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On Somalia, With EU & US "Too Cheap" for Naval Component, Amendments?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 1 -- At the UN on Somalia, it's war. Not on Al Shabaab, but about the Kenyan naval component of the AMISOM mission.

  In the UN Security Council, African sources in and beyond the Council say, European members and now the United States are "too cheap" to pay for the Kenyan naval assets they "used" to take and hold Kismayo.

  The AMISOM mandate was set to expire on October 31. In a rare session outside of Security Council chambers, with a short text "put in blue" by UN staff working from their homes, the Council agreed to roll over the mandate for a mere seven days.  Click here for Inner City Press in-person coveage of that meeting and vote.

  But, sources say, there is a move to put a longer resolution into blue -- without including the "naval component" of AMISOM.

  The non-Europeans are incensed; there is talk of amendments "from the floor of the Council" to put the naval issue forward.

  This follow-the-money issue is alongside another, about an exemption to allow the sale of charcoal built up in Kismayo. But to reduce this story to "paternalist" EU and US only caring about the welfare of Somalia -- can they buy weapons, can they sell charcoal -- would be misleading.

   As several African diplomats put it to Inner City Press on Thursday, "the Europeans are just cheap." Watch this site.

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