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Report Of The Secretary-General On The Situation In Somalia

Issue 323
Front Page
Index
Headlines

A Lion Kills Woman In Hargeysa After Breaking Loose From Aviation Minister’s Private Zoo

Somaliland Police Arrests 5 Men Suspected Of Involvement In Piracy Attacks Off The Coast Of Puntland

Somaliland Gov’t Expresses Resentment On UN Special Envoy’s Report To The Security Council

At least 10 killed as Somali troops shell a market

So There Is Somalia And Somaliland: The African Union As Well As The United Nations Must Recognize‏

Riyale's Last Cabinet Reshuffle And What It Portends For His Political Career

Second tallest man has biggest hands

Somalia government in trouble

Somalia: Going Beyond The Terrorist Designation

Rayale’s Republic Of Clanistan

Kosovo, Tibet: Same Or Different?

Regional Affairs

10,000 Health Workers Stop Polio In One Of Most Dangerous Places On Earth Somalia Passes Polio-Free Landmark

High Level Summit To Focus On Somalia’s Economy

Puntland Leader Sacks Interior Minister: Report

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Obama has chosen his running mate

Man Accused Of Killing Four Children OK To Stand Trial

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Djibouti: St Tropez In The Horn?

Better Deal For Somalis Who Send Money Home

Guards For African Leaders Battle; Dozen Injured

Dad Pleads For Son's Killer To Turn Himself In

Ghanaian Fashion Accessory Is Plastic Fantastic

Obama Campaign Sparks Local Somalis' Interest In Election

Father Sells Daughter For Qat Money

Food for thought

Opinions

Somaliland: UNHRC Praises Continued Progress

Democracy Threatened: The Legitimacy Of Elections In Africa

Somalia: A publisher reissues a book on Somali names and nicknames

Announcement: Expert Discussion On The Future Of Somaliland

Africa: Kosovo Vote Could Impact Continent

Global Hip-Hop Artist K'naan Releases First US Album

Death Likely If Convict Deported: Friend


14 March 2008 - S/2008/178

Annex III

Contingency plans for a possible United Nations peacekeeping operation

1. In examining possibilities for a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia, the fact-finding team undertook a thorough analysis of the security situation, including threats and risks to the security of United Nations personnel. It is important to note that the situation is not the same throughout the country. Conditions in the north are relatively better than in southern and central Somalia. In those areas, the conflict remains extremely complex, characterized by a web of shifting alliances between clans, subclans, and extremist elements, fighting for control of political and economic space, and a temporary alliance of some groups, aimed at forcing the withdrawal of Ethiopian armed forces from the country. As the Government has little capacity to regulate the economy and ensure law and order, criminal elements are free to seek influence over revenue collection, customs, the port, trade, water and land, and engage in the trafficking of arms and drugs and in human trafficking. Inter- and intra-clan tensions over political power and economic resources cannot always be related directly to the activities of criminal and insurgent elements, but cannot be separated from them.

2. The continuing threat of abduction, kidnapping and extortion limits the capacity of United Nations and humanitarian agencies to operate within the country. At the same time, the United Nations country team estimates that the population in need of humanitarian aid is now approaching 2 million people in what my Special Representative has stated is the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa today.

Northern Somalia: “ Somaliland” and “Puntland”

3. Security in the north of Somalia remains fragile, but the situation there is relatively better than in southern and central Somalia. The fact-finding mission attempted to visit Hargeysa in “ Somaliland” but was prevented from doing so by security concerns caused by a political rally. “Somaliland” and “Puntland” continue to dispute their border in the Sool and Sanag regions, centered on the city of Laascaanood. This issue is related to the administrative border that allocates the region to Somaliland, although the people who live in the area belong to the Darod-Dolbohanta clan of “Puntland”. The state identity of these two lands will require careful consideration in any future Somali federation. Although “Somaliland” has officially indicated its desire to secede from Somalia, no country has recognized it as a separate State. The self-declared autonomous State of “Puntland” has stated its desire to remain a part of Somalia as an autonomous region, but it has significant security problems, including piracy and kidnapping, as well as the border dispute with “ Somaliland”.

34. The force would require a reserve of one mechanized battalion initially located outside Mogadishu which could be embarked on a landing ship and moved quickly to any location on the Somali coast. Furthermore, provision would need to be made for a rapidly deployable capacity, over the horizon, to be activated in extremis, if the peace process were to unravel, particularly during the generation and deployment of the force. After 17 years of conflict, the force would require a strong mine action presence to deal with landmines and explosive remnants of war. The threat posed by improvised explosive devices could also be significant given the historical frequency of their use and the abundance of suitable component munitions available for their manufacture. A strong military explosive ordnance disposal unit would be needed to mitigate this threat, which would be distinct from the wider humanitarian mine action capability.

35. If not already deployed, a maritime task force would be required to support the arms embargo, conduct anti-piracy operations and protect supply shipping. United Nations military liaison officers would be deployed to “Somaliland” and “Puntland” to maintain close liaison with the United Nations police that would also form part of the mission and other United Nations offices; to the African Union to facilitate a transition from AMISOM; and to Kenya and Ethiopia to maintain liaison with the military authorities in those countries.

36. The total force would initially consist of 15 infantry battalions, excluding the over the horizon capacity. Depending on the stability of two of the sectors and the internally displaced civil population at the time of deployment, the final number could rise to 21 infantry battalions. The total number of United Nations military could number up to 27,000, with a possible police component of up to 1,500 police officers, including formed police units. Prior to the deployment of any United Nations mission, an integrated mission planning process must be completed, including a comprehensive technical assessment mission into Somalia. The Secretariat would also continue to monitor the situation in the north between “ Somaliland” and “Puntland”, with a view to updating contingency plans accordingly.

Contingency planning for a United Nations integrated peacekeeping mission in Somalia

Scenarios

12. Possible future developments are presented under four scenarios, leading up to the deployment of a possible United Nations peacekeeping operation.

13. Scenario 1. This scenario generally represents the current situation in Somalia. The Transitional Federal Government, with the support of national and international partners, continues to work on the development of an inclusive and viable political process, including initiating dialogue. Meanwhile, the security situation remains volatile. Ethiopian and Government forces continue to battle armed opposition in the central districts of Mogadishu and UIC and extremist opposition elements continue to extend their influence in certain regions in southern Somalia where they maintain training camps. While AMISOM may receive additional troops, it is unlikely to reach a size that could provide security in Mogadishu and allow for the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces. The Transitional Federal Government, for its part, is also unable to maintain security in Mogadishu or to extend its authority and control throughout southern and central Somalia.

14. Scenario 2. This scenario envisages a measured improvement in the political process, with at least 60 to 70 per cent of the opposition supporting political dialogue. While the security situation may still be volatile, dialogue on security arrangements has commenced. These conditions would create the conditions necessary for strengthening the United Nations presence in Mogadishu and other areas of southern and central Somalia.

15. Scenario 3. This scenario envisages a measured improvement in the political and security situation. The major clans and factions, including 60 to 70 per cent of the armed opposition groups, would accept and implement a code of conduct on the use of arms. While this may be short of a full security agreement, it would establish a minimum code of behavior among the armed groups. At the same time, the Government of Ethiopia and the Transitional Federal Government would have indicated readiness to consider the staged withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Mogadishu.

16. Scenario 4. In this scenario, a viable political process would have taken hold in southern and central Somalia and “Puntland” with the majority (70 per cent) of the parties agreeing to a political power-sharing agreement and to renounce violence, lay down arms and commit themselves to supporting the implementation of a Security Council mandate establishing an integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation. It may be foreseen that spoilers would remain, but they would have been marginalized to the extent possible. Under this scenario, the Ethiopian forces would have withdrawn or would be in the process of doing so. A military technical agreement in support of peace would have been signed by the major clans and factions, which would list security arrangements, such as certain ways to achieve disarmament, in respect of heavy weapons as a minimum, and non-violent settlement of disputes.

Contingency plans

17. On the basis of the findings and scenarios set out above, the Secretariat has further developed contingency plans for support that could be provided by the international community to the peace process in Somalia. Under the first two scenarios, the intent would be to enhance United Nations political and programmatic (humanitarian, recovery and development) support to Somalia. Under the third scenario, the objective would be to enhance security in Mogadishu, following the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces. Under the fourth scenario, the Security Council might wish to consider the establishment of an integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation for Somalia, based on broad political and security agreements between major stakeholders.

Scenario 1 contingency plans

18. While the United Nations country team is present in a number of areas of Somalia, the current security situation does not allow for further deployment of UNPOS and country team personnel in Mogadishu and the southern and central parts of the country. As a result, these personnel are stationed in Nairobi, visiting Somalia usually for a few hours or days at a time, as security conditions permit. I have requested the Department of Safety and Security, in consultation with the designated official, to develop viable options to relocate UNPOS and country team personnel from Nairobi to Mogadishu and other parts of southern and central Somalia. The relocation would support United Nations political efforts and address critical gaps in humanitarian and recovery assistance.

19. Another measure under the present security scenario which could be considered by the Security Council is the establishment of a maritime task force, formalizing the unilateral initiatives currently being undertaken by individual Member States, either as a United Nations task force or as an international task force under a United Nations mandate. Subject to the scale of the task force, its mission could be limited to the protection of United Nations, humanitarian and AMISOM supply shipping or expanded to deter piracy and support the international arms embargo established under resolution 733 (1992), within capabilities and its assigned area of operations. In the absence of a secure environment in Mogadishu, this contingency could also provide medical, logistic and in extremis support for United Nations personnel in Somalia. An expert assessment of the maritime assets needed to deliver the extended maritime mission would be required but an initial estimate suggests a requirement of up to four corvettes or frigates, with helicopters.

Scenario 2 contingency plans

20. The objective under this contingency would be for the United Nations to further enhance its political support to the peace process, through the relocation of UNPOS headquarters to Mogadishu in order to facilitate political dialogue on the ground. The establishment of a larger United Nations presence on land within Somalia even in a measurably improved political atmosphere would require the development of appropriate security arrangements, both in terms of protection elements and physical infrastructure. The development of these arrangements would require further detailed work to define the number of UNPOS and country team personnel required in Somalia, their activities and consequent protection requirement. Subject to the scale of the required presence, these arrangements could take considerable time to put in place and entail a major investment in resources and physical protection measures. This further assessment should be undertaken as soon as possible by the Department of Safety and Security, in close consultation with the Department of Political Affairs, UNPOS, the country team and the Departments of Field Support and Peacekeeping Operations.

Scenario 3 contingency plans

21. Under scenario 3, it is assumed that the political dialogue between the Government and the opposition would have commenced. Although the Government of Ethiopia has maintained that it wishes to withdraw its troops from Somalia, it has indicated that a withdrawal without a credible force to replace them would create a security vacuum. If the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops is to be achieved under this scenario, that is, before political and security agreements have been finalized, an impartial stabilization force of perhaps 8,000 highly trained and capable troops, together with police officers, would be required. This would require acceptance and cooperation on the part of Somali armed groups.

22. However, it should be noted that, in the absence of a broad-based political agreement, including an agreement to lay down arms, it is highly likely that if the Ethiopian armed forces were to withdraw the common focus of the Somali insurgency would be removed, and that after a short period Somali elements would revert to their traditional struggle for power and resources through the use of violence. The Somalis could also unite against this new foreign force, particularly if the stabilization force becomes embroiled in Somali rivalries. It is also foreseen that insurgent attacks could increase in other areas if deterred by the stabilization force in the capital.

23. Troops forming this stabilization force would have to be well trained in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist techniques. They would primarily conduct foot patrols in Mogadishu to dominate the area of operations in such a manner as to reassure, rather than alienate, the population. The troops would need to be trained to respond robustly with armed force to attacks against them but by applying force precisely, using the minimum force necessary and avoiding collateral damage.

Civilians are almost invariably killed or injured when excessive force, including the use of artillery or mortars, is used in urban environments. While the stabilization force could begin to win the support of the people through the provision of effective security, it would only win their hearts and minds by making a real difference to their lives, by facilitating aid and development.

24. The stabilization force would require timely and accurate intelligence on extremist and other groups. The force would also need strong physical protection at its bases. Buildings would require additional floors or roofs to protect against mortars, as well as screens on the walls to defeat rocket-propelled grenade attacks; and personnel would need bunkers where they could take cover, if under mortar attack. Troops would need to apply tactical techniques to minimize their vulnerability to roadside bombs and should possess electronic countermeasures to defeat radio-controlled explosive devices such as those used by extremist groups, and explosive ordnance disposal teams for safe disposal.

25. A United Nations force could not be tasked with this role. Previous experience in the United Nations Operation in Somalia in 1993 revealed that United Nations military actions can undermine other United Nations political and humanitarian initiatives. If the United Nations is seeking to facilitate peace negotiations between the Somali parties, its impartiality is undermined by fighting with one or more of those parties. In addition, the vast majority of United Nations peacekeeping troops do not possess the capabilities or training that is detailed above. The employment of ill-trained and ill-equipped troops in such a force would be likely to result in failure, which would be disastrous for Somalia, as well as for peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

26. As a result, the Security Council could consider this option only if offers were forthcoming from capable Member States ready to form a coalition of the willing, under a strong lead country. It is assumed that AMISOM will not receive the troops necessary to expand beyond some 4,000 troops. The combined coalition “stabilization” force and AMISOM could allow the withdrawal of the Ethiopian armed forces from Mogadishu. This option could allow a more rapid deployment, subject to the political will of countries concerned, and a measured escalation of foreign stabilization forces into Mogadishu, so that they would not appear to be a large invasion force. This option would also be less likely to hinder the United Nations peacebuilding and programmatic efforts in the country. Subject to the arrangements agreed between the coalition and AMISOM, the combined stabilization force would be likely to have complex command and control, financial and logistic arrangements that could undermine its overall capability. If the force did not have the required capabilities, it would not be able to deter or meet threats against it, thus possibly aggravating, rather than stabilizing, the situation.

Scenario 4 contingency plans

27. In my previous reports to the Security Council on the deployment of an integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia, I noted a number of conditions that would be required to ensure the best chances of success of the mission. They included a viable and inclusive political process and an agreement on the cessation of hostilities. The strategic assessment and fact-finding missions have further reviewed and refined these conditions with their counterparts on the ground, developing proposals for graduated interlinked political, security and programmatic assistance aimed at achieving an inclusive and stable political and peacebuilding process in Somalia.

28. Sustainable long-term peace in Somalia will require at a minimum a political dispensation acceptable to the majority of stakeholders, the development of security, judicial and corrections institutions capable of ensuring the rule of law, and the administrative and institutional capacity necessary to provide basic and social services to the population. The United Nations stands ready to assist, including through the deployment at the appropriate time of an integrated peacekeeping operation. In the meantime, my Special Representative continues to work with all concerned towards the political and power-sharing agreements and security commitments that would be necessary for such an operation to succeed.

29. Given the nature of the conflict, such an agreement should provide general provisions on political power-sharing, legalization of the economy, laying-down of arms and monitoring of heavy weapons, respect for human rights, facilitation of humanitarian assistance, and development of governing institutions at the central and local levels. In regard to the security aspects, the majority of the parties should state their agreement to the deployment of an integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation and commitment to support the implementation of its mandate. Although such an agreement is unlikely to include the radical groups, it could provide the catalyst for commencing security negotiations with the parties on starting disarmament and removing the most dangerous weapons from the hands of moderate groups. While a typical ceasefire agreement may not be appropriate for the circumstances that prevail in Somalia, some form of technical military agreement, signed by all major clans and subclans, would be essential to underpin an integrated peacekeeping operation. It should at a minimum contain a declaration on cessation of hostilities and provisions for the control of heavy weapons, carriage of small arms and combating acts of terrorism.

30. In the light of the above, the fact-finding mission also focused its attention on contingencies to assist in creating security conditions conducive to negotiations towards such agreements. These contingencies take into account the assessment that, in the absence of broadly inclusive political and security agreements, a number of groups will continue to use violence to pursue their political and economic agendas, including against the United Nations and international peacekeepers.

31. At the same time, the international community continues to assist, establish and train Somali security forces to assume responsibility for the security of the country. Ethiopia and Rwanda have trained over 1,000 Somali military. Other friends of Somalia, such as Kenya and Uganda, are providing police training. While this training support and that provided by the European Union are welcome as an interim measure, a coherent and long-term approach is required to support a Somali solution to the provision of national security forces that are representative of all parties. The United Nations stands ready to assist Somalia, in close coordination with other partners, in assessing the full breadth of requirements and in coordinating and providing assistance in policy, planning and capacity-building requirements for the full spectrum of security sector development.

32. The Secretariat is in the process of updating its contingency plan for a possible integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation to succeed AMISOM, under scenario 4. It is assumed that broad-based political and security agreements are in place to allow the deployment of the operation, subject to the Council’s decision. The operation would have a strong political mandate to use its good offices in facilitating the implementation of agreements reached by the Somali parties and for reconciliation activities at the national and local levels. It would also have a strong rule of law component to assist in security sector development, including the military, police, judicial and corrections sectors. It would provide assistance for disarmament, demobilization and integration, as well as arms collection and monitoring. It would also have a strong human rights monitoring and capacity-building component, and provide assistance as required in governance and administrative capacity-building.

33. The military contingency plan is being revised in the light of the team’s visits to key towns in southern and central Somalia, such as the number and composition of troops required in Marka and Kismaayo. The force required for an integrated peacekeeping mission to Somalia envisages five to six brigade-sized groups deployed in sector locations in south-central Somalia. With its headquarters in the vicinity of Mogadishu, the force would be supported by military aviation, including attack helicopters, and considerable military engineering, logistics and transport assets. The force would need to be robust and mobile with electronic countermeasures to block radio-controlled explosive devices. Within cities, the force would operate on foot in built-up areas to reassure the public of its peaceful intent, supported by good operational information and aerial observation. However, each city sector would be supported by a robust, mechanized quick reaction force with attack aviation to provide assistance to the ground patrols when needed. This concept differs from the initial force in that the total number of armored personnel carriers is markedly reduced, in favor of smaller armored vehicles for use in the urban areas.

34. The force would require a reserve of one mechanized battalion initially located outside Mogadishu which could be embarked on a landing ship and moved quickly to any location on the Somali coast. Furthermore, provision would need to be made for a rapidly deployable capacity, over the horizon, to be activated in extremis, if the peace process were to unravel, particularly during the generation and deployment of the force. After 17 years of conflict, the force would require a strong mine action presence to deal with landmines and explosive remnants of war. The threat posed by improvised explosive devices could also be significant given the historical frequency of their use and the abundance of suitable component munitions available for their manufacture. A strong military explosive ordnance disposal unit would be needed to mitigate this threat, which would be distinct from the wider humanitarian mine action capability.

35. If not already deployed, a maritime task force would be required to support the arms embargo, conduct anti-piracy operations and protect supply shipping. United Nations military liaison officers would be deployed to “Somaliland” and “Puntland” to maintain close liaison with the United Nations police that would also form part of the mission and other United Nations offices; to the African Union to facilitate a transition from AMISOM; and to Kenya and Ethiopia to maintain liaison with the military authorities in those countries.

36. The total force would initially consist of 15 infantry battalions, excluding the over the horizon capacity. Depending on the stability of two of the sectors and the internally displaced civil population at the time of deployment, the final number could rise to 21 infantry battalions. The total number of United Nations military could number up to 27,000, with a possible police component of up to 1,500 police officers, including formed police units. Prior to the deployment of any United Nations mission, an integrated mission planning process must be completed, including a comprehensive technical assessment mission into Somalia. The Secretariat would also continue to monitor the situation in the north between “ Somaliland” and “Puntland”, with a view to updating contingency plans accordingly.

Threats to a United Nations peacekeeping operation

37. The threat of attack on a United Nations peacekeeping operation or political presence will be proportionately mitigated by the degree to which the Somali stakeholders can build an inclusive political and economic power-sharing agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, even if United Nations personnel are not initially targeted, the situation could change very quickly if the United Nations were to be perceived as upsetting the local balance of power.

38. It is likely that spoilers will include the most extremist elements, as well as some disaffected clan and criminal elements. While a significant number of attacks have been characterized by the use of terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures (suicide attack and the use of various types of improvised explosive devices), the use of known insurgent tactics (ambushes, indirect fire) is a growing trend. These elements use mortars that are easy to carry, quick to set up and fire before vacating the firing point, making any efforts to locate them very difficult. They use small arms, medium machine guns mounted on pick-up trucks, grenade attacks, remotely controlled roadside bombs, mines and targeted assassinations against a wide range of targets. The arms embargo monitoring groups suggest that those groups have access to surface-to-air missiles, although their use is not widespread. Any military force deploying to Somalia will require protection from those weapons, using civilian or military armored vehicles, electronic countermeasures to interrupt the radio signal that initiates the roadside bombs, significant explosive ordnance disposal capabilities, air reconnaissance assets, well-equipped medical facilities and a robust quick reaction force to extricate force elements if required. The weaker the political agreement and commitment of Somali stakeholders to respect its mandate, the greater the capabilities the United Nations peacekeeping operation will have to include. Indeed, any United Nations force must be structured for the worst case situation: because the security situation in Somalia can change very rapidly, the force may find itself in a peaceful situation one day and in serious conflict the next.

39. The threat of criminal activity will be ever present in Somalia until the national law and order apparatus is capable of addressing it. The risk of abduction and kidnapping for ransom is likely to remain high in the north, while illegal checkpoints and extortion will remain prevalent in the south. The United Nations is likely to experience carjacking, theft and possible abduction of unprotected personnel operating independently throughout Somalia. To minimize the risk of these criminal activities, United Nations installations, convoys and personnel will require armed protection, as well as a high readiness quick reaction and investigative capacity.

Logistic considerations

40. With regard to logistics, an integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia may have to be entirely supported by “out of area” sourcing of goods and services. Engagement of local contractors will have to be carefully balanced between complex national interest groups. While there is an abundance of unskilled and some skilled manpower in the country, recruitment of national staff by the United Nations may pose a challenge because of the requirement to balance employment between the interest groups.

41. Owing to the relative high level of insecurity compared to other missions it will be extremely difficult to attract international staff and contractors to deploy to Somalia unless they are relatively satisfied with attractive conditions of service including a financial incentive. Until such time as the military component is able to stabilize and improve the security situation, the number of civilians in the mission area should be kept to the minimum, to reduce risk and exposure. Insertion of civilians into the mission area will have to be controlled and will require careful planning.

42. The integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation if deployed may have to depend heavily on the use of military enabling units for a considerable period of time after the initial start-up. Generation of the military enabling units could pose a real challenge, considering that few troop contributors may be willing to commit their troops to Somalia under the current security situation.

43. An elaborate United Nations facility, in the form of a logistics base, will need to be established in a secure environment outside the country at either Mombassa or Dar es Salaam to ensure an uninterrupted supply of materials and services independent of local sources in Somalia. The main supply line will be based on the coastal maritime route from the logistics base to Kismaayo, Mogadishu and Hobyo and, if required, at Boosaaso, which will serve as secondary logistics bases inside Somalia. From these secondary logistics bases, forward air links will be established to all deployment locations in the interior; where feasible, and security permits, land routes will be used.

 


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