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After Kenyan Navy Shells Somalia, Lamamra Says Kenya IS Part of AMISOM

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- For weeks as the Kenyan Navy has shelled the Somali town of Kismayo, resulting even back in mid August in the death of civilians, Inner City Press has asked the UN what safeguards are in place.

The answer, belatedly from the UN Spokesperson's Office and then from UK's Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, was that the AMISON mission "does not have a naval component," and that Kenya's navy is not part of AMISOM.

Earlier in the week, this and a question about Kenya's ground forces killing six civilians outside Kismayo were referred by the UN Spokesperson to envoy Augustine Mahiga's press conference later that day. But Mahiga canceled that press conference.

Finally on Wednesday Mahiga appeared at a stakeout after a mini-summit on Somalia, along with UN top politico Jeffrey Feltman, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Prime Minister of Somalia, and Ramtane Lamamra, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security. Inner City Press posed the question, explicitly about the shelling by Kenya's Navy.

The AU's Lamamra insisted that "Kenya is part of AMISOM." But again -- not the Navy, which was asked about. On land forces killing civilians, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali to his credit said he had spoken with the Kenyan defense forces.

  He also told Inner City Press that Puntland is part of the process, and he hopes to convince Somaliland to join. It was not possible to ask Lamamra a follow up on this, at least not on Wednesday evening. Watch this site.

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