UNSC Approves Arms Embargo Implementation Assistance Notice and Exemptions on Eritrea

UN arms embargo on Eritrea
The Security Council Sanctions Committee approves updated version of Eritrea arms embargo restrictions, including exemptions to those restrictions.

By Security Council,

On 14 March 2016, the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea adopted its second implementation assistance notice entitled “Summary of arms embargo restrictions in place for Somalia and Eritrea, including exemptions”.

The implementation assistance notice is available on the Committee’s website in all six official languages of the United Nations at www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/751.

The Committee adopted the arms embargo implementation assistance notice to assist Member States and other relevant actors to take the necessary steps to ensure the full and effective implementation and enforcement of the arms embargoes in place for Somalia and Eritrea.

The implementation assistance notice provides an overview of the scope of the arms embargoes and exemption procedures. It also provides guidance to Member States and other actors on how to engage with the Committee on notifications and exemption requests.

In order to assist Member States, international, regional and sub-regional organizations, other public and private entities, and natural persons to take the necessary steps to ensure full and effective implementation and as well as enforcement of, the arms embargo, the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea (“the Committee”) offers the following summary of the arms embargoes restrictions in place for Eritrea, including exemptions to such restrictions.

The Arms Embargo on Eritrea

31. The arms embargo on Eritrea was imposed by paragraphs 5 and 6 of resolution 1907 (2009). It requires all Member States to take all necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply to Eritrea by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types whether or not originating in their territories (paragraph 5, resolution 1907 (2009)). Member States also have obligations to seize and dispose of such items to prevent their sale, supply, transfer or export to or from Eritrea (paragraph 8, resolution 1907 (2009)).

32. Eritrea is prohibited from permitting materiel or assistance subject to the embargo from being supplied, sold, or transferred (directly or indirectly from its territory), or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft (paragraph 6, resolution 1907 (2009)).

33. The embargo also prohibits direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of such materiel or assistance to individuals or entities designated by the Committee, including investment, brokering or other financial services related to military activities, or the manufacture, maintenance or use of weapons and military equipment by such individuals or entities. The list of individuals and entities designated by the Committee is found at the Committee’s website.

34. The materiel and types of assistance subject to the embargo comprises arms and related materials of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment (and spare parts); technical assistance; training, financial and other assistance related to military activities or to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of these items (paragraph 5, resolution 1907).

The Two Exemptions to the Arms Embargo on Eritrea

35. Supply of protective clothing : The temporary export to Eritrea of protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel (for their personal use only) is permitted (paragraph 13 of resolution 2111 (2013)).

36. Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use : Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use can be brought into Eritrea if the Committee has approved the supply in advance through a ‘request for Committee’s approval’ procedure (paragraph 12 of resolution 2111 (2013)).

37. ‘Requests for Committee’s approval’ must be submitted to the Committee in writing by the Member State or the international regional or sub-regional organisation or agency supplying the equipment. Details of how to make such a request are set out on the Committee’s website and in paragraphs 10 (b) and 10 (c) of the Committee Guidelines. Private entities may need to seek the assistance of a Member state or an international organization in order to ensure that the appropriate ‘request for Committee’s approval’ is made. If no member of the Committee objects to the proposed transfer within a five working day ‘no objection’ time period the transfer may go ahead.