what is the meaning of Explicit Maritime Embargo Operations?

Explicit maritime embargo operations are maritime interception operations that are
explicitly mandated by a UN resolution to enforce an embargo. A clear indication
of an explicit mandate to implement economic measures at sea exists when the
UNSC uses wording that resembles: ‘to hold all inward and outward shipping in
order to inspect and verify their cargo and destinations and to ensure strict
implementation of….’ This wording has been used in a number of UN resolutions
and opens up the possibility to physically stop and board vessels at sea.
SC Res. 665 (1990), with regard to Iraq, for the first time contained the express
mandate with the above-mentioned wording that, as McLaughlin notes: ‘is [thus]
the fundamental conceptual precedent for modern UN naval interdiction operations’.
The UNSC used the ‘explicit authority’-phrase possibly also to end the
ongoing debate on the question as to whether naval enforcement actions against
Iraqi merchant vessels were taken based on SC Res. 661 that imposed economic
sanctions, or were based on Article 51 of the UN Charter. The Iraqi example was
followed in the former Yugoslavia crisis when the UNSC adopted economic
measures in which the UNSC explicitly authorized maritime embargo operations in
SC Resolution 787. The NATO and WEU operations, already present in the
Adriatic Sea, changed their type from implicit to explicit with the adoption of explicit authority. Subsequently, NATO and the WEU changed their names for the embargo operations into Maritime Guard and Sharp Fence to reflect their new authorities. Both operations were later combined into Operation Sharp Guard. In
the cases of Haiti41 and Sierra Leone42 the language adopted by the UNSC more or
less followed the structure of SC Res. 665.

Leave a Reply