Date: Monday, 17 April 2017
In April, the Chair of the Somalia and Eritrea 751/1907 Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), will deliver his 120-day briefing to the Council. The Council also expects to receive the midterm update of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG). The mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) expires on 16 June.
The most recent Council action on Somalia and Eritrea sanctions took place last November. On 8 November 2016, the outgoing chair of the 751/1907 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela), briefed Council members on the final reports of the SEMG. On 10 November, the Council adopted resolution 2317, renewing until 15 November 2017 the partial lifting of the embargo set out in resolution 2142, the humanitarian exemption, and the authorisation for maritime interdiction. The resolution also extended the SEMG’s mandate until 15 December 2017.
During negotiations on resolution 2317, China proposed language requesting the SEMG to present a report within 120 days to the Committee on recommendations for lifting sanctions imposed on Eritrea, including benchmarks and a timeframe. (The report of the SEMG had found for the third year in a row that Eritrea was not supporting the Al-Shabaab terrorist group.) However, the proposal was not accepted by the penholder, the UK, in a draft placed under silence on 8 November. Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela all broke silence when this proposal was not incorporated into the draft. As a compromise, text was included in the draft in blue expressing the Council’s “intention to review measures on Eritrea in light of the upcoming midterm update by the SEMG due by 30 April 2017 and taking into account relevant Security Council resolutions”. Some members believed that this compromise had the benefit of not prejudging the review of the sanctions on Eritrea, which in their view was the case with the Chinese proposal. However, Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela all abstained, and the resolution was adopted with only ten affirmative votes.......................
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