The United Nations Security Council’s Sanctions Committee today sent a mission to Somalia and its neighbours to investigate and tighten the arms embargo designed to end more than a decade of Somali civil strife.
The mission, led by the committee chairman, Bulgarian Ambassador Stefan Tafrov, comprised experts from Security Council member states.
"The mission's first stop will be Cairo where it will meet with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States," UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told the daily news briefing.
"It will then proceed to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen, Eritrea, Kenya and Italy, where it will hold meetings with high-ranking government officials and other interlocutors," he said.
Also on the agenda was a high-level meeting at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a meeting with representatives of Somalia's leadership in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ambassador Tafrov would brief the Security Council on the mission in early December, during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council.
Earlier, the Council called on Somalia's leaders to agree on a lasting solution to their conflict and to establish the framework for a viable government by working through a Leaders Meeting scheduled to take place in Kenya later this month.
Angolan Ambassador Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins, who holds the council's monthly rotating presidency for November, read a statement thanking the leaders of Kenya and Uganda for their roles in the Intergovernmental Authority on Government (IGAD), which has been facilitating the negotiations.
"The Security Council urges all Somali leaders to participate constructively in the Leaders Meeting planned by the IGAD Facilitation Committee in Kenya in November 2003 to bridge their differences and to reach agreements on a viable government and a durable and inclusive solution to the conflict in Somalia," Mr. Martins said.
Somalia has lacked a central government since 1991 when the government of President Siad Barre fell. The Somalia National Reconciliation Conference has been meeting in Mbagathi, Kenya, since October 2002.