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Somalia Arms Embargo Group Reappointed

Annan Re-Appoints Monitoring Group For Arms Embargo Against Somalia

With Somali armed groups reported to be still receiving weapons despite a 1992 embargo, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has re-appointed four members of the sanctions Monitoring Group called for by the UN Security Council.

In a letter to the President of the Security Council released today, Mr. Annan named the four experts who served on the last Monitoring Group to investigate the weapons situation of the Horn of Africa country for another six months.

They are Melvin Holt, Jr., of the United States and Joel Salek of Colombia, who have been members of the Somali panel since its establishment in early 2004, Harjit Singh Kelley of Kenya, who once served on an expert panel on Liberian sanctions, and Bruno Schiemsky of Belgium, who was part of a group monitoring the embargo against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The Security Council had requested Mr. Annan to re-establish the Monitoring Group with a multi-faceted mandate, including investigating the implementation of the arms embargo by Member States and violations through field-based investigations in Somalia, where possible, and in other States, particularly those in the region.

The panel, based in Kenya, should also assess the actions taken by Somali authorities and other UN Member States, especially Somalia’s neighbours, “fully to implement the arms embargo.”

The Group has described its mandate as investigating, among other aspects, “the points of entry and exit of arms and the flow of weapons into Somalia; the mode of transport (air, land, sea) used; the destination of the weapons; the warlords, faction leaders or businessmen receiving the arms and weapons; the areas or regions under the control of the faction leaders, warlords and businessmen and their associates” as well as the operation of arms markets in Somalia and the source of the arms.

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