Somalia Piracy, US Questions Regulating Mercenaries, Egypt Says
Crime is Crime
July 14 -- Amid controversy about the use of mercenaries to
face off against pirates off the coast of Somalia,
the US State
Department's Donna Hopkins on July 14 told Inner City Press “there's
a robust international effort [about] the use of armed security,
private or not, and how it should be regulated, if at all.” Video
here, from Minute 13:30.
month, the chairman of the UN's Working Group on mercenaries told
Inner City Press that a draft convention to regulate private military
contractors is being opposed by large states.
Apparently, even with
Blackwater having renamed itself Xe Services and moved to the Middle
East, the US is still opposed to regulating mercenaries, including on
the high seas.
formally the Coordinator of the Counter Piracy and Maritime Security
Bureau of Political Military Affairs at the US State Department, and
chairs “Working Group Three” of the Contact Group on Piracy off
the Coast of Somalia. Denmark's Legal Adviser Thomas Winkler declined
to say if the use of armed security is good or bad, but added that no
ship with armed guards has been hijacked.
Group member, Egypt's Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister and Counter
Terrorism Coordinator Ashraf Mohsen, adopted an even harder line.
Inner City Press asked if the Contact Group has done anything about
illegal fishing or the dumping of toxic waste.
“Some will try
to justify criminal behavior,” Mohsen said, citing poverty as an
excuse for stealing, injustice as a rationale for killing. “Crime
is crime... Piracy is a form of criminal behavior. Any justification
counteract this position, Mary Seet-Cheng of Singapore said that
piracy cannot be solved at sea. The UK's Chris Holtby chimed in
about efforts on the rule of law in Somalia, the development of its
Exclusive Economic Zone. He did not mention outside involvement in
what purported to be Somalia's own Law of the Sea filing. And so it
goes at the UN.
* * *
UN Dodges on Mahiga Meeting in Kenya,
Calls for Firing
7 -- On April 6 Inner City Press asked
General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky to respond to
criticism from Somalia of Ban's envoy Augustine Mahiga scheduling a
consultative meeting on Somalia this month not in that country, but
in Nairobi, Kenya:
on Somalia, there is quite a lot of protest within the
country about a supposed consultative meeting that Mr. Mahiga is
organizing in Kenya and there have been calls to boycott it. The
Government has also asked that the UN move its offices to Mogadishu.
So, what’s the UN’s response to these two critiques, both from
clan leaders and from the TFG?
Mr. Mahiga extended this invitation to various
parties there to take part in some discussions and we are aware of
the report or the reports that you refer to about the presence of UN
offices in Somalia; we’re aware of that report. I don’t have
anything further on that at the moment, simply to say that the people
who work for those offices are regular visitors to Mogadishu. Indeed
Mr. Mahiga was briefing the Secretary-General last week when we were
in Nairobi, within hours of having just returned from Mogadishu.
April 7 Nesirky
read out a statement that Mahiga will proceeding with the meeting in
Nairobi, and has gotten many commitments to attend,
summarized by the
UN in this way:
Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia,
said today that the High Level Consultative Meeting will take place
as scheduled on the 12 and 13 April in Nairobi. He said that he has
received positive responses to the conference from Somali parties and
officials who are willing to participate in strengthening the
dialogue between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its
more and more limits questions at his noon briefing while refusing to
answer the vast majority of e-mailed Press questions, did not
mention is that the
Somali Transitional Federal Government's prime
minister himself has opposed the Kenya location, and has gotten Raila
Odinga's support on this:
Kenyan government will back efforts by the Somalia Transition Federal
Government (TFG) to host an impending high-level peace meeting to
resolve the crisis in the strife-torn country. Prime Minister Raila
Odinga assured his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi the
government would back their bid to convince the United Nations and
the African Union to hold the peace meeting in Mogadishu.”
Ban and Mahiga in Naibori, protests from Somalia not
shown or answered
Now, a major
Somali cleric -- Sheikh Ahmed Abdi Dhi’isow, the chairman of the
Somali religious assembly -- has
for Ban Ki-moon to fire
disregarded all of our requests and suggestions and he continued
organizing the meeting in an attempt to divide Somalis, so we are
calling on the U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon to dismiss Augustine Mahiga
from United Nations Political Office for Somalia,' he said.”
Nesirky say to that? The UN of late has been bragging about "its"
Djibouti process. And it's come to thise? Watch this site.