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Migiro Says UN "Will Not Tolerate" Somali Executions, Confirms Africa Office Consolidation

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, July 11 -- Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro, asked Wednesday about the Somali Transitional Federal Government's recent public executions, said "if that happens it will have to be made to account, the UN will not tolerate it." Video here. Whether and how Secretary General Ban Ki-moon conveys this message to the TFG is yet to be seen.

   Wednesday Inner City Press also asked Mr. Ban's deputy spokesperson for his view on the International Maritime Organization's request that the UN urge the TFG to allow for the policing of the Somali coastline against piracy. The spokesperson gave a "preliminary readout" of the topics of Ban's meeting with the head of the IMO, but no answer on what Ban is going to do. The Somali National Reconciliation Congress is slated to begin July 16.

            Ms. Migiro in her press conference confirmed Inner City Press' exclusive report of Tuesday that Ban is "consolidating" the UN's Office of the Special Advisor on Africa into the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LDC), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Also confirmed at the press conference was the dissatisfaction emanating from a number of African delegations. We'll see.

            To her credit, Ms. Migiro spoke passionately about her visit to Guinea-Bissau (although for the UN's own News Service to report that this was the theme of her remarks was surprising.)

DSG Migiro at the UN earlier this year (SRSGs for Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire not shown)

            Asked about concerns raised recently by members of the European Parliament that the African Union peacekeepers in Darfur are not being paid, Ms. Migiro that "it is important that there is accountability," and that the proposed UN - AU hybrid force would "have oversight."

            Asked about criticism of Ban's delay in naming replacement Special Representatives for the UN Peacekeeping mission in Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire, Ms. Migiro said that Mr. Ban "is working with the AU to address these issues," that "a representative is a question of need," on which Ban will decide "what type of strengthening" to provide.

            Afterwards, some correspondents wondered at this answer. The decision that an SRSG for Sudan is needed was made by the Security Council. And the structure of the UN's mission in Cote d'Ivoire is set to be reiterated in a resolution to be considered by the Council on July 16. The interim grade for Team Ban - Migiro on these issues remains incomplete. To be continued.

Click here for Inner City Press' coverage of the UN Security Council's July 10 press statement on Guinea-Bissau

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