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On Somalia, UNSC Led by France Plays Cheap on Ships, Mogadishu in Manhattan III

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 7, updated -- After "three or four" countries blocked a 12 month extension of the Somalia peacekeeping mission and funding of a maritime component, Wednesday morning the UN Security Council adopted by a 15-0 vote a mere four month extension.

   Inner City Press covered the negotiations, here, and is now putting online the earlier 12-month draft, here, as a public service.

  After the vote, countries ranging from South Africa and India to Guatemala said in their explanations of vote that the maritime component should have been included.

  South Africa's Deputy Permanent Representative Doctor Mashabane came to the stakeout and Inner City Press asked him, how many votes did you have for the maritime component?

  Ten, he said, adding that it was blocked by "three or four" Council members. (Another well placed source, a Permanent Representative, told Inner City Press the cheapness came mostly "from France.")

  Inner City Press asked if Kenya will now withdraw its ships, since the Security Council didn't approve funding for this maritime component. Mashabane said he couldn't speak for Kenya, but added that the African Union doesn't just wake up and make requests, and that its requests should be treated with more respect by the UN Security Council.

  This is a topic that Italy's Romano Prodi was paid by the UN to study. Now he is paid as an Under Secretary General, working from Italy, covering the Sahel and Mali. France wants approval to spend UN money in Mali. Why not for the job done and to be done in Somalia?

  Further inquiry with a proponent or defender of the compromise yields the position that the four month rollover will allow more time to consult with Somalia's president, on issues like the arms embargo. That way, the argument goes, the process will be more Somali led.

  There was also some downplaying of Kenya getting shorted. Its sailors are already getting "paid by the EU," in this view, so the objection is also about a vague or too-large mandate for the mere six ship AMISOM / Kenyan naval force.

  A real issue seems to be that the EU "African Peace Facility" which has directed funds to AMISOM will now be shifted over to Mali.

    Some say the US was most opposed to the provision directing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to study, with the AU, funding to replace this European Union facility. This is a reason it would be good to have more stakeouts by the US.

Mogadishu in Manhattan III: Finally, Inner City Press has exclusively learned of another round of intrigue in the Somali Mission to the UN. Idd Beddel Mohamed, who had made previous forays for promotion within the Mission, is now said to be "campaigning in Mogadishu," and that this includes a letter to the UN Secretariat again naming him(self) to a position.

 Inner City Press is putting the letter online, here, as a public service and more.

  The problem, the sources say, is that the letter is from the FORMER Minister. They say that the date of the letter is one day after the designated prime minster left New York after the attending the General Debate.

  During his stay at the UN GA, nothing of any contents of the letter was discussed or brought to the attention of the Somali Ambassador. However, Idd Beddel flew to Mogadishu and sent the letter straight to the Secretary General's office "bypassing the whole Somalia mission." Now what?  Watch this site.

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