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Cablegate: Somalia-- Talking Points for March 20 Open Debate

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #8930 0792332
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 192327Z MAR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 0000

UNCLAS STATE 028930

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM SO XA XW
SUBJECT: SOMALIA-- TALKING POINTS FOR MARCH 20 OPEN DEBATE


1. This is an action message. See paragraph 2. USUN is
instructed to draw from the following talking points for
their March 20 open
debate on Somalia.

Begin points:

-- The United States would like to thank the Secretary
General for his thorough March 14 report on the situation in
Somalia, which included the UN's Strategic Assessment of
Somalia and contingency plans for a possible United Nations
peacekeeping operation.

-- The United States agrees -- as the United Nations outlined
in the Strategic Assessment of Somalia -- that it is
important for the political, security, and programmatic
efforts of the UN and the international community to be
coordinated and well organized.

-- With that in mind, I would like to discuss these three
tracks.

-- First, on the political track, the United States fully
supports the efforts of the Somali Prime Minister Nur
"Adde" Hassan Hussein and of the Special Representative of
the Secretary General Ahmedou Ould Abdallah to reach out
to talk to members of the opposition. It is extremely
important, in the spirit of reconciliation, that members
of the legitimate opposition be brought into the decision
making process of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

-- The large-scale peace conferences held inside Somalia,
such as the National Reconciliation Congress in
July-August 2007, and outside Somalia, such as the Somalia
National Reconciliation Conference that ended with the
formation of the TFG and adoption of the Transitional Federal
Charter in 2004, provide the way forward. Further
dialogue must be focused on achieving the mandate of the
transitional process outlined by the Charter, not on a new
formal agreement or re-opening the already agreed-upon
political framework.

-- At the same time, it must be stressed that there is no
place at the table for spoilers and those who refuse to
renounce violence. Al-Shabaab is one such group. On
February 29, the United States designated al-Shabaab as a
Foreign Terrorist Organization (under Section 219 of the
Immigration and Nationality Act) and as a Specially
Designated Global Terrorist Entity (under Section 1(b) of
Executive Order 13224). This designation was made in
recognition of the terrorist threat posed by al-Shabaab to
international stability and the group's determination to
pursue a path of violence at the expense of dialogue,
including the use of intimidation and targeted
assassinations.

-- The United States fully supports efforts to relocate the
UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and other essential
members of the UN Country Team from Nairobi to Mogadishu as
laid out in Scenario 2 of the UN contingency plan, in Annex
III of the SYG report. The United States understands that at
present the security situation does not allow for
this deployment. However, we encourage the UN to start
making arrangements now for the relocation of UNPOS and
other elements of the UN Country team to Mogadishu, including
the development of appropriate security
arrangements.

-- Second, on the security track, the United States agrees
with the UN contingency planning report that there is no
viable Somali solution to replace AMISOM in the near to
medium term. To help stabilize Somalia and create the
dynamics for lasting peace and stability, the international
community must double and triple its efforts
to bolster deployment and maintenance of AMISOM. We are
aware, as the UN contingency planning report points out in
its last paragraph, that many feel the voluntary basis of
AMISOM's budget support is hampering AMISOM efforts to
recruit and deploy forces. However, there is currently no
alternative to this system. As we have said repeatedly, the
United
States cannot support the funding of non-UN missions through
UN assessed contributions. We renew our call on
the international community to provide greater financial and
logistical support for AMISOM immediately to
facilitate deployment of troop contributing countries that
require additional funding guarantees and to help ensure
the success of this critical mission. We also would like to
thank once again the AU forces from Uganda and Burundi
currently deployed to Somalia for their tireless efforts,
often in the face of danger, to bring peace and stability to
Somalia.

-- The United States was intrigued by the recommendation of
a maritime task force referenced in Scenario 1 of the
contingency planning. The United States previously
approached Security Council members and other interested
parties about the need to combat piracy and other maritime
crime in and around Somali Territorial Waters. We note
the February 27 letter from the TFG to the UNSC asking for
assistance in combating piracy in its territorial waters.
We look forward to working with the Council in the coming
weeks to determine how best the UN Security Council can
assist the TFG in stopping piracy off its coasts.

-- Third, on the programmatic efforts, we support the idea
outlined in the strategic assessment for the formulation
of a joint planning unit that could coordinate an integrated
strategy. However, we emphasize the need to
maintain the neutrality of UN humanitarian operations in any
enhanced coordination mechanisms among UN programmatic
activities.

-- In conclusion, the United States appreciates the effort
and analysis reflected in the latest SYG report, including
the Strategic Assessment Mission and the UN Contingency
Planning Report. We also appreciate the continued efforts
of SRSG Ould-Abdallah in working with the TFG to reach out
and facilitate dialogue with members of the legitimate
opposition. As we continue to encourage a process of
peaceful political dialogue, we will also seek to isolate
those who, out of extremism, refuse to engage in that
dialogue and insist on violence. We look forward to
continued close cooperation with the UN and our Security
Council partners as we work towards lasting peace and
stability in Somalia.
RICE

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