Somalia’s failure to cooperate with the UN Panel of Experts risks undermining monitoring of weapons flow into the Horn of Africa nation, the UN Security Council was told Friday.
Representatives from the US, Germany and France pointed fingers at Somali Federal Government for what it termed as non-cooperation with the Panel of Experts which replaced the UN Monitoring Group last year.
US Mission to the UN Special Policy Advisor Michael Berkin said Somalia’s non-cooperation with the Panel of Experts was ‘troubling’ but noted his country will not allow Somalia to derail the work of the Panel.
“The ongoing refusal of the FGS to engage with the Panel of Experts, and to support its work, is troubling,” said Berkin. “We will not ignore, or enable, the FGS’s ongoing efforts to stymie the work of the Panel of Experts.”
He noted the panel was ‘the eyes and ears on the ground in Somalia and in the region for the Sanctions Committee and ultimately for this Council.’
Germany and France also took issue with Somalia over lack of cooperation.
UK representative Jonathan Allen also voiced concerns noting failure to cooperate with the PoE was not ‘acceptable’
“As always, the United Kingdom will work with Somalia’s Government in all endeavours, but it is unacceptable that it has not cooperated with the Panel over the course of its mandate,” said Allen. “Somali engagement is crucial, he added, stressing: “Efforts to support Somali-led security will only succeed if we all work together.”
Somalia has come under sharp criticism in the past for failing to cooperate with UN Monitoring Group
The US lashed out at the Somali government early this year on similar grounds noting the arms embargo would not be lifted unless Somalia cooperates.
“On the arms embargo, we have encouraged Somalia to engage productively with the Panel of Experts, and will continue to do so,” acting US Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the Security Council in March. “Somalia appears to believe that the Security Council will eventually lift the sanctions despite a lack of engagement with the panel.”