts to prosecute suspected pirates in their national courts, and noting with appreciation the assistance provided by the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme, the Trust Fund and other international organizations and donors, in coordination with the CGPCS, to support Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Somalia and other States in the region with their efforts to prosecute, or incarcerate in a third State after prosecution elsewhere, pirates, including facilitators and financiers ashore, consistent with applicable international human rights law, and emphasizing the need for States and international organizations to further enhance international efforts in this regard,

“Welcoming the readiness of the national and regional administrations of Somalia to cooperate with each other and with States who have prosecuted suspected pirates with a view to enabling convicted pirates to be repatriated back to Somalia under suitable prisoner transfer arrangements, consistent with applicable international law, including international human rights law and acknowledging the return from Seychelles to Somalia of convicted prisoners willing and eligible to serve their sentences in Somalia,

“Recalling the reports of the Secretary-General on the modalities for the establishment of specialized Somali anti-piracy courts (S/2011/360 and S/2012/50), prepared pursuant to paragraph 26 of resolution 1976 (2011) and paragraph 16 of resolution 2015 (2011),

“Stressing the need for States to consider possible methods to assist the seafarers who are victims of pirates, and welcoming in this regard the Trust Fund’s establishment in November 2012 of the ‘Hostage Support Programme’ to provide support to hostages during their release and return home, as well as to their families throughout the hostage situation,

“Recognizing the progress made by the CGPCS and UNODC in the use of public information tools to raise awareness of the dangers of piracy, highlight the best practices to eradicate this criminal phenomenon, and inform the public of the dangers posed by piracy,

“Further noting with appreciation the ongoing efforts by UNODC to support efforts to enhance Somalia’s maritime security and law enforcement capacities, also noting efforts by UNODC and UNDP and the funding provided by the Trust Fund, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and other donors to develop regional judicial and law enforcement capacity to investigate, arrest and prosecute suspected pirates and to incarcerate convicted pirates consistent with applicable international human rights law,

“Bearing in mind the Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, noting the operations of information-sharing centres in Yemen, Kenya and Tanzania and the regional maritime training centre in Djibouti, and recognizing the efforts of signatory States to develop the appropriate regulatory and legislative frameworks to combat piracy, enhance their capacity to patrol the waters of the region, interdict suspect vessels, and prosecute suspected pirates,

“Emphasizing that peace and stability within Somalia, the strengthening of State institutions, economic and social development and respect for human rights and the rule of law are necessary to create the conditions for a durable eradication of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and further emphasizing that Somalia’s long-term security rests with the effective development by Somali authorities of the Somali National Security Forces,

“Noting with appreciation recent high-level events on Somalia which have generated substantial pledges of support, and underlining the importance of delivering on any support pledged at these events,

“Taking note with appreciation the intention expressed by the Indian Ocean Rim Association at the thirteenth meeting of its Council of Ministers to bolster maritime security and safety, including through the upcoming Indian Ocean Dialogue in India, which will explore concrete options to enhance counter-piracy cooperation, including through improved maritime information-sharing arrangements and stronger national legal capacity and laws, and encouraging the Indian Ocean Rim Association to pursue efforts that are complementary to and coordinated with the ongoing work of the CGPCS,

“Noting that the joint counter-piracy efforts of the international community and private sector have resulted in a sharp decline in pirate attacks, as well as hijackings since 2011 and emphasizing that without further action, the significant progress made in reducing the number of successful pirate attacks is reversible,

“Determining that the incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia are an important factor exacerbating the situation in Somalia, which continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Reiterates that it condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;

“2. Recognizes that the ongoing instability in Somalia is one of the underlying causes of the problem of piracy and contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, while piracy, in turn, exacerbates instability by introducing large amounts of illicit cash that fuels additional crime and corruption in Somalia;

“3. Stresses the need for a comprehensive response to repress piracy and tackle its underlying causes by the international community;

“4. Underlines the primary responsibility of Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and requests the Somali authorities, with assistance from the Secretary-General and relevant UN entities, to pass a complete set of anti-piracy laws without further delay, and urges Somalia to continue efforts, with the support of the international community, to adopt an exclusive economic zone in accordance with ‘The Convention’;

“5. Recognizes the need to continue investigating and prosecuting those who plan, organize or illicitly finance or profit from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy, urges States, working in conjunction with relevant international organizations, to adopt legislation to facilitate prosecution of suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia;

“6. Calls upon the Somali authorities to interdict, and upon interdiction to investigate and prosecute pirates and to patrol the territorial waters off the coast of Somalia to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea;

“7. Calls upon the Somali authorities to make all efforts to bring to justice those who are using Somali territory to plan, facilitate, or undertake criminal acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea and calls upon Member States to assist Somalia, at the request of Somali authorities and with notification to the Secretary-General, to strengthen maritime capacity in Somalia, including regional authorities and stresses that any measures undertaken pursuant to this paragraph shall be consistent with applicable international law, in particular international human rights law;

“8. Calls upon States to cooperate also, as appropriate, on the issue of hostage taking, and the prosecution of suspected pirates fortakinghostages;

“9. Recognizes the need for States, international and regional organizations, and other appropriate partners to exchange evidence and information for anti-piracy law enforcement purposes with a view to ensuring effective prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of convicted pirates, and with a view to the arrest and prosecution of key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance and profit from piracy operations, and keeps under review the possibility of applying targeted sanctions against individuals or entities that plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance or profit from piracy operations if they meet the listing criteria set out in paragraph 8, resolution 1844 (2008); and calls upon all States to cooperate fully with the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group including on information-sharing regarding possible violations of the arms embargo or charcoal ban;

“10. Renews its call upon States and regional organizations that have the capacity to do so to take part in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, in particular, consistent with this resolution and international law, by deploying naval vessels, arms, military aircraft, by providing basing and logistical support for counter-piracy forces, and by seizing and disposing of boats, vessels, arms, and other related equipment used in the commission of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, or for which there are reasonable grounds for suspecting such use;

“11. Commends the work of the CGPCS to facilitate coordination in order to deter acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, in cooperation with the IMO, flag States and Somali authorities and urges States and international organizations to continue to support these efforts;

“12. Encourages Member States to continue to cooperate with Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea, notes the primary role of Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and decides that for a further period of twelve months from the date of this resolution to renew the authorizations as set out in paragraph 10 of resolution 1846 (2008) and paragraph 6 of resolution 1851 (2008), as renewed by paragraph 7 of resolution 1897 (2009), paragraph 7 of resolution 1950 (2010), paragraph 9 of resolution 2020 (2011), and paragraph 12 of resolution 2077 (2012) granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by Somali authorities to the Secretary-General;

“13. Affirms that the authorizations renewed in this resolution apply only with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the rights or obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including any rights or obligations, under ‘The Convention’, with respect to any other situation, and underscores in particular that this resolution shall not be considered as establishing customary international law; and affirms further that such authorizations have been renewed only following the receipt of the 12 November 2013 letter conveying the consent of Somali authorities;

“14. Decides that the arms embargo on Somalia imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and further elaborated upon by paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) and modified by paragraphs 33 to 38 of resolution 2093 (2013)does not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment or the provision of assistance destined for the sole use of Member States, international, regional and subregional organizations undertaking measures in accordance with paragraph 12 above;

“15. Requests that cooperating States take appropriate steps to ensure that the activities they undertake pursuant to the authorizations in paragraph 12 do not have the practical effect of denying or impairing the right of innocent passage to the ships of any third State;

“16. Calls upon all States, and in particular flag, port and coastal States, States of the nationality of victims and perpetrators of piracy and armed robbery, and other States with relevant jurisdiction under international law and national legislation, to cooperate in determining jurisdiction, and in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, including anyone who incites or facilitates an act of piracy, consistent with applicable international law including international human rights law to ensure that all pirates handed over to judicial authorities are subject to a judicial process, and to render assistance by, among other actions, providing disposition and logistics assistance with respect to persons under their jurisdiction and control, such as victims and witnesses and persons detained as a result of operations conducted under this resolution;

“17. Calls upon all States to criminalize piracy under their domestic law and to favourably consider the prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of those convicted, pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia, and their facilitators and financiers ashore, consistent with applicable international law, including international human rights law;

“18. Reiterates its decision to continue its consideration of the establishment of specialized anti-piracy courts in Somalia and other States in the region with substantial international participation and/or support, as set forth in resolution 2015 (2011), and the importance of such courts having jurisdiction over not only suspects captured at sea, but also anyone who incites or intentionally facilitates piracy operations, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance or profit from such attack, and encourages the CGPCS to continue its discussions in this regard;

“19. Welcomes, in this context, the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme’s continued work with authorities in Somalia and in neighbouring States to ensure that individuals suspected of piracy are prosecuted and those convicted are imprisoned in a manner consistent with international law, including international human rights law;

“20. Urges all States to take appropriate actions under their existing domestic law to prevent the illicit financing of acts of piracy and the laundering of its proceeds;

“21. Urges States, in cooperation with INTERPOL and Europol, to further investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the coast of Somalia, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation;

“22. Commends INTERPOL for operationalizing a global piracy database that consolidates information about piracy off the coast of Somalia and facilitates the development of actionable analysis for law enforcement, and urges all States to share such information with INTERPOL for use in the database, through appropriate channels;

“23. Commends the contributions of the Trust Fund and the IMO-funded Djibouti Code of Conduct and urges both state and non-state actors affected by piracy, most notably the international shipping community, to contribute to them;

“24. Urges States parties to ‘The Convention’ and the SUA Convention to implement fully their relevant obligations under these conventions and customary international law and to cooperate with the UNODC, IMO and other States and other international organizations to build judicial capacity for the successful prosecution of persons suspected of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;

“25. Acknowledges the recommendations and guidance provided by the IMO on preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery at sea; and urges States, in collaboration with the shipping and insurance industries, and the IMO, to continue to develop and implement avoidance, evasion, and defensive best practices and advisories to take when under attack or when sailing in the waters off the coast of Somalia, and further urges States to make their citizens and vessels available for forensic investigation as appropriate at the first suitable port of call immediately following an act or attempted act of piracy or armed robbery at sea or release from captivity;

“26. Encourages flag States and port States to further consider the development of safety and security measures on board vessels, including, where applicable, developing regulations for the use of PCASP on board ships, aimed at preventing and suppressing piracy off the coast of Somalia, through a consultative process, including through the IMO and ISO;

“27. Invites the IMO to continue its contributions to the prevention and suppression of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in coordination, in particular, with the UNODC, the World Food Program (WFP), the shipping industry, and all other parties concerned, and recognizes the IMO’s role concerning privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in high-risk areas;

“28. Notes the importance of securing the safe delivery of WFP assistance by sea, welcomes the on-going work by the WFP, EU operation ATALANTA and flag States with regard to Vessel Protection Detachments on WFP vessels;

“29. Requests States and regional organizations cooperating with Somali authorities to inform the Security Council and the Secretary-General in nine months of the progress of actions undertaken in the exercise of the authorizations provided in paragraph 12 above and further requests all States contributing through the CGPCS to the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia, including Somalia and other States in the region, to report by the same deadline on their efforts to establish jurisdiction and cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of piracy;

“30. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council within 11 months of the adoption of this resolution on the implementation of this resolution and on the situation with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;

“31. Expresses its intention to review the situation and consider, as appropriate, renewing the authorizations provided in paragraph 12 above for additional periods upon the request of Somali authority;

“32. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Afghan man gets 15 years jail term for killing a fellow asylum seeker of Somali origin in Norway

Posted by African Press International on November 19, 2013

A 29- year-old Afghan man is in Gulating Appeals court sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of a Somali asylum seeker at New Paradise asylum seekers camp in Bergen last year .

The killer must also pay 800,000 kroner in compensation to the bereaved family .

Mohamoud Ahmed ( 45 ) from Somalia died on the 22 May last year after being stabbed 24 times . The Afghan man claims that he killed the Somali man in self-defense because he was attacked first , but the jury did not believe him.

Analysts say the Afghan may have killed in desperation after realising that the Norwegian authorities had denied him asylum in the country. He will be deported to his home country Afghanistan after serving his sentence.

End

 

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AMISOM and Partners conclude a three-day Workshop

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in collaboration with its partners has today concluded a workshop on the development of a Gender Mainstreaming Strategy.

The workshop which aimed at undertaking a comprehensive reflection to develop a mission-specific strategy that addresses the critical gender gaps, was attended by representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia, the African Union, AMISOM, UN missions as well as representatives from research and civil society organizations.

The workshop was officially opened by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Annadif praised the organizers of the workshop which comes at a time when the mission is undergoing different phases of transformation.

“In its operations, AMISOM will always safeguard human rights and integrate gender perspectives into its work in compliance with the United Nations Charter, international human rights instruments and the UN Security Council Resolutions including resolution 1325 on women, peace and security,” he said.

“I have great expectations and I am confident that your discussions on Gender and its mainstreaming across the mission will lead to a concrete Gender Strategy that will guide the mission in current and future operations,” he added.

The Director of Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union Commisssion-Ms. Litha Musyimi-Ongana, reiterated the AU’s full support to AMISOM in the implementation of the strategy once it has been adopted. She thanked the participants and ACCORD on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union for the fruitful deliberations which resulted in the draft strategy. The position was appreciated by Ambassador NTAMWANA-AMISOM Chief of Staff who represented the SRCC during the closing of the workshop.

The workshop highlighted key areas of achievement and lessons learned from other similar peacekeeping missions, and identified priorities that informed a draft strategy to be submitted to the mission’s leadership for endorsement.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

 

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Security Council Extends Mandate of African Union Mission in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on November 13, 2013

NEW YORK, November 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Security Council today extended the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to 31 October 2014, requesting the African Union to increase the troop strength of that regional peacekeeping body from 17,731 to a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel as part of overall efforts to combat the increasingly asymmetrical tactics of Al-Shabaab rebels in the country.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2124 (2013) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the 15-member body also expanded the logistical support package for AMISOM for a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel until 31 October 2014. It agreed with the Secretary-General that conditions in Somalia were not yet appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation, taking note of benchmarks for such efforts outlined in his 14 October letter (document S/2013/606).

By other terms, the Council underlined that increases in force strength were to provide enhancement of AMISOM’s military capacity for 18 to 24 months, and further, were part of the Mission’s overall exit strategy, after which a decrease in force strength would be considered. It agreed with the Secretary-General on the critical need for sourcing contingent-owned equipment, including force enablers and multipliers, either from existing AMISOM troop contributors or other States, citing the particular need for up to 12 military helicopters. It encouraged Member States to respond in that regard.

Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to work with the African Union to improve by 1 January 2014 the strategic management of AMISOM by strengthening command and control structures, the coordination of contingents, joint operations with the Somali National Army (SNA) and information management.

As for Somali institutions, the Council requested the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM to provide – as exceptional support — food, water, fuel, transport, tents and “in-theatre” medical evacuation to front-line units of the Somali National Army, the funding for which would be provided from an appropriate United Nations trust fund.

Regarding United Nations personnel, the Council took note of the Secretary-General’s intention to deploy a guard force to strengthen security at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). It requested details on its deployment “as soon as possible” and emphasized, in that context, the importance of AMISOM’s protection of Mogadishu International Airport Compound within the troop ceiling. On the political front, it urged increased collaboration among the African Union, United Nations and Somali Government towards a comprehensive approach to peace, security and development.

Speaking after adoption, the representative of the Russian Federation said he had voted in favour of the resolution to support African Union efforts in fostering settlement in Somalia, based on the key role that its mission had played in that regard. However, some of his Government’s concerns had not been borne in mind. He was seriously concerned by the wording in paragraph 21, which outlined the Somali Government’s requirement to provide full access to humanitarian organizations, which ran counter to the principles of humanitarian assistance.

He went on to say that the Federal Government was not in a position to control a significant part of the country and that humanitarian organizations were leaving Somalia not because they had been hindered by the Government, but rather, because of the security situation. In establishing humanitarian principles, the Council was getting into an area not covered by its remit — standard setting, which was covered by the General Assembly. Therefore, he did not consider the wording in paragraph 21 as setting a precedent.

The representative of Somalia said that, over the last year, the important parts of his country’s six-pillar policy had been implemented. While the Council had “sustained” Somalia for a long time, there was now a light at the end of the tunnel. Its partnership in support of critical priorities was at a turning point. Indeed, the Council had noted the achievements of AMISOM to liberate Somalia from the scourge of Al-Shabaab, as well as the assistance and training that had enabled his Government to liberate the residual components of that group.

He went on to express hope that the Somali Army contingent fighting with AMISOM to defeat Al-Shabaab would be supported in a more consistent and timely manner by the United Nations, raising questions over when resources from the United Nations trust fund would arrive. AMISOM had been given 18 to 24 months to complete its mandate and he wondered if the trust fund would allow Somali armed forces to liberate the country in enough time for preparations for elections in 2015-2016 to proceed. All means should be applied to ensure those funds arrived as soon as possible. “Otherwise it will be a disaster for Somalia once again,” he cautioned.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:25 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2124 (2013) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in Somalia, in particular resolutions 2036 (2012), 2093 (2013) and 2111 (2013), and statements of its President on the situation in Somalia,

“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, and reiterating its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia,

“Taking note of the Joint African Union (AU)-United Nations Mission on the benchmarks for a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation in Somalia and their assessment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Security Forces, and underlining the importance it attaches to greater peace, prosperity and stability in Somalia,

“Taking note of the AU Peace and Security Council’s 10 October Communiqué on the Joint AU-United Nations Review of AMISOM and the benchmarking exercise, and welcoming in particular its call to all AU Member States to contribute financially to AMISOM,

“Welcoming the constructive manner in which both the Secretariat and the AU conducted the joint review,

“Underlining its gratitude for the work of AMISOM, in particular the extraordinary sacrifices made by AMISOM forces and personnel in pursuit of peace in Somalia,

“Welcoming the support of the international community to peace and stability in Somalia, in particular the European Union for its substantial contribution in supporting AMISOM, and emphasizing the importance of new contributors sharing the financial burden of supporting AMISOM,

“Noting with appreciation recent high-level events on Somalia which have generated substantial pledges of support, and underlining the importance of delivering on any support pledged at these events,

“Condemning recent Al-Shabaab attacks in Somalia and beyond, which serve to undermine the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia, and expressing its solidarity with the people and Governments of Somalia and the region,

“Expressing serious concern at the Secretary-General’s assessment in his

14 October letter to the Security Council that recent security gains against Al Shabaab are at serious risk of being reversed, and noting that the Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM have now assumed a more defensive posture,

“Noting the Secretary-General’s assessment that there is an urgent need to resume and strengthen the military campaign against Al Shabaab, which requires an enhancement of international support to the Somali National Security Forces and to AMISOM,

“Noting the Secretary-General’s assessment that a comprehensive strategy that includes political, economic and military components is needed to reduce the asymmetrical threat posed by Al-Shabaab,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the charter of the United Nations,

AMISOM

“1. Decides to authorize the Member States of the AU to maintain the deployment of AMISOM, as set out in paragraph 1 of resolution 2093 (2013), until 31 October 2014, which shall be authorized to take all necessary measures, in full compliance with its obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, to carry out its mandate;

“2. Agrees with the Secretary-General that conditions in Somalia are not yet appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation, takes note of the benchmarks for a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation as set out in the Secretary-General’s 14 October letter, and endorsed in the 11 October letter of the AU Commission Chairperson, and requests that the Secretary-General keeps progress against the benchmarks under continuous review, in consultation with the AU, and with a view to creating conducive conditions for the potential deployment of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation and the hand-over of security responsibilities to national authorities;

“3. Requests the AU to increase AMISOM’s force strength from 17,731 to a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel as set out in the Secretary-General’s 14 October letter;

“4. Decides to expand the logistical support package for AMISOM, referred to in paragraph 4 of resolution 2093 (2013), for a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel until 31 October 2014, ensuring the accountability and transparency of expenditure of the United Nations funds as set out in paragraph 6 of resolution 1910 (2010), and consistent with the requirements of the Secretary-General’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy;

“5. Underlines that, in line with the Joint United Nations-AU Review of AMISOM, the increases in the force strength decided in this resolution are to provide a short-term enhancement of AMISOM’s military capacity, for a period of 18 to 24 months and as part of an overall exit strategy for AMISOM, after which a decrease in AMISOM’s force strength will be considered;

“6. Agrees with the Secretary-General on the critical need for sourcing contingent owned equipment including force enablers and multipliers as provided for in paragraph 6 of resolution 2036 (2012) either from existing AMISOM Troop-Contributing Countries or other Member States, emphasizes in particular the need for an appropriate aviation component of up to twelve military helicopters, and encourages Member States to respond to AU efforts to mobilize such equipment;

“7. Reiterates paragraphs 5 of resolution 2093 (2013) regarding logistical support to AMISOM;

“8. Further reiterates paragraph 13 of resolution 2093 (2013) on the strengthening of women and children’s protection in AMISOM operations and activities;

“9. Requests the Secretary-General to work closely with the AU in order to support the implementation of this resolution, in particular by improving efficiency in the planning and strategic management of AMISOM, including strengthening command and control structures, the operational coordination of contingents, joint operations with the SNA, and information management, through a new Concept of Operations by 1 January 2014, with a view to enabling AMISOM to respond to the increasingly asymmetrical tactics used by Al-Shabaab, through an effective resumption of the military campaign against Al-Shabaab, which would rapidly reduce its capacity to control key strategic locations, and further requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide technical and expert advice to the AU in the planning, deployment and management of AMISOM through the United Nations office to the AU, and reiterates its request to the Secretary-General, in view of the substantial increases in AMISOM capabilities and support to the SNA, to enhance the provision of technical advice to the AU through existing United Nations mechanisms;

“10. Requests the AU to advance efforts to implement a system to address allegations of misconduct, which includes clear mechanisms for receiving and tracking allegations, as well as for following up with troop-contributing countries on the results of the investigations and disciplinary actions taken as applicable, and requests the United Nations to redouble its efforts to advise and provide guidance to the AU in this endeavour;

“11. Reiterates its request, and that of the AU Peace and Security Council, for AMISOM to develop further an effective approach to the protection of civilians, and stresses in particular the urgent need for AMISOM to establish and use a Civilian Casualty Tracking, Analysis and Response Cell, as requested in resolution 2093 (2013);

“12. Underlines the importance of AMISOM abiding by all requirements applicable to it under international human rights and humanitarian law, further underlines in particular the need for AMISOM to ensure that any detainees in their custody, including disengaged combatants, are treated in strict compliance with applicable obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, including ensuring their humane treatment and further requests AMISOM to allow appropriate access to detainees by a neutral body, and to establish Standard Operating Procedures for the handover of any detainees, including children, who come into their custody during a military operation;

“13. Reiterates its call for new donors to support AMISOM through the provision of additional funding for troop stipends, equipment, technical assistance and uncaveated funding for AMISOM to the United Nations Trust Fund for AMISOM, and underlines the AU’s call for their Member States to provide financial support to AMISOM;

Somali federal security institutions

“14. Takes note of the Secretary-General’s recommendation of the need to provide targeted support to front line units of the Somali National Army (SNA), requests UNSOA to support the SNA through the provision of food and water, fuel, transport, tents and in theatre medical evacuation, decides that this exceptional support shall be provided only for joint SNA operations with AMISOM and which are part of AMISOM’s overall Strategic Concept, further decides that funding for this support will be provided from an appropriate United Nations trust fund, and encourages Member States to make uncaveated contributions to the trust fund;

“15. Underlines that the support outlined in paragraph 14 of this resolution must be in full compliance with the United Nations Human Rights and Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP), further underlines its expectation that the Secretary-General will report on all UNSOA support to the SNA including on the implementation of the HRDDP, and also requests AMISOM to use its Civilian Casualties Tracking Analysis and Response cell as part of its reporting on joint AMISOM operations with the SNA;

“16. Underlines that all forces supported by UNSOA shall act in compliance with the Secretary-General’s Human Rights and Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP), and in that context further underlines its expectation that the Federal Government of Somalia will give its assurance to the Security Council, including in writing, that any Government forces being supported by UNSOA on joint operations with AMISOM will act in compliance with the HRDDP, and recalls the importance of training in this regard;

“17. Requests that to assist UNSOM to fulfil its mission, the Head of UNSOA shall keep the Special Representative of the Secretary-General informed on the implementation of the AMISOM support package, and further requests the Secretary-General to include this information in his regular reporting to the Security Council;

“18. Calls upon the Federal Government of Somalia to continue its efforts, with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), AMISOM (in accordance with their respective mandates), and other international partners to strengthen the Somali National Security Forces including by mapping the structure of these forces, establishing clear command and control systems, implementing appropriate procedures, codes of conduct and training including to ensure the safe storage, registration, maintenance and distribution of military equipment and finalizing and implementing a national program for the treatment and handling of disengaged combatants and promoting respect for human rights, including through implementing the relevant Somali Government action plans on children and armed conflict;

“19. Further requests UNSOM, in accordance with its mandate, to continue to assist in the rebuilding of Somali security institutions, and reiterates in particular UNSOM’s role in providing strategic policy advice on security sector reform (SSR) and assisting the Federal Government of Somalia in coordinating international donor support on SSR;

“20. Requests UNSOM, working closely with the AU, to assist the Federal Government of Somalia in developing broad principles on the nature of policing in Somalia with a view to proposing further options to support the development of an effective police force in Somalia;

“21. Requests the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure the protection and well-being of all internally displaced persons, including from sexual violence and exploitation, paying particular attention to ensuring that the human rights of internally displaced persons in Somalia are respected in relation to relocations, and to ensure a fully consultative process, providing prior notice and ensuring safe, sanitary new sites that have basic services, as well as full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations;

Security of United Nations personnel

“22. Takes note of the Secretary-General’s intention to deploy an appropriate United Nations Static Guard unit to strengthen security at UNSOM compounds, looks forward to receiving further details of its deployment as outlined in the Secretary-General’s 14 October letter as soon as possible, and strongly emphasizes the importance of AMISOM’s protection of Mogadishu International Airport Compound within the troop ceiling authorized in this resolution;

Political process

“23. Urges increased collaboration between the AU, United Nations and Federal Government of Somalia, including on a comprehensive approach to peace, security and development which integrates political, security, peacebuilding and development activities, recognizing that none can succeed in isolation;

“24. Recalls its 13 September 2013 statement welcoming the agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubba Administration, emphasizes the importance of all parties ensuring that the timelines as stipulated in the agreement are met, and further emphasizes the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia ensuring the right political conditions are in place to ensure greater peace and stability in Somalia;

“25. Welcomes in this context the efforts undertaken by the Federal Government of Somalia to consolidate security and establish the rule of law in areas secured by AMISOM and the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, and encourages it to continue to lead an inclusive national dialogue, with the support of UNSOM, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the AU to clarify and settle relations between the Federal government of Somalia and existing and emerging local administrations and initiate processes of national reconciliation in order to accelerate efforts to establish sustainable, legitimate and representative local governance structures across the country, especially in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab;

“26. Encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to finalize and adopt a federal Constitution by December 2015, to prepare for and hold credible elections in 2016; and to ensure the equitable participation of women, youth, minority groups and other marginalized groups in national political processes;

“27. Further encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to implement its “Vision 2016″ agenda which sets out the importance of a Somali-owned, inclusive, and transparent political process and economic recovery, consistent with the Provisional Constitution and including an effective federal political system and a comprehensive reconciliation process that brings about national cohesion and integration;

Sanctions

“28. Expresses concern at continuing violations of the Security Council charcoal ban requests the Secretary-General and his Special Representative to raise awareness amongst relevant Member States on their requirements to abide by the charcoal ban, as set out in resolution 2036 (2012);

“29. Underlines the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia and Member States complying with all aspects of the arms embargo, including the reporting and notification requirements set out in resolution 2111 (2013);

Reporting

“30. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of all aspects of this resolution as part of his regular reporting to the Security Council on the situation in Somalia;

31. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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US Assistant Secretary on a mission to UK and Etiopia

Posted by African Press International on November 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/: Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard will travel to London, United Kingdom and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12-21.

While in London, Assistant Secretary Richard will attend the Protecting Girls and Women in Emergencies conference hosted by the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening. The conference will build on Safe from the Start, the U.S. Government’s initiative to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls from the very onset of a crisis.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Assistant Secretary Richard will provide closing remarks at the International Conference on Family Planning and visit U.S. Government-funded health clinics that provide sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning and services to survivors of gender-based violence. She will also meet with government officials and representatives of both international and nongovernmental organizations. Later in the week, Assistant Secretary Richard will travel to the Tigray Region in northern Ethiopia with U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Patricia Haslach, to visit Eritrean refugees living in camps and to witness refugee programs and assistance provided on the ground. Ethiopia is hosting 77,000 refugees from Eritrea, and hosts refugees from Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, as well.

 

SOURCE

US Department of State

 

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Somali refugees to return home voluntarily from Kenya

Posted by African Press International on November 13, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Nearly half a million registered Somali refugees in Kenya will get support when they return to their homeland in an orderly fashion — if they choose to do so — under an agreement signed Sunday by the UN refugee agency and the governments of Kenya and Somalia.

“It’s very important to underline that no one is forcing Somalis to leave Kenya,” said Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s representative in Kenya.

“The government and people of Kenya have tirelessly provided protection and assistance to Somali refugees for two decades. The agreement we signed on Sunday does not mean Kenya is no longer willing to do so.”

The agreement, known formally as a Tripartite Agreement, establishes a legal framework and other support for Somali refugees in Kenya who might eventually wish to return to their homeland. It defines the roles and responsibilities of the three parties in accordance with international standards.

“Among other things, this means any refugee has the right to choose whether to go home, after they have been given information about conditions on the ground in Somalia so they can make an informed decision,” Mazou added. “It also means returns should be conducted in safety and dignity.”

In the five camps that make up the Dadaab refugee camp complex in north-eastern Kenya, there are more than 388,000 Somali refugees. There are 54,000 Somali refugees in Kakuma camp in north-western Kenya and 32,500 living in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, for a precise total of 474,483.

UN High Commissioner António Guterres, on a visit to Somalia earlier this year, acknowledged that Somali refugees are already voting with their feet and returning home by themselves to areas they deem safe. He said it would be inconceivable for refugees themselves to decide to go home and UNHCR not be there to assist them. For this reason, the Tripartite Agreement adopted an incremental approach to repatriation, starting with the provision of support to refugees who return on their own, leading to formal returns organized by UNHCR whenever conditions are right.

“This also means the agreement acknowledges the need for continued protection of Somali refugees in Kenya, and the need for other durable solutions to their plight,” Mazou said.

Signing of this agreement became possible after formation of the Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia in August 2012 that allowed for open dialogue to gradually find solutions to Somali displacement. Consolidating peace in Somalia is challenging and the situation in parts of the country remains fragile. The process, however, is moving in the right direction and there are positive signs paving the way for solutions to displacement.

“We ask the international community to support efforts towards the creation of conditions conducive for safe and dignified voluntary return to Somalia,” said Alessandra Morelli, UNHCR representative for Somalia based in Mogadishu. “No one wants to see refugees go home and have to flee again, or become displaced inside Somalia” She added that:

“UNHCR will work closely with the donor community and development actors to ensure sustainable reintegration in areas of return.”

 

SOURCE

United NationsOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

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Kenya: CCTV reveals painful moments during Westgate Mall attack

Posted by African Press International on October 18, 2013

New closed circuit television camera footage now tends to point towards the conclusion that there were only four terrorists at the Westgate Mall. The footage shows the terrorists executing their plot on the first day of the attack, with little challenge and is an extension of footage shown by NTV over the weekend, of the terrorists in the mall conducting their mission in relaxed style and even taking time to pray during their deadly mission. NTV’s Dennis Okari with new details of the Westgate attack

End

 

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“Islamist” attacks in eastern DRC

Posted by African Press International on October 17, 2013

BENI,  – “Eight months ago no one had heard of Al-Shabab,” said Henri Ladyi, a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) expert and director of the Conf lict Resolution Centre (CRC) in Beni, a town and territory in North Kivu Province in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ladyi is concerned that rumours about the influence of Somalia-based Islamists in Beni, whether true or not, are unravelling gains made by the CRC in recent years. The UN, Congolese and Ugandan authorities have drawn links between the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel group operating in the Ruwenzori Mountains just across the DRC border, and Al-Shabab. Civil society leaders in Beni say it was because of such links that ADF activity has seen a resurgence.

In late September, the group killed five people in Beni Territory and kidnapped 36, according to the UN-run Radio Okapi. Witnesses said the rebels went into a health centre where they terrorized patients before tying up and abducting two nurses.

On 25 September, Martin Kobler, head of the UN stabilization mission in DRC (MONUSCO), condemned attacks on health facilities and schools committed by armed groups, including ADF.
He said such acts, a spate of which occurred in July, had “deprived more than 7,000 children of their education and affected the provision of health services for thousands more”.

Also in July, ADF fighters were reported to have ambushed a MONUSCO convoy and held the town of Kamango for two days, leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of people.

ADF links with Islamic militants

“It seems [the ADF] are preparing for an attack,” said Kristof Titeca, armed groups expert and senior research fellow at the University of Ghent and Antwerp. He said he believed the ADF was expecting an attack by MONUSCU’s new Intervention Brigade.

The head of MONUSCO in Goma, Ray Torres, recently told Voice of America that the ADF was “establishing and strengthening its position in the north of the country. And it seems lately… they may be planning operations against FARDC [the Congolese army],” he said, describing the ADF as “very strongly ideologically based. It is an extremist Islamist group that is developing a network of businesses that indicates to us that they are planning to stay.”

Ugandan authorities have repeatedly said ADF has links with Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda.
“Uganda and others, for geostrategic reasons, often emphasize and exaggerate [Al Shabab’s] threat. This does not mean that ADF has no links with Al Shabab – these are there, but minimal, and sporadic,” said Titeca.

Other analysts have cautioned against portraying the ADF solely in terms of its Ugandan Islamist component, noting that this ignores the fact that much of the group’s members are Congolese, and motivated by local grievances.

Christian-Muslim tensions

Nevertheless, the suggested influence of foreign militant Islamists in these remote border regions is creating tensions. “The Muslim community are angry because they are the victims of this,” said Ladyi.

He reports that Muslims have come under intense scrutiny and police have carried out a number of indiscriminate arrests. “The civil society accused the Muslim community in Beni of recruiting Muslims and sending them to Somalia to be trained.” Ladyi said Muslim leaders were also criticized for allowing ADF-Nalu leaders into the mosque to pray.

Public perception in Beni has become polarized. Opinion about Al-Shabab’s engagement is regularly swung by the pronouncements of government officials from both sides of the border as well as the UN. Meanwhile, conjecture and circumstantial evidence informs the bulk of the local debate. Leaders agree on one thing: there is currently no hard proof, and speculation is damaging.

“There were never any ethnic tensions between Christians and Muslims before,” said Jean-Paul Paluku, a leading civil society activist in Beni and coordinator of a human rights group.
This year, he said, there has been massive population displacement and widespread insecurity including kidnap, sexual violation and armed robberies.

Paluku said some of these crimes may have been committed by Mai-Mai militia who had pretended to be Muslim in a bid to place the blame on the ADF

Mussa Anguandia, the leader of the Muslim Community in Beni, estimates that there are roughly 35,000 Muslims in the territory, whose population was estimated at around 900,000 in 2004.

He is adamant that the armed groups operating in Beni are not true Muslims. When Kamanga was attacked during Ramadan, armed men wearing ankle-length tunics and prayer caps stole sachets of alcohol from the shops. “This isn’t a problem of Islam, it’s a problem of political manoeuvring,” he said. Anguandia has attempted to counter negative perceptions by discussing the tenets of Islam on local radio and taking a pro-active approach to engaging local security services. He meets regularly with military and police chiefs to discuss measures to address negative attitudes.

Anguandia fears the racial discrimination that has arisen as a result of the recent spate of kidnappings and attacks could lead to a revolt. “We’re not that many, but we can respond,” he said.

Ladyi agrees that if the problem is not dealt with, it could either give rise to a new Islamic self-defence group, or drive the community to seek protection from existing groups, such as ADF-Nalu. “The Muslim community are not getting support from the government for their security,” he said. “If the government can’t solve this situation, the Muslims will seek their own protection.”

Kidnappings

The population, both Islamic and Christian, continues to be beset by a spate of kidnappings. In the first six months of this year – the same time-frame that the community ascribes to Al-Shabab’s involvement – civil society leaders recorded the kidnap of more than 500 people from all demographics. Most are believed to be cases of forced-recruitment but ransom payments have been demanded. A demobilization expert negotiating release fees said ADF has asked for ransom payments of up to US$2,000 and kidnapped a number of high profile citizens including three local priests.

The situation is extremely worrying and solutions not forthcoming, said Ladyi, who narrowly escaped forced recruitment himself 10 years ago and has facilitated the successful demobilization of over 4,000 combatants in the last two years.

Arguments over amnesty

There are currently a number of ADF militants who wish to demobilize and return to Uganda, but they are locked in a political argument over the terms of the amnesty, Ladyi said. Amnesty has proven difficult with ADF to date. The Crisis Group documents failed talks in 2001 and again in 2007, although the 2007 talks did lead to the demobilization of some 200 combatants. Uganda’s amnesty commission opened an office in Beni in 2005, in collaboration with MONUSCO (then MONUC).

But by 2006, no ADF had reported to the amnesty office and MONUSCO was considering closing it.  In 2008, ADF tried to recommence negotiations, but, delayed by the CNDP (pro-Tutsi) rebellion, they finally started in 2009 only to stall because the Ugandan government believed ADF members were merely seeking to profit. Three hundred people were dismissed for fraudulently claiming the Amnesty package that included 263,000 Ugandan shillings, a mattress and basic household items, according to local media reports.

“Politically, the process was not very well organized. Those who benefited from the amnesty did not give convincing testimonies when they got back to Uganda. MONUSCO and the Ugandan amnesty commission organized a sensitization campaign to ask ADF fighters to join the amnesty process. Many challenges affected the impact of the process. The time limitation, politics and security situation in Uganda did not allow the success of the process”, says Ladyi, who is currently waiting on the Ugandan government’s next move.

jh/am/cb

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Disasters and conflicts hinder girls’ access to education

Posted by African Press International on October 16, 2013

Disasters and conflicts hinder girls’ access to education

NAIROBI, 16 October 2013 (IRIN) – During disasters, girls fare worse than the rest of the population, according to a new report released on 11 October by child rights NGO Plan International.

“Men, women, boys and girls experience disasters in different ways. Pre-existing inequalities and vulnerabilities will be exacerbated in disasters and will affect girls and women more,” said Plan International regional director Gezahegn Kebede at an event for the launch of the report.

“In emergencies, given their gender, age, and humanitarian status [girls] experience triple disadvantage,” said Kebede. However, education can be a powerful mitigating tool, and can significantly improve their livelihoods.

The report entitled The State of the World’s Girls 2013: In Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Girls and Disasters argues that a combination of political, economic, social and cultural attitudes can lead to discrimination of girls during disasters.

“Three of the four main categories of rights that are most relevant to adolescent girls – rights to protection; development through education; and participation – are also among the lowest priorities and often receive the least funding in the humanitarian community. This is because these rights are not seen as immediately life-saving – like food, water and shelter,” the authors noted.

“In general, when times are tough and there are less household resources for school fees, school uniforms, then there is a son preference. If families have to make a choice, they would rather continue education for boys than girls,” said Plan’s Kebede.

Research conducted by the report’s authors in Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Mozambique indicated that boys are more likely to attend school after a disaster than are girls.

“Girls in the developing world tend to draw the short straw in life. They are intrinsically vulnerable, and face everything from the threat of early marriage and violence to the simple fact that their parents do not think girls important enough to go to school,” said Rose Odhiambo, CEO of the Gender and Equality Commission of Kenya.

More child marriage in emergencies 

According to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), one third of girls are married before the age of 18, and one in nine do so before they turn 15, globally.

Child marriage often increases in emergencies, for a variety of reasons, some of which have to do with income for parents,” said Kebede.

Earlier research shows that fear of gender-based violence and pregnancy out-of-wedlock can motivate families in fragile states to marry-off girls at very young ages as a protective measure.

“Child marriage often increases in emergencies, for a variety of reasons, some of which have to do with income for parents”

Girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth compared to those that give birth in their twenties, and those married before the age of 18 were also twice as likely to be physically abused or threatened by their spouses when compared to those who married later.

In Mozambique for instance, roughly 60 percent of girls with no education are married by 18, compared with just 10 percent of those who have completed secondary school, according to the ICRW.

Gender-based violence during disasters 

Poorly thought-out humanitarian programmes, too, increase the dangers girls face in disaster situations. “We are all aware of the risk of exacerbated gender-based violence based on WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene] programming that doesn’t take into account how latrines and water points are established, for example,” said Kebede.

“Gender-based violence in and around school is a major issue that needs to be addressed and teachers are often exploiting rather than protecting girls, according to various studies,” said Elke Wisch, deputy regional director for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Eastern and South Africa

In fragile countries like Somalia, lax or non-existent regulatory frameworks coupled with cultural attitudes can increase violence against women and girls.

“The issue in Somalia is that, to many, gender-based violence still only means rape. Denial to education, denial to resources, female-genital mutilation, forced early marriage – none of these are considered gender-based violence,” said Ilwad Elman, programme director at the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre in Mogadishu.

Somalia is yet to ratify the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). “Innovative strategies to actually support Somalia women and girls are paramount,” Elman added.

Education as the solution

“There is overwhelming evidence that girls’ education is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves,” UNICEF’S Wisch noted. “It is the one consistent positive determinants of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to enhanced participation and democratization.”

“A girl who has completed her education is less likely to marry and have children whilst she is still a child herself. She is more likely to be literate, healthy and survive into adulthood, as are her children,” said Kebede.

Needed: Policies to address girls’ vulnerabilities during disasters

But conflict hinders girls’ access to education. Plan International believes that half of the estimated 57 million primary-school children out of school reside in countries affected by conflict.

“When we include cyclical or protracted disasters this figure is of course even higher,” Kebede said.

Research conducted looking at disasters over a 20-year period in 141 countries shows that boys generally received preferential treatment over girls in rescue efforts.

The use of new technology, as well as innovative partnerships and policies, can help improve access to education, particularly for girls in disasters.

In Bangladesh, solar powered floating schools enable communities affected by seasonal rains and rising sea levels to continue with their educationdespite flooding.

By prioritizing education during emergency responses, disaster situations provide an opportunity to get more girls into school. “Education in emergencies provide safe spaces for girls and boys, provide psycho-social support and peer support spaces and are often used to communicate life-saving messages throughout the first phases of a disaster,” said Kebede.

The report calls for, among other things, greater gender-disaggregated data to better inform policy, and specific initiatives to address the vulnerabilities exacerbated by gender, especially in disaster prevention and response.

aps/ko/cb  source http://www.irinnews.org

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Norway: Memorial gathering in Oslo for Kenya’s Westgate Victims

Posted by African Press International on October 7, 2013

Kenyans and friends living in Norway gathered this weekend (5th October 2013) to remember those who died in the cowardly terrorist attack that took place in Westgate Shopping Mall on Saturday 21st September where over 65 people were killed.  Some are missing and are yet to be found by their loved ones. No one knows whether they are dead.

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The Al Shabaab of Somalia took responsibility for the attack, saying they are on a revenge mission against Kenya for their involvement in Somalia. The Kenya Government entered Somalia a couple of years a go to help stabilise the country and help get a government of the people, ridding out the Al Shabaab. There are still small groups operating in the Southern part of Somalia.

The Al Shabaab says the attack in Westgate Mall causing deaths is a signal they are sending to Kenya that there will be more such attacks if Kenya does not remove its soldiers from Somali soil – the government has soldiers participating in the Africa Union army helping the weak Somali government that the Al Shabaab want to dislodge. and turn the country into a Somali Muslim Republic with strict Somali laws.

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Kenya: Deaths risen to 59 – Terror attack in Nairobi

Posted by African Press International on September 22, 2013

The Al Shabaab terror attack yesterday in Nairobi is now reported to have taken 59 lives and 175 reported injured.

Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Interior has confirmed the number of deaths. This is a big loss to Kenya and the families affected.

Related:

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