Somalia, UN Belated Admits Rejections of its MOU With Kenya
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 15 -- A UN-promoted joint Law of the Sea filing by
Kenya and those Somalis the UN works with, about Somalia's offshore
rights, has finally been acknowledged by the UN as rejected by the
March 12, 2010,
web site quietly added the notation that the "Memorandum of
Understanding" about the filing, pushed by Nairobi based UN
envoy Ahmedou Ould Abdallah and funded by oil drilling Norway, "has
been rejected by the Parliament of the Transitional Federal
Government Somalia, and is to be hence treated as non-actionable."
extensively about this controversial MOU, which despite
rejection in Somalia has been defended by the UN, Ould Abdallah and
Norway. Another analysis by some Inner City Press sources is below.
the UN's quiet
admission that its plan for the Somali coastline was rejected by
Somalis comes as the UN's Sanctions Group on Somalia is promoting its
findings about widespread diversion of aid to Al Shabab. As Inner
City Press reported,
the Sanctions report has subject last week to a
staged leak, first to the New York Times and then to wire services.
Some UN correspondents reported did not appreciate the exposure of
how the document was shown. But it is relevant, and should have
reported in the initial stories.
Ould Abdallah at UNSC stakeout, rejection of his LOS deal not shown
now is an
alternative telling of the UN - Somali story, an update to Inner City
Press' previous reporting on the MOU:
the [beginning, many] Somalis were furious about the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU), saying “Somali territorial waters would have
been lost had this MOU succeed”. And any where that the Somali TFG
delegations travel they were confronted by angry citizens asking them
“why did they sign that MOU” and demanding answers from them.
many Somali lawmakers (MPs) were criticizing the government about the
controversial MOU with Kenya, and hand full of TFG ministers were
shying away from defending it, Deputy Prime Minister ( he is also
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources) Abdirahman Adan Ibbi (AKA
Prof. Ibbi) became the biggest lobbyist for the MOU - Weird huh!
Ibbi fought very had so that the MOU would go forward. In doing so he
wrote a letter* to Ban Ki Moon on August 19, 2009 supporting the MOU
– it was after the Somali parliament rejected the same MOU (and
voted down on August 1, 2009).
is serious about that letter was: it was signed by him, Prof. Ibbi,
but is says it was written by TFG Prime Minister Omer Abdirashid Ali
Sharmarke who was out of town at the time. When that letter became
public Prof. Ibbi started to fade away into the background.
Ibbi had a backing of the TFG president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed,
who also defended the MOU .
the Somali PM Sharmarke realized that his deputy used his name, he
(Sharmarke) wrote his own letter to Ban Ki Moon on October 10, 2009,
supporting the Parliament decision. The funny thing is, Sharmarke’s
office did not send that letter to The Secretary-General of UN as
they should. Much later, realizing again, Sharmarke handed the
letter to Somalia's Foreign Minister, Ali Jama Jangali so that he
could hand deliver to Ban Ki Moon or at least send through
knows whether Jangali handed that letter to The Secretary-General –
at least it was not posted at the UN website as they did the previous
letters regarding the same MOU.
all these were going on, a group of Somali lawmakers, who were fed up
with government, sent their own letter to Ban-Ki Moon asking him not
to accept the controversial maritime deal between Kenyan and Somalia
and remind him that Somali Parliament rejected it. Again that letter
also was not posted at UN website and as far as we aware of, The
Secretary-General of the United Nations did not respond the Somali
MPs’ letter – at least he did send reply back.
do not know what did it or which letter reached at the Ban Ki Moon’s
desk. But we do know that there was an update at UN website on 12
March 2010 stating that: “The MOU has been rejected by the
Parliament of the Transitional Federal Government Somalia, and is to
be hence treated as non-actionable.
has been a huge relief for Somalis in general as they realize that
the MOU between Somalia and Kenya is non-actionable – which in
legal term means NULL & VOID.
think this is very good statement from UN headquarters, why? The MOU
between Somalia and Kenya had a backing of UN Somalia Office (based
mainly in Nairobi Kenya). This has been a concern for Somali people.
And that is why many believe that UN Headquarters did not acknowledge
quickly when Somali Parliament rejected the same MOU.
is also a news dawn for Somali political system, some say, as members
of parliament realize that they can overrule any law (for Somalia)
even if the president doesn’t approve it. There had been even a
talk to impeach the Somali parliament speaker, Sheikh Aden Mohamed
Nur (AKA Aaden Madoobe) as he did not act swiftly when the TFG
government started the maritime MOU between Somalia/Kenya.
Below is the link of Prof. Ibbi’s letter (at UN website)
can compare with the Somali PM’s signature at following link (UN
have more on
* * *
on Somali Pirates, Based On Letter to UN by Ex-Prez Yusuf,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, September 10 -- Somali pirates have been the topic at the UN
for the past two days. Thursday outside the Fourth Meeting of the
Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Japanese diplomat
Masafumi Ishii, who chaired the meeting, told the Press that money
will be raised to fight the pirates, and to implement a
"comprehensive" strategy against them, including on land.
Inner City Press asked if the underlying issues of toxic waste
dumping and illegal fishing had been discussed at all in the meeting.
No, Ambassador Ishii said, that did not come up. Inner City Press
asked about a recent incident
in which Germany shot and killed a
pirate, seemingly in violation of rules procedures as in
No, that incident was not discussed, Ishii said.
Council resolution under which pirates are being hunted, Resolution
1851, is based on the purportedly still valid consent of Somalia, on
a December 9, 2008 letter to the Council from then-President
Abdullahi Yusuf, who was out of power soon after signing the letter.
People and even parliamentarians in Somalia have told Inner City
Press they have not found it easy to get and see a copy of this
letter, which is referred to in Paragraph 10 of Resolution 1851:
Affirms that the authorization provided in this resolution apply only
with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the
rights or obligations or responsibilities of Member States under
international law, including any rights or obligations under UNCLOS,
with respect to any other situation, and underscores in particular
that this resolution shall not be considered as establishing
customary international law, and affirms further that such
authorizations have been provided only following the receipt of the 9
December 2008 letter conveying the consent of the TFG."
Inner City Press asked U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Thomas Countryman about the letter. He said he was not aware of it.
Also on September 9, Inner City Press asked UN Security Council
Affairs staff how to get a copy of the letter. You'd have to ask the
Somali mission, was the answer.
On the beach in Somalia, Yussuf's letter not shown
And so on
September 10, while
Ambassador Ishii spoke, Inner City Press asked an omnipresent Somali
deputy ambassador for a copy of the letter. No, he said. You have to
ask the Council. This is called the run around.
potential of being similar to the Somali
parliament's rejection of
the Law of the Sea Continental Shelf filing done in the name of the
Somali people by UN envoy Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, using Norwegian
money, co-written and filed by Kenya. Watch this site.
* * *
Continental Shelf Filing Rejected by Parliament Has Norway
"Embarrassed," UN Admits
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 31 -- The Somali parliament recently voted over 90%
against a deal cut by UN envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, using Norwegian
assistance, to make a joint Kenya - Somali filing about the Somali
people's rights to the continental shelf and its natural resources.
Even before the vote, Inner City Press had repeatedly
asked the UN by
what right Ould Abdallah had coordinated the filing, without
a straight answer.
Now, with meetings about the Continental Shelf
and the Law of the Sea taking place in the basement of the UN's
headquarters in New York, Inner City Press finally got at least some
a meeting on "The Regular Process of Marine Assessments"
held by the UN's Office of Legal Affairs, Inner City Press asked a
group of UN experts how they deal with a now-contested filing like
the one about Somalia. At first, an expert tried to evade the
question, saying it could only be asked and answered at another
meeting down the hall about the Limits of the Continental Shelf. But
those meetings are all closed.
master of ceremonies Peter Gilruth, director of the UN Environment
Program's Division of Early Warning and Assessment, said he would try
to answer, although he felt it might put his "head in a
difficult spot." He said that Norway paid for the filings of
some 10 African countries but that in Somalia, some "other
elements.... may have tried to take the information in a different
direction, causing the difficulty you refer to." Gilruth that
moved the proceedings forward, asking if there were "any
questions easier than that one."
Inner City Press approached Mr. Gilruth, who said that the whole
Somali filing snafu "involved embarrassment to the government of
to him Patricio Bernal, UNESCO Assistant
Director-General and Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission, said that he had been working on this for
ten years, he had coordinated with the Somali "government in
exile" in Nairobi, and he could not understand the stink made in
Somalia itself. He emphasized that the decisions in Continental Shelf
meetings -- behind closed doors, mind you -- are "unappealable."
UN's Ban, Jean Ping and Ould Abdallah, Somali
Parliament's rejection not shown
the ongoing snafu reflects that to deal with the Somali government in
exile, or the TFG, or Ould Abdallah, is not to deal with the Somali
people, and is no guarantee of support or legitimacy. Ould Abdallah,
meanwhile, is reported trying to invite into the TFG process a
notorious war lord. Inner City Press asked about this last week at
the UN's noon briefing, and the Spokesperson said an answer would be
sought from Ould Abdallah. But still none has been received. Watch
reported by Inner
City Press, the filing states
that Ould Abdallah
the preparation of preliminary information indicative of the outer
limits of the continental shelf of Somalia beyond 200 nautical
miles... In the preparation of this material the SRSG accepted an
offer of assistance from the Government of Norway... Both the Royal
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Petroleum
Directorate have been involved in the preparation...
City Press wrote about this and asked the UN and
Ould's spokesperson Suzie Price, but never received an answer.
On May, the question was put to Ould Abdallah and he said he is "no
specialist," that he was unfamiliar with the filing that states
that he prepared it. "Ask Norway," he said. Video here,
from Minute 12:30.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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