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Key UN Documents

Resolution 1724 (November 29, 2006)

In this resolution, the Security Council condemns "the significant increase in the flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia," in violation of the arms embargo. In addition, the Council re-establishes the Monitoring Group in charge of overseeing the enforcement of the arms embargo.

Resolution 733 (January 23, 1992)

The Security Council establishes a complete embargo on all weapons and military equipment against Somalia. The resolution also calls for rapid measures to allow safe humanitarian assistance to the Somali population.

Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Somalia (October 23, 2006)

In his report to the Security Council on the situation of Somalia, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan calls for "coherent international support for the Somali peace process." Annan insists that a deployment of forces "should be in support of a peace agreement or a political process and should enjoy the consent of all major parties."


Can The Somali Crisis Be Contained? (August 10, 2006)

This International Crisis Grouppiece argues that the Somali crisis stems directly from "ill-conceived foreign intervention." Ethiopia's attempt to destabilize the Transitional National Government and international calls for the deployment of UN peacekeepers fuel tensions rather than bolster peace. The group calls on the UN, especially the Security Council, for decisive international action to form "a genuine government of national unity" that would include leaders from all sides.



The Big Question: What's Going On in Somalia, and Is The Horn of Africa on The Brink of War? (December 8, 2006)

This Independentarticle analyzes the reasons that may lead to an escalation of the war in Somalia. As the Union of Islamic Court gains control over the country and some regions of neighboring Ethiopia, observers fear it may destabilize the already weak UN backed Somali transitional government and expand the conflict outside Somalia's borders. Furthermore, experts worry that the Islamic Courts will consider the UN resolution authorizing a peacekeeping operation as a provocation and intensify the conflict with US ally Ethiopia.

Somalia's Peacekeeping Conundrum (December 7, 2006)

This BBCarticle predicts that many months or years will pass before any deployment of peacekeeping force. The Union of Islamic Court which controls a large part of Somalia strongly opposes the UN Security Council resolution to send peacekeepers in the country. And the international community, including the troop contributing countries, has not reached any agreement on how to practically implement the UN resolution.

Somalia: Diplomacy's Last Chance (December 6, 2006)

This OpenDemocracyarticle argues that the UN Security Council resolution on the deployment of a peacekeeping force to Somalia may be "the wrong solution." The US-backed resolution fails to understand the nuances of the Somali situation and takes side with the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI). The author concludes that African Union troops will enter in "a direct collision-course" with the Islamic Courts Union militias vying for power with the TFI. The article recommends that the UN enforce the arms embargo and put impartial pressure on both sides of the conflict for a peace dialogue.

Security Council Condemns "Significant Increase" in Flow of Weapons into Somalia (November 29, 2006)

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to reestablish a monitoring group to oversee the arms embargo against Somalia. In its report, the previous monitoring group had accused several countries of violating the arms embargo by providing weapons and resources to rival sides in Somalia. This Associated Pressarticle notes the rapidity of the Council resolution which was voted just days before a decision to deploy a peacekeeping operation in the East African country.

US-Backed UN Resolution Risks Wider War (November 28, 2006)

The US intends to present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the deployment of an international force to Somalia in order to help stabilize the situation in the country. The Bush administration fears that "Islamist forces are transforming Somalia into a safe haven for al Qaeda," which will undermine the US "war on terror." This Inter Press Servicearticle argues that a peacekeeping force, which will most likely include troops from Somalia's rival Ethiopia, runs the risk of further destabilizing the country and has the potential to engulf the entire region in a "major conflict."

Somalia Conflict Risk Alert (November 27, 2006)

In light of the UN vote for an arm embargo against Somalia and the US push for a peacekeeping operation in the Horn of Africa, the International Crisis Grouppublished a "conflict risk alert" on the Somali situation. The organization warns that the US proposal would destabilize the region and suggests instead that the Security Council pressure the Somali transitional government and the Council of Somali Islamic Courts to resume peace negotiations.

UN Report Says 10 Nations Violating Arms Embargo in Somalia, Potential High for War (November 15, 2006)

In a controversial report, a UN monitoring group's report states that ten countries supply both the Somali transitional government and rival Islamic Courts Union with weapons and financial support in violation to the UN arms embargo. In its much debated conclusion, the report warns of a looming war between the Ethiopia backed government and the Islamic Courts supported by Eritrea. The UN experts recommend against peacekeeping operations in Somalia, which "would only exacerbate tensions." (Associated Press)

US Accused of Covert Operations in Somalia (September 10, 2006)

This article in the Observerdetails how US-based private military companies (PMCs) planned covert military operations inside Somalia in support of President Abdullahi Yusuf's transitional federal government and against the Supreme Islamic Courts Council which currently controls the capital Mogadishu. The article states that correspondence between the PMCs suggests the involvement of the US Central Intelligence Agency. Such foreign involvement in Somalia would violate the UN arms embargo, the author affirms.

Experts See Proxy War Under Way in Somalia (July 26, 2006)

Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yemen have sent supplies and troops to war-torn Somalia as an outlet for the countries' own regional tensions. Washington has cautioned other governments from intervening in the conflict and creating a proxy war. Even so, the US has sponsored the transitional government and backed non-religious militias in Somalia, creating its own proxy war. (Associated Press)

US Secretly Backing Warlords in Somalia (May 17, 2006)

The US government secretly funds "counterterrorist" Somali warlords who are fighting Islamic groups over the control of the Somali capital. Most of Somalia is in anarchy since 1991 and there is no effective policing system. Some Somalis are calling for the US support in stabilizing the country, but as previous US involvement with warlords show, this strategy is bound to fail and backfire on the United States. (Washington Post)


Somalia: Don't Cross the Mogadishu Line (February 9, 2005)

The International Crisis Group(ICG) warns that the decision of African regional organizations to send troops to Somalia "risks destabilizing Somalia's fragile transitional institutions and jeopardizing the peace process." The Somali transitional government is deeply divided over any foreign military deployment, and several Somali leaders and groups threaten to oppose any such intervention by force.


 The New Humanitarianism (December 2003/January 2004)

This major article looks thoughtfully and critically at humanitarian intervention. Reviewing the growing literature, the author concludes that the global economic order produces civil wars and failed states and elicits interventionist responses. Humanitarian interventions, he argues, maintain the unjust global order and obscure its negative consequences. Humanitarian agencies are complicit. (Boston Review)

Security Council Re-Affirms Full Support for Peace Process (November 22, 2004)

While armed militias from various clans continue to govern a divided Somalia, the newly elected Somali President Yusuf Ahmed appeared before the Security Council in an attempt to gain international backing for his government. In exile in Kenya since his election, Ahmed called for an international peacekeeping force and financial support to help his government. In a resolution, the Security Council affirmed its support of the UN backed Transitional Federal Parliament and its efforts to restore stability in country. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Somalia Arms Embargo Violations Fuel Violence (August 16, 2004)

A UN monitoring group reported several violations of the UN arms embargo set against Somalia since 1992. The flow of arms threatens peace efforts in Somalia itself and potentially the entire region, the report says. The monitoring group highlights the relationship between the supply of weapons and the never ending cycle of violence in the country. (Reuters)

2000 - 2002

 The Long and Hidden History of the US in Somalia (January 21, 2002)

Somalia is being mentioned as the next possible target in the US war against international terrorism. ZNetconsiders earlier US interventions in the impoverished country and what might result if the US does go to war.

Both Savior and Victim: Black Hawk Down Creates a New and Dangerous Myth of American Nationhood(January 29, 2002)

Initially, the US entered Somalia in 1992 to do "God's work" in a nation devastated by clan warfare and famine. Yet far from resolving the conflict, the US accidentally escalated aggression and transformed UN's peacekeeping mission into a partisan war. (Guardian)

Security Council Calls for New Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (January 12, 2001)

Six years after the UN's ill-fated operation left the country, the Security Council took steps toward a new peace-building mission in Somalia. But the Secretary General's Special Representative for Somalia already announced that the mission would be minimal.(Agence France Presse)

Annan Set To Propose Somalia Mission (December 23, 2000)

In a report to the Security Council, the Secretary General suggests that a UN mission might be established to help Somalia towards peace. (Associated Press)

Warlord Accuses UN of Fuelling Hostilities in Somalia (July 4, 2000)

A Somali warlord bashed the UN Security Council for supporting the Djibouti talks that aims to establish a transitional administration in Somalia. The bitter warlord, ousted from the Djibouti initiatives, has controlled part of Somalia since the collapse of the state in 1991. (Agence France Presse)

Governments Urged To Back Somali Peace (June 29, 2000)

The UN Security Council gave strong support to Somalia's efforts to rebuild the collapsed state. Currently, a Somali peace conference is working on writing a charter and establishing a transitional assembly to restore a central government. (Associated Press)


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