Somalia: Security Council exempts humanitarian activities from sanctions provisions
Laaska News March 17,2011
17 March 2011 –The Security Council today voted to exempt the work of humanitarian agencies operating in Somalia from a resolution that obliges States to impose financial sanctions on groups and individuals who obstruct efforts to restore peace and stability in the Horn of Africa country.
Under Security Council resolution 1844 of 2008, UN Member States are obligated to freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled by the individuals or entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security, stability or humanitarian operations in Somalia.
Resolution 1972 passed today says an exemption shall apply if the payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources are necessary to ensure the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Somalia, by the UN, its specialized agencies or programmes, humanitarian organizations having observer status at the General Assembly that provide humanitarian assistance, or their implementing partners.
The exemption is for a period of 16 months, according to the text of the resolution, which also requires the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator to report to the Security Council by 15 November this year, and again by 15 July next year, on the implementation of the exemption and on any impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.
A severe drought in Somalia has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia, where civilians have been caught up in fighting pitting forces of the country’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which are backed by African Union (AU) peacekeepers, against insurgents with the Al-Shabaab armed group and other militants.
An estimated 2.4 million people – or about a third of the country’s 7.2 million people – are in need of relief aid as a result of drought and two decades of conflict.
Somalia has lacked a fully functioning national government and has been buffeted by factional warfare since the toppling in 1991 of the regime headed by Muhammad Siad Barre.