Britain drafts new United Nation Somalia sanctions’

Medeshi Nov 14, 2008
Britain drafts new United Nation Somalia sanctions
* Diplomats say resolution proposes asset freezes, travel bans for violence
UNITED NATIONS: Britain has circulated a draft resolution that would impose new UN sanctions on anyone contributing to violence and instability in Somalia, UN Security Council diplomats told Reuters on Wednesday.

The draft resolution, distributed to the 15 members of the Security Council, calls for asset freezes and travel bans for anyone engaging in or supporting violence in Somalia, including individuals or companies that violate a 1992 UN arms embargo against the lawless Horn of Africa country. The resolution, obtained by Reuters, also targets anyone “obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Somalia.” Several Western council diplomats said they hoped the resolution would be approved next week. “The idea is to increase the pressure on those responsible for undermining stability in Somalia,” a Western diplomat told Reuters.

The situation in Somalia has grown steadily worse this year. Assassinations, kidnappings and attacks on aid workers have been rife amid a militant insurgency against the government and its Ethiopian military allies. Suspicion for attacks generally falls on clan militia, though rebel leaders have said the interim government is behind the killings to discredit them and stir the international community to intervene. Somalia’s transitional government has repeatedly called on the Security Council to send UN peacekeepers to take over from the African Union, which has 3,000 troops in Somalia but has said it is not up to the task. The council has asked the UN secretariat to prepare possible scenarios for sending peacekeepers to Somalia, but council diplomats and UN officials say privately that the situation is far too dangerous for UN troops. reuters