Notification by the United Nations (UN) of the UN Monitoring Group Report to the South Africa Government regarding private security firms operating in Somalia; and the Government cooperation with the UN investigations

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO 2569 (NW3176E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTIONS PAPER NO 30-2012 OF 14 SEPTEMBER 2012

 MR E H ELOFF (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

1. Whether the Government has officially been notified by the United Nations (UN) of the UN Monitoring Group Report regarding:(a) private security firms operating in Somalia; and (b) the Government cooperating with UN investigations in this regard; if so, (i) what action did she take in this regard; and (ii) how do these revelations affect the Government’s relationship with the UN?

REPLY:

1. (a) Yes. South Africa was informed by the UN Monitoring Group about the activities of private security companies operating in Somalia.

(b) South Africa has cooperated with the investigations of the Somalia/ Eritrea Monitoring Group and will continue to do so.

(i). The Department of International Relations and Cooperation brought inquiries regarding the involvement of South African companies and individuals to the attention of the relevant implementing authorities, including the South African Police Service and the Department of Defence.  Furthermore, members of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group visited South Africa from 19-25 February 2011 and interacted with the relevant law enforcement authorities on matters related to their mandate.

(ii). South Africa continues to enjoy a close working relationship with the United Nations and is committed to upholding its obligations in terms of relevant Security Council resolutions. South Africa as a Member of the Somalia Eritrea Sanctions Committee will continue to cooperate with the UN in ensuring that private security companies comply fully with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group in a letter dated 20 March 2012 stated that “this inquiry in no way means to imply that the Government of the Republic of South Africa has violated the arms embargo on Somalia imposed by Security Council resolution 733(1992) or any other aspect of the Somalia sanctions regime”. 

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