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On Somalia, US Still Disputes Funding Study, So Roll Over 4 Months, Past Rice and S. Africa

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 6 -- On the Somalia resolution pending in the UN Security Council, the European "cheapness" on which Inner City Press reported November 1 continues -- now joined by mounting US aversion to another provision, Operative Paragraph (OP) 10.

  The result is that 24 hours before the extended deadline of the Somalia mission's mandate, the UK penned resolution with a one year extension has still not been put "in blue" and ready for voting. Rather a mere four month extension was being prepared.

   When Inner City Press asked this month's Security Council president Hardeep Singh Puri about it on November 2, he expressed opposition to another short term roll over. But that now seems possible.

  It appears that the UK is more concerned with the position of the US than the African Union, which wants the Kenyan maritime component in.

  The US is said to oppose OP 10, which would say the Security Council

"welcomes support to AMISOM by the African Union's partners, especially through the European Union's African Peace Facility, but notes the limited resources of this facility in the context of AMISOM' s mandate renewal, underlines the importance of predictable and sustainable funding for AMISOM, as called for by the AU, and requests the Secretary General, in consultation with the AU, to include in his upcoming review options and recommendations for AMISOM's funding."

  African members have asked, what's wrong with at least at least studying this?  More recently they have proposed more vague language, about Ban Ki-moon looking into the funding issue with the AU. But the UK tells them this might still be too much.

  A well placed source mused to Inner City Press that the four month kicking the can down the road might be so "Susan Rice is off the Security Council, and South Africa is off the Security Council."

  The latter is certain -- Rwanda formally joins on January 1 -- while the latter seems based on an adverse result on the day of the quote, or ascension to Foggy Bottom. (A wise analysis says Kerry's ascention might, if Scott Brown loses to Elizabeth Warren, make Brown favored to take and "re-hat" Kerry's Bay State Senate seat.

  But enough of US politics -- "that's what the UK says" -- the re-hatting we'll stay focused on here is of AMISOM.

  On the Somalia arms embargo, a concern has arisen that lifting the embargo might help Somaliland and Puntland become more independent. On the charcoal sales, the draft would have the Council noting the "intention of the Somali authorities to study this unique situation further, and expressing its willingness to take further action, if appropriate and in consultation with the Somali authorities, to address this situation."

  Also at issue is proposed Operative Paragraph 5 of the draft, which says the Security Council

"Expresses its intention to review AMISOM's authorised tasks as provided for in paragraph 1 of this resolution within four months ofthe date of this resolution and no longer than six months, including reassessing the utility of a maritime component."

  African and other members of the Security Council have asked the European members why they are adverse to paying for the Kenyan naval component which, even outside of AMISOM and its ostensible human rights standards, help drive Al Shabaab out of Kismayo.

  The responses have ranged from wanting more information about the maritime component -- one source counters, it's a little late, isn't it? -- to not wanting the Kenyan Navy to take over from the Europeans' own anti-piracy Operation ATALANTA. Click here for previous Inner City Press coverage of that.

   An African diplomatic source told Inner City Press, "It seems the Europeans don't want their parliaments to see that the fight against piracy could be done better and cheaper than they are doing it."

  Another compared this standoff to past reimbursements, including depreciation, to Germany for its ships off Lebanon in the UNIFIL mission.

 Germany's foreign minister Westerwelle is slated to be at the UN on Wednesday -- rain or shine. Watch this site.

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