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As UNSC Speaks on Piracy, Biafra, Divided on Western Sahara Arria Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 25 -- Amid UN Security Council disagreements, for example on Western Sahara, a “debate” with near unanimity was held on April 25, on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

  A Presidential Statement was adopted, which “underlines the importance of determining the existence of any possible or potential links between piracy and armed robbery at sea and terrorist groups in West Africa and the Sahel region, and urges Member States and relevant international organizations to assist States in the region, as well as regional and sub regional organizations in making arrangements to ensure that necessary measures are taken to prevent the revenues generated by acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea from contributing to the financing of terrorism.”

  UN official Taye-Brook Zerihoun cited “cases of hijacking of vessels for political purposes by the self-described 'Biafra' militants off the cost of Nigeria.”

   During the April 25 debate - 34 speakers signed up, including the African Union and Morocco -- Inner City Press asked a proponent of an AU briefing on Western Sahara on April 24, who replied, “We are working on it.”

Inner City Press obtained the UN's Western Sahara report, as approved by Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson on April 18, and exclusively in full text published it on Scribd here, days after the UN threw its journalistic files right out onto First Avenue. Video here and here (Periscope).

  Now Inner City Press has obtained the notice of and concept note for a Security Council Arria formula meeting on Western Sahara, requested by Angola so the Council can hear from the African Union envoy Chissano, to be held on April 26 at 3 pm. Here's the notice:

"Considering the current status quo prevailing in Western Sahara and considering the request made by the African Union's Peace and Security Council on 6 April, the Permanent Mission of Angola is convening an Arria Formula Meeting on Western Sahara to be held on Tuesday 26 April, 2016 at 3:00 in CR7 (Tbc), which will provide an opportunity to H.E. Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former President of Mozambique and Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Western Sahara to brief Members of the Security Council, UN Membership and Observers Mission to UN, on the efforts he's undertaking in the discharge of his mandate.


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