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At UN, Kay Tells ICP No Quotes Around Somaliland, Aware of Bax Probe

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 12 -- When UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay came out of the UN Security Council on Thursday there were only two journalists waiting at the stakeout. Such is the domination of the Syria issue at the UN. But Kay agreed to take questions, and Inner City Press asked him a half dozen.

The first concerned the text of his speech to the Security Council. On its third page it referred repeatedly to "Somaliland" in quotation marks, while the references for example to Puntland and the Jubba regions had no quotation marks. Why not?

Kay quickly said that there should not have been quotation marks around Somaliland. Inner City Press asked him about the demand for self-determination; he referred to the Turkey mediated talks, and that UN flights started going in again.

Inner City Press asked Kay about Kismayo and Kenya, and also about the widespread sanctions violations reported by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group. Kay replied that there was recently a productive Troop Contribution Countries meeting; he said the export of charcoal from Kismayo fuels the conflict and must be stopped.

Referring to the attack on the UN Compound in Mogadishu and the loss of life, Inner City Press also asked about what the UN continues to say is an ongoing investigation by UNOPS into UN Mine Action Service chief David Bax. Kay said he is aware of the investigation, but only that.

  So here's a bit more: it is alleged that a component of the AMISOM mission provides personal security to Bax on what can only be called an irregular basis.

  This comes after the UN tried to whitewash Bax through the same pass-through now used to try to pre-spin the Syria chemical weapons report as "fingering" Assad. As Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said earlier at the same stakeout microphone Kay used, sometimes the media can be a weapon. Not for expose but cover up.

  On the lines of the former, back on August 7 Inner City Press reported that Mogadishu signed a deal with an oil firm called Soma Oil and Gas, led by UK former Conservative Party leader Baron [Michael] Howard of Lympne. (A report being inquired into by Inner City Press has it that Somali Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Idd Beddel Mohamad, a/k/a Mogadishu in Manhattan, claims he formed a similarly named company and so the contract is void.)

  Now we can add: Idd sent letters to the UK company advising them that the contract they entered with the Somali government is void. Idd has also given interviews saying he would resign over this. Sources say this is creating havoc around diplomatic activity, as Idd did in the past, purporting to fire an intern who was subsequently rehired. Modadishu in Manhattan, indeed. Watch this site.


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