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AMISOM Tells ICP Probing Arms Transfers, VOA Flubbed Uganda Quote

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 12 -- When the African Union Mission to Somalia took questions on the morning of March 12, Inner City Press asked about the lack of transparency in weapons imports reported by the UN's Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group and the 410 Ugandan troops now in-country as the UN Guard Unit

  AMISOM or its spokesperson Colonel Ali Eden Houmed said as to the arms transfers -- specifically, the lack of an October 3, 2013 packing list - that "investigations are ongoing by SFG and AMISOM."

  SFG is the Somali Federal Government -- to which AMISOM says it gave its own report on a high profile rape case in Mogadishu back in August. But what happened after that? There's a lack of transparency.

On the Guard Unit, Inner City Press asked if UN Peacekeeping and the UN Security Council have themselves been transparent; AMISOM's Colonel Ali Eden Houmed was quoted by Voice of America that "this special forces from Uganda are not part of their mission. 'We do not have the fact of what these forces are and they are not part of us,' he told the VOA [adding] that he only knew that UN and Uganda had been conducting 'a secret negotiation' relating to the security of the UN staff in Mogadishu."

  To this, AMISOM's Colonel Ali Eden Houmed responded, "It was a mis -interpretation."

  Inner City Press replied, "Misinterpretation by Voice of America?"

  VOA, which has tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN through Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's current spokesperson, is run by the US State Department. UN Mine Action Service boss David Bax was accused by whistleblowers of providing US intelligence with information, including DNA, from bombings in Somalia. A UNOPS letter cites Bancroft Global Development and, separately, African Skies Limited (which which Bancroft has a contract), and referred the issue back to management. Now what?

  At the UN in New York after the Security Council met on March 11 about Somalia and the Council's president for March Sylvie Lucas of Luxembourg came out and read a summary of the consultations, she was only asked questions about Libya, North Korea and Ukraine. This is the place of Somalia in the UN in New York; it is what allows for the lack of transparency, and the lack of accountability.

  Later on March 12, UN envoy Nicholas Kay will answer questions. Inner City Press has already asked one. Watch this site.


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