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In UN Sanctions Follies, Jim'ale Shifted to Somalia List, Eritrea Report Down, Bryden Spins

By Matthew Russell Lee, Partial exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 24, updated -- The UN's Somalia and Eritrea sanctions are a circus. A report on Eritrea was put online, then taken down after an Ethiopian UN official Taye Brook-Zerihoun spoke with some but not all Security Council members.

  Meanwhile the coordinator of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, the Canadian Matt Bryden, openly leaked his Group's report and was quoted about it by name, before it was given to Eritrea.

  Somalia too has criticized Bryden, as supporting the full or formal breakaway of Somaliland.

  Tuesday in front of the Security Council members from three countries gave Inner City Press exclusive and negative reviews of Bryden's performance. "He's leaving," one of them said. There is snarky speculation Bryden may have been angling for a book deal, or a post with a group like HRW.

Update: a Permanent Representative came out and told Inner City Press the problem with Bryden is speaking on his own for a "collective product." Others point at the report and wonder if it's really in the SEMG's mandate to analyze the Eritrean Air Force, down to the last spark plug, see report at Page 16. One wag asked, "A no fly zone via sanctions?"

  In a lower profile but more telling untold tale, an individual initially put on the Al Qaeda sanctions list was moved from that list earlier this year to the "list of individuals and entities subject to the travel ban, assets freeze and targeted arms embargo imposed by paragraphs 1, 3 and 7 of resolution 1844 (2008)."

  He is Djibouti national named Ali Ahmed Nur Jim'ale, described as the largest shareholder in the telecommunications firm Hormuud. Click here for Inner City Press coverage of Hormuud.

  The UN darkly notes that "Hormuud is operated by several former large shareholders of Al-Barakaat with Jim’ale being the largest shareholder."

  Barakaat was a firm that got all of its money, and the small remittances of expatriate Somalis in cities like Minneapolis, frozen (stolen, some say) after a terrorism charge.

  The irony is that now the TFG's Somali Mission to the UN, or at least one vocal member of it, tells Inner City Press that Hormuud and by implication Jim'ale did nothing wrong.

  A well placed source exclusively told Inner City Press that the fact that Jim'ale was taken off the 1267 Al Qaeda sanctions list, but simply moved to another sanctions list with a lower threshold and no ombudsperson like Kim Prost, is a "travesty." But isn't Matt Bryden, and the take-down of the Eritrea report? So it goes at the UN.

  Defenders of the Jim'ale process, or of the UN Security Council, told Inner City Press that Jim'ale was taken off the Al Qaeda list and put on the Somalia list "without any linkage other than a member state who managed the transition."

  Another, going bigger picture, said it should be admitted that the UN sanctions is purely political and not legal, adding his view that Jim'ale should have been kept on the 1267 sanctions list too -- on a political basis. Even more so, this is how it goes at the UN.

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