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As Boko Haram Pushes Beyond Nigeria, UNSC Resolution in Work, ICP's Told

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 8, more here -- With Boko Haram reaching beyond Nigeria, neighboring countries planning a joint force to combat the group are seeking a UN Security Council resolution, several UN Permanent Representatives exclusively tell Inner City Press.

  Already, Boko Haram is persistently kicking at Nigeria's border with Cameroon, for example, and Cameroonian soldiers are dying. That country, along with others like Benin, Niger and Chad, are planning a force, and a Security Council resolution.
   The goal, Inner City Press is told, is to get the resolution done this month, while Chad holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council. This can be contrasted with the US and its allies multinational force in Afghanistan, for which Germany said a resolution was desired and would be sought - but so far hasn't been.
  Chad, which already expressed anger that the UN's "Sahel" office is not headquartered in one of the Sahel countries and at being taken for granted by, among others, its predecessor as Security Council president, seems ready to push the resolution forward. Nigeria, is it noted, is a member of the Council. So the time is now. Watch this site.

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 By contrast, given the new bilateral agreements between Afghanistan with NATO, and separately with the US, is a new UN Security Council resolution needed?

  Back on October 9, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, “We would want to have a UN resolution, a resolution of the U.N. Security Council.”

   Now as the deadline draws near, and it emerges that contrary to what was previously announced the US does envision conducting some combat operations in Afghanistan after the end of the year, the question is whether a resolution will be adopted in the UN Security Council.

   Inner City Press on December 3 asked the ambassadors of both Russia and the United Kingdom about it. Russia's Vitaly Churkin told Inner City Press, “there is anther complicating element. The American operations in Afghanistan on basis of the bilateral agreement with Afghanistan are not covered by this NATO Afghanistan arrangement, and therefore will not be covered by this possible Security Council resolution.”

   He said, “the American seem to have changed their minds. Originally they announced that after this year they would not engage in combat operations. Now there are reports that after all they do envision the possibility of some combat operations. I think that in that context there also needs to be a concern, will NATO be able to stay within announced scope of just training and supporting the Afghani forces?”

 Churkin said that some in NATO now says that a resolution is not absolutely necessary but that “this is required by some counties, both members of NATO and non members of NATO who theoretically would like to participate. But they have their requirements and we have our requirements on the Security Council,” including a substantive end of mission report, and future reporting to the Security Council.

  He concluded that there are too many unanswered questions to say with certainty that the Security Council will be able to adopt a resolution. He said, “there are curtain requirements, we believe, which need to be met. The first requirement is that before we encourage in any way a new operation we need to be updated on the results of the previous operation. At this point there is no assurance that we’ll receive a substantive report. Not just a short sentence that they have completed their mission, but one containing an analysis of what has been accomplished and what has not. This is the first requirement. Another requirement is that we believe that the Security Council cannot simply produce a text of a resolution and let the process go into the blue. We need reports to the SC. And for some reason NATO countries are reluctant to give us assurance that they are going to report their activities to the SC. Without periodic reports to the SC we believe it’s rather strange to endorse something and than to forget all about it.”

  Moments later, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about it, as he headed to the Permanent Five members' meeting room, into which his Australian counterpart Gary Quinlan had already gone in. Lyall Grant told Inner City Press that some do want such a resolution, and that there'll be a discussion. Watch this site.


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