Thursday, November 13, 2014

UN Security Council Monitoring Group Report on Somalia

The UN Security Council has released its 461 page Somalia Monitoring Group report dated 13 October 2014

The report notes that international investment at the political level and some reform efforts have not altered the underlying dynamics of the government system, which are largely a continuation of earlier transitional arrangements, in terms of both a lack of transparency of and accountability for public resources and clan-based interests dominating security forces and logistics.

Al-Shabaab, even after the death of Ahmed Godane, remains the principal threat to peace and security in Somalia and throughout the Horn of Africa.  Al-Shabaab maintains an effective and violent footprint in Mogadishu and demonstrated its operational reach beyond the capital by adopting an apparent economy of effort strategy.

In the Sool region of northeastern Somaliland, forces from Somaliland clashed with Puntland forces and militias loyal to Khatumo, a political organization based in the Dhulbahante clan that is pursuing the creation of a regional state within Somalia and separation from Somaliland.  The region is prone to conflict, given the competing claims by Somaliland, Puntland, and Khatumo over oil-rich territory there and political infighting among the Dhulbahante, who are divided in loyalty between Puntland, Khatumo, and Somaliland.

Somali piracy remains at a low point.  While piracy may be largely contained, however, many of its underlying causes continue to exist and it remains a threat to peace, security, and stability.

Underlying corruption as a system of governance has not yet fundamentally changed and, in some cases, arguably has worsened.

Humanitarian access in many parts of Somalia remained fragile.  Although physical access became possible throughout a larger territory, with the UN and NGOs establishing a presence in new locations, the quality and sustainability of that access degraded in many places owing to a combination of intensified conflict, increased displacement, and deteriorating security, in particular exacerbated by the joint national army and AMISOM offensive against al-Shabaab.

The international trade in Somali charcoal remains largely consistent with the period 2012-2013.  The transnational business architecture for the trade remains in place and continues to adapt to ensure large scale profit.  Upwards of 1 million bags of charcoal have been exported each month from Kismayo, in addition to those exported from al-Shabaab-controlled Barawe and other smaller ports.

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