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ICP Asks Turkish FM of Somaliland & S. Sudan, Answers on Somalia & Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- Mediation should be what the UN is all about, so when Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu along with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja took questions on the topic on September 26, Inner City Press asked about Turkey's role in Somaliland, and about IGAD's mediation in South Sudan.

  In responding, Cavusoglu seemed to understand the latter to mean Sudan and South Sudan, talking about relations between the two countries. He did not mention Somaliland, but only Somali where he said Turkey buildings hospitals and has troops.

  Actually, it was IGAD member-state troops being in South Sudan that Inner City Press was asking about: how can one be a mediator and militarily supporting one of the sides at the same time?

 In fairness, Turkey has been doing a creditable mediation job on Somaliland, including for a time on the problems caused by the UN unilaterally giving management of airspace over Somaliland to Mogadishu.

  Cavusoglu was asked if Turkey will be participation in the Coalition bombing Syria, and did not directly answer, as another correspondent pointed out. The first question was taken by UNCA, the set-aside that the new Free UN Coalition for Access opposes. In this case, UNCA sent Turkey state media -- this is why they should not be any automatic first question, to use this way. We'll have more on this.

  Also, the loss of press work space by the Security Council, to the so-called Turkish Lounge, should be reconsidered and reversed, FUNCA says. Closer coverage would help, not harm, mediation.

  Overall, real mediation on Eastern Ukraine might have been what the UN is all about. But with the UN Secretariat so clearly aligned with one side, it became sidelined. Others will mediate. But what is happening to the UN? Watch this site.


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