Council Meets Many UK-based Somalis, Dodges
Requests for Human Rights Prosecutions
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press in Africa: News Analysis
June 3 -- Many of the
Somalis meeting at this luxury hotel in Djibouti with UN Security
members from New York came in not from Somalia but from the UK. That
Transitional Federal Government is top-heavy with UK citizens has
exposed, as discussed here. But it emerged on June 2 that even the
and spokesman for the ostensibly Eritrea-based Alliance for the
of Somalia, Abdulrahman Abdishakur
Warsame, lives in London.
City Press asked him about reports that the town of Baidoa is
about to fall, he replied, "I am not in Baidoa, you should ask the
Transitional Federal Government." That he was not then physically in
Baidoa was obvious. But the disconnect is more fundamental. The A.R.S.
delegation in Djibouti is distant both from compatriots still in Asmara
demanded the immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and from the
on the ground who are fighting the Ethiopians.
UK Ambassador John Sawers was seen meeting Monday
night with some of the
A.R.S. delegation, after a liquor-less reception thrown by the Saudi
he had encouraged the traveling UN press corps not to freeze the A.R.S.
hard-line position about the withdrawal of the Ethiopian, which
would be accomplished by quoting what they actually said.
Tuesday before the Council and press headed to Juba
in South Sudan, they
received a "Statement by Somali Non-state Actors and Civil Society"
which read suspiciously like a production of the UN's Ould-Adballah.
statement called Ould-Adballah's Office "the best institution to lead
current International supported peace process." Inner City Press
has asked about how the Somali delegations' hotel bills at the Djibouti
Palace Kempinski, with its $90 buffet, are being paid. "Half by the
E.C.," was the beginning of an answer. If and when we get more
information, it will be reported on this site.
Afterwards, Inner City Press asked the Somali Peace
and Human Rights
Network's Abdinasir A. Osman who, in his view, has been committing the
rights violations in Somalia, only the insurgents or also the
the Transitional Federal Government? He answered by referring to
International's reports, and said that the Security Council should
referring perpetrators for criminal prosecution, presumably by the
International Criminal Court, to which the Council can and has referred
such as in Darfur.
UN's Ould-Adballah at
Council, Djibouti hotel bills not shown
Council's close-out press conference in Djibouti, Inner City
Press asked UK Ambassador John Sawers if the Security Council is going
on the civil society request that the Council "establish a commission
inquiry to investigate violations of human rights." Amb. Sawers said
will be up to the Somali parties. This is not the approach the Security
has taken toward Sudan, to which the Council members were headed, on
special UN plane.
weeks after violence emptied the southern Sudanese town of Abyei, the
Security Council headed to Juba, to meet with the president of the
region, Salva Kiir. They were also slated to visit -- and render
"homage," one Ambassador said -- at the tomb of John Garang. We will
report from there, or from Khartoum after that. President al-Bashir has
traveled to the food summit in Rome, and so the Council will wait to
* * *
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News and on Lexis-Nexis.
here 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 National
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA
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earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
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