Cablegate: Somalia-- Talking Points for March 5 Briefing


DE RUEHC #2378 0650041
O P 050037Z MAR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following points for
the March 5 briefing on Somalia and Kenya:

Begin points:


-- We would like to thank the Secretariat for their briefing
today on the situation in Somalia and Kenya.

-- The United States is deeply concerned about the continued
violence occurring in Somalia. Over the past several months,
attacks by violent extremists on the TFG and Ethiopian
forces, as well as TFG security operations, have resulted in
a significant outflow of internally displaced persons (IDPs)
from the city of Mogadishu. Some NGOs estimate only 60% of
city's population remains.

-- The United States reiterates its call for all parties to
engage in a non-violent process with a goal of reaching a
lasting solution. The people of Somalia have suffered for
too long. We commend the efforts of political, religious,
business, and clan leaders, including the efforts under the
new TFG administration of Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan
Hussein in coordination with SRSG Ould-Abdallah, to put aside
their differences and work toward a solution for the good of
the Somali people.

-- We stress the need for all Somali stakeholders to not
allow the efforts of extremist elements or the setback of
recent clashes around Bakara Market to deter from the
overriding objective of achieving lasting peace and stability
in Somalia.

-- We are encouraged by the recent efforts of Prime Minister
Hussein, in coordination with SRSG Ould-Abdallah, to resume
the dialogue process with key Somali stakeholders, as well as
resume the transitional process outlined by the Transitional
Federal Charter. We encourage all members of the Security
Council and UN member-states to support efforts towards
national elections in 2009.

-- Once again, we commend the brave and noble work of AMISOM,
especially the 1800 Ugandans and 850 Burundian peacekeepers
already on the ground. We thank the Government of Uganda and
President Museveni for his public commitment of an additional
1600 peacekeepers to bolster the mission. We urge all AU
members who have made public commitments to the mission to
fulfill their pledge and deploy as soon as possible. We
encourage all AU members to consider contributing to this
important African mission. Likewise, we urge all UN members
to provide financial resources, personnel, equipment and
logistical support for this critical mission and enable the
rapid deployment of additional troop contributions.

-- The United States looks forward to the Secretary General's
report on Somalia due to be released on March 10. We are
especially anxious to see in the report the development of
contingency plans for a possible deployment of a UN
peacekeeping operations to succeed AMISOM, including the
report of the Technical Assessment Mission DPKO recently
dispatched to Somalia.

-- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) states that 1.8 million Somalis are in need of
humanitarian assistance, but that currently only 60,000 can
be assisted by the humanitarian community. The United States
calls on all parties in Somalia to abide by their obligations
under international humanitarian law and ensure unhindered
access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

-- We note the commitment of Prime Minister Hussein to
establish a single point of contact within the TFG
administration, as well as a liaison officer at the Somali
Embassy in Nairobi, to help strengthen coordination with the
donor and NGO community and improve humanitarian access
inside Somalia. We urge Prime Minister Hussein to implement
this arrangement at the earliest possible opportunity.

(If raised, points on March 2 missile strike on Somalia)

-- On March 2, 2008 the United States conducted a military
action against a known al-Qaeda terrorist in southern Somalia.

-- We share common goals with our regional partners with
respect to fighting terrorism. The TFG has requested U.S.
assistance to combat terrorists in Somalia.

-- We will continue to cooperate with the TFG and the Somali
people to counter the terrorist threat, promote
reconciliation with legitimate political opposition, address
humanitarian needs, and develop effective institutions of
governance. All these efforts are needed to achieve peace
and long-term stability in Somalia

-- We will continue to seek out, identify, capture, and if
necessary, kill terrorists where they plan their activities,
carry out their operations or seek safe harbor.

(If raised, points for Somali piracy)

-- The United States remains deeply concerned about acts of
piracy occurring in territorial and international waters off
the Somali coast. Incidents of piracy have increased
dramatically over the last few years. No commercial vessel
operating near the Somali Coast is safe from these acts.

-- Waters off the coasts of Somali are some of the most
heavily trafficked seas in the world. The pirates pose an
increasing threat to international trade and navigation.

-- The TFG does not have the capacity to protect naval
vessels in its territorial waters and on February 27 asked
the UNSC for assistance in combating the pirates. We believe
the Security Council must respond to this request and look
forward to working with the Council to address this problem.


-- The United States again congratulates the people of Kenya
and their leaders on the political agreement signed by
President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga on
February 28. The agreement demonstrated courage by both
leaders to make compromises to find a solution for the good
of the Kenyan people.

-- Likewise we commend the efforts of the Panel of Eminent
African Personalities, led by former Secretary General Kofi
Annan, for their tremendous efforts in mediating an agreement
between the parties. We expect both sides to live up to
their commitments made in the agreement and implement it as
soon as possible.

-- We also recognize the ongoing negotiations on agenda item
four under the auspices of former Nigerian foreign minister
Oluyemi Adeniji. This agenda item encompasses a number of
critical institutional reforms and underlying causes of the
recent crisis. We urge the teams to address these important
issues in a constructive spirit of compromise.

-- Although a political agreement has been reached and
violence has subsided in recent weeks, we continue to remain
concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Kenya and
especially about the hundreds of thousands of IDPs waiting to
return to their communities. We applaud the international
community's response to this humanitarian crisis and urge
them to continue efforts to support these vulnerable

-- We condemn the recent violence in the Mount Elgon area and
in Rift Valley province, and reiterate the urgent need to
address land tenure and use laws and regulations, which are a
major underlying cause of insecurity and interethnic violence
in these areas.

-- We recognize Kenya's legitimate national security concerns
and its need to regulate its borders. We also note with
appreciation Kenya's long-time hosting of refugees from
Somalia and elsewhere in the region and the burden that the
refugee population places on Kenyan resources. However, we
remind the government of Kenya of its international treaty
obligations and the need to provide appropriate access and
screening of asylum seekers.

© Scoop Media

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