The UK has updated and amended 5 of its Open General Export Licences (OGELs) relating to the export of dual-use items. The action updates the goods-schedule of each relevant licence and removes Ivory Coast and Liberia from the list of excluded destinations for the OGEL “PCBs and components for dual-use items”. This follows the lifting of EU sanctions against them earlier this year (see previous blogs on Ivory Coast and Liberia). In addition, the OGEL “international non-proliferation regime decontrols” has been revoked as it is no longer of use to exporters. The licences now refer to the new Department for International Trade, of which the Export Control Organisation is a part.
The EU has implemented the UN’s decision in April to lift its sanctions on Côte d’Ivoire (see previous blog). The EU has now repealed the remainder of its Côte d’Ivoire sanctions, which implemented the UN regime. The UN made the decision to lift its sanctions in view of what Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon described as “the continued positive evolution of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, including the successful conclusion of the presidential elections last year”.
The UN Security Council has lifted its sanctions regime on Côte d’Ivoire, by Resolution 2283. The sanctions regime imposed an arms embargo on Côte d’Ivoire and targeted asset freezes and travel bans on people deemed by the Council’s Sanctions Committee to constitute a threat to the peace and reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire, following a long period of internal conflict. It has also renewed the mandate of UNOCI, its peacekeeping mission in the country, until 30 June 2017 and dissolved the related Group of Experts and Sanctions Committee.
In a press release welcoming the Security Council’s decision, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that “the continued positive evolution of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, including the successful conclusion of the presidential elections last year” has enabled the UN to enter the final stage of peacekeeping in the country.
The EU has published measures updating its sanctions regimes on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The EU has extended the scope of its designation criteria for people and entities under its Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sanctions regime to implement changes made by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2198 (2015). The sanctions regime imposes travel restrictions and an EU-wide asset freeze.
The wording of the list of example acts which constitute engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability, or security of the DRC has been amended, and 3 further examples have been added:
- acting on behalf of or at the direction of a designated individual or entity, or entity under their ownership or control;
- planning, directing, sponsoring, or participating in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers or UN personnel;
- providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to, a designated individual or entity.
The updates are set out in Council Regulation (EU) 2015/613 amending Council Regulation (EC) 1183/2005 and repealing Council Regulation (EC) 889/2005 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/620 amending Council Decision 2010/788/CFSP.
The EU has also updated its DRC sanctions listings in accordance with UN updates published on 5 February 2015, making corrections and adding further information. Amongst other things, the additions cite International Criminal Court cases concerning the listed people and give greater detail on activities and crimes which they are alleged to have perpetrated. The updates are set out in Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/614 implementing Council Regulation (EC) 1183/2005 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/620 amending Council Decision 2010/788/CFSP.
The EU has removed Pascal N’Guessan from its Côte d’Ivoire sanctions listings and updated the entries for the 6 people still listed under UN sanctions. The changes implement updates made by the UN Security Council and are set out in Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/615 implementing Council Regulation (EC) 560/2005 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/621 implementing Council Decision 2010/656/CFSP.
In addition, following the General Court’s judgment in Gossio v Council T-406/13, which annulled the listing of Marcel Gossio, his entry has been removed.
The names of 5 people who have died have been deleted from the EU’s Zimbabwe sanctions. The deletions are made by Council Regulation (EU) 2015/612 amending Council Regulation (EC) 314/2004 and Council Decision 2015/277/CFSP amending Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP.
On 10 February 2015, the European Union published Council Regulation (EU) 2015/192 (which amends Council Regulation (EC) No 174/2005) and Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/202 (which amends Council Decision 2010/656/CFSP).
The measures provide a derogation from the prohibition on sale, supply, transfer, or export to Côte d’Ivoire of equipment which might be used for internal repression. The derogation allows construction equipment with ballistic protection where it is solely for civilian use in mining or infrastructure projects.
The measures also include a derogation from this prohibition where the equipment is non-lethal and its purpose is solely to enable Ivorian security forces to maintain public order with “only appropriate and proportionate force”, to support the process of Ivorian Security Sector Reform, or for use by the UN Operation in the country.
These derogations are subject to authorisation on a case by case basis by the exporting Member State.
Where the equipment is purportedly for civilian use the exporting state must inform other Member States and the Commission of its intention to authorise at least one week in advance of doing so, and no more than two weeks after authorisation where the equipment is for maintenance of public order.
A full list of sanctions currently in force against Côte d’Ivoire can be found in the “sanctions in force” section of this blog.
On 27 January 2015, the European Union published Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/109 (which amends Council Regulation (EC) No 560/2005) and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/118 (which amends Council Decision 2010/656/CFSP).
The measures implement the United Nations Sanctions Committee’s decision on 20 November 2014 to remove Alcide DJÉDJÉ from the list of those subject to sanctions in view of the situation in the Ivory Coast.
A full list of EU sanctions currently in force against the Ivory Coast can be found on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.
We reported in May 2013 that Marcel Gossio lost his European court application to annul his designation on the EU’s sanctions against Ivory Coast, and that the EU then re-listed him in May 2014 with amended reasons (blog report here). The General Court of the EU has just annulled that 2014 listing, in its judgment in Case T-406/13 Marcel Gossio v Council (14 January 2015). A link to the judgment (available only in French) is here.
The Court rejected a number of Mr Gossio’s arguments (some for being essentially political arguments not within the Court’s jurisdiction), but annulled his 2014 designation because the Council of the EU had no evidence that Mr Gossio constituted a threat to stability and security in the Ivory Coast in 2014.
The EU’s sanctions against Ivory Coast are on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.
On 15 July 2014, the European Union amended its sanctions against the Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) by way of a new decision. This amends an existing EU decision from 2010 and follows a UN Security Council Resolution in April 2014 which renewed sanctions against the CDI in a modified form.
Related non-lethal material is no longer included in the prohibition on the supply, sale or transfer to the CDI of arms and any related material. The ban on the import of rough diamonds from the CDI has also been lifted. As we previously reported on this blog, UN and EU sanctions against the CDI are gradually being eased to acknowledge the progress that has been made towards stable governance in the country.
The decision entered into force today. An up-to-date list of sanctions currently in force against the Ivory Coast can be found in the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.