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On Somalia, After Al Shabaab Attack UNSC Asks Funds for Army

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 11 -- After another Al Shabaab attack in Mogadishu, the UN Security Council got a briefing on July 11 from its envoy Nicholas Kay, then issued the following statement:

Press Statement on Somalia

On 11 July the Security Council received a briefing from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr Nicholas Kay, on the security situation in Mogadishu.

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the recent Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu against Villa Somalia, Parliament and members of Parliament in the last week. The members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The members of the Security Council paid tribute to both AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces for their effective response to the attack against Villa Somalia. The members of the Security Council underlined the urgent need to support the Somali National Security Forces, in order for it to be able to assume full responsibility for security in Mogadishu and beyond.  In that context members of the Security Council encouraged Member States to make uncaveated contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund to provide support to the Somali National Army, as authorized in resolution 2124.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, wherever and whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with their responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Somali authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their resolve to continue to stand by the people and Government of Somalia, in the face of deplorable terrorist attacks, as they seek to establish peace and prosperity across their country.

   Back on May 12 in an advance copy of the UN's report on Somalia, to be issued as S/2014/330, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says he is "concerned about the potential for confrontation between Puntland and 'Somaliland.' I call on both sides to avoid escalating tensions."

   Many note that Somaliland, without the quotation marks Ban puts around it, has been more peaceful than Mogadishu for some time - and that the UN system raised tensions by, for example, handing Somaliland's airspace to Mogadishu.

  Ban's report also says he remains "concerned about the continued export of Somali charcoal" and encourages "the Security Council Committee on Somalia and Eritrea to list the responsible individuals and entities."

  These advance copies have been known to be changed before "final" release, in a process for which a description, and then proposals for reform, were provided here and then here.

 In this advance copy, Ban "strongly recommend[s] to the Council an extension of the mandate of UNSOM for one year to 3 June 2015."

When on April 23 UNSOM envoy Nicholas Kay along with AMISOM head Mahamat Saleh Annadif took questions at the UN, Inner City Press asked them about the new Ugandan guard unit, about the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group and about Somaliland including its disputed airspace. Video here from Minute 14:23.

  Kay said, "at the moment we're absolutely clear obviously on the international legal position vis-a-vis Somaliland, it's not a recognized state by anyone. But they have a very strong sense of their own statehood and aspirations to independence."

  Kay referred to the Turkey-facilitated talks between Somaliland and the Somali government in Mogadishi, including about airspace. He said that UN funds and programs operate in Somaliland. But UNSOM does not: Somaliland points to the mandate it was given by the Security Council.

  On the Ugandan guard unit, Kay said they will protect the UN but work with AMISOM. But in March, AMISOM spokesperson Ali Aden Houmed was quoted by Voice of America that "we do not have the fact of what these forces are and they are not part of us... UN and Uganda had been conducting 'a secret negotiation.'" Neither Kay nor Mahamat Saleh Annadif addressed this.

  On sanctions, after Kay recounted improvements in reporting and "information" that are underway, Inner City Press asked if the Somali letter requesting the ouster of SEMG coordinator Chopra has been withdrawn. Kay said he has not seen the letter. Well here it is: Inner City Press exclusively obtained, reported and published it. Has it been withdrawn?

Footnotes: Particularly in light of media freedom issues in Somalia -- and in Somaliland, on which the Free UN Coalition for Access has worked -- we note that the UN on April 23 automatically gave the first question to the UN Correspondents Association, a group which has tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

  But the question by UNCA's president included how many Burundi troops are there -- no mention of the UN's own warning about the distribution of weapons by Burundi's government to its youth wing -- and in mistaking the US Institute of Peace, where Kay spoke this week, with the International Peace Institute, most recently reviewed here and here.

 In April UNCA or the UN's Censorship Alliance has tried to privatize access to the incoming South Korean presidency of the Security Council in May, positioning itself as middle-man even after FUNCA's inquiry and RSVP find that the statement an event is for UNCA members only, or now only through UNCA, is false. Preaching press freedom from this UN is difficult. Watch this site.


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