Updated sanctions list can help Somalia in fight against Al-Shabaab, Security Council hears

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

“While it is too early to see the impact of these listings, an updated sanctions list can be a significant tool in supporting the federal government of Somalia in its fight against Al-Shabaab,” said Geraldine Byrne Nason, permanent representative of Ireland to the United Nations and chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to Resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia, during a briefing on the subsidiary organ’s work from Feb. 26 to June 14.

She added that those three individuals hold various positions in the armed group.

Nason also noted that the committee received the comprehensive midterm update of the panel of experts on Somalia on May 14 and discussed the content at a second informal virtual meeting on June 4.

During that meeting, she said, the acting coordinator of the panel, who was appointed following the resignation of the coordinator on April 27, 2021, highlighted four key areas of the panel’s midterm update — the continued threat posed by Al-Shabaab, including the use of improvised explosive devices; violations of international humanitarian law; ongoing investigations into the group’s finances; the management of weapons and ammunition by the federal government; and the ban on the export of charcoal from the country.

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

The committee is currently considering the six recommendations contained in the panel’s midterm update, including the idea of a consultative process with the federal government on the requirements of the arms embargo regime, she reported.

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