Cablegate: Somalia-- Talking Points for 03/28 Experts Meeting


DE RUEHC #2356 0881937
O 281929Z MAR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. This is an action message, see paragraph 2.

2. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points and seek elements in paragraph 3 for a PRST on
Somalia in response to the March 14 Secretary General (SYG)
report on Somalia.

Begin points:

-- The United States believes the March 14 SYG report on
Somalia and its annexes are a good starting point for the
UN to become further engaged in Somalia. While we do not
agree with some of the findings, we acknowledge that the
UN put substantial thought and effort into formulating this
report and their recommendations.

-- The United States agrees with the UN's recommendation in
the Strategic Assessment for Somalia that the
political, security, and programmatic efforts of the UN and
the international community should be coordinated and
well organized.

Political Track

-- The United States continues to support efforts by the
Special Representative to the Secretary General for
Somalia Ahmedou Ould Abdallah and the Somali Prime Minister
Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein to reach out to the
opposition. It is extremely important that this dialogue
continue with the goal of moving towards national
elections in 2009 and improving local-level security
conditions. However, we want to stress to the UN that
efforts to engage the opposition should not include groups
utilizing terrorist tactics and must exclude the terrorist
leadership of al-Shabaab.

-- The United States was concerned by certain aspects of the
Strategic Assessment that seemed to indicate the UN
favors a new formal agreement or re-opening the existing
transitional framework, a decision clearly better left to the
parties in Somalia. Large-scale peace conferences, such as
the National Reconciliation Congress held inside Somalia in
July-August 2007, and the Somalia National Reconciliation
conference that was held outside Somalia and ended with the
formulation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and
adoption of the Transitional Federal Charter in 2004, provide
the way forward. The first goal of dialogue with opposition
groups should be to advance these objectives and
achieve the mandate of the transitional process outlined by
the Charter.

-- The United States supports the relocation of the UN
Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), as well as other
essential members of the UN Country Team (UNCT) from Kenya to
Somalia as soon as possible. We agree with the
recommendations in Scenario One of the UN contingency
planning that while the security situation does not
currently allow for the relocation of UNPOS personnel, the
Department of Safety and Security (DSS) should start the
planning for the relocation of UNPOS to Somalia. The United
States would like to request DSS to develop viable
options for submission to the Council on the relocation of
UNPOS to Somalia that include an estimated cost for each
option. Related, while we believe UNPOS can be most
effective in Mogadishu, we would also support a phased
relocation to the capital, if it is more feasible for UNPOS
to first return to another part of Somalia.

-- Once UNPOS has returned to Somalia, the United States
would like to see the expansion of its mandate. This
expansion should focus on helping the TFG prepare for the
2009 election, in addition to its current
role in facilitating political dialogue.

Security Track

-- In general the United States was disappointed with the
contingency planning for a possible UN PKO. While we
understand the difficulties developing contingency planing
for a PKO when security realities on the ground are so
unstable and unpredictable, it is unacceptable for the UN to
wait for the "ideal" security conditions to plan for a UN PKO
or until all or even a vast majority of the parties have
agreed to a political power-sharing agreement. The people of
Somalia can not wait so long for the UN to take a leadership
role in the security of Somalia.

-- That being said, we feel the UN Security Council should
clarify what we want a UN PKO to do in
Somalia so DPKO can develop an appropriate strategy. We
believe a potential UN PKO should focus on: protecting the
TFG and its institutions in South Central Somalia; protecting
and providing logistical support for UN activities in
Somalia; contributing to the restoration of necessary
security conditions for the safe provision of humanitarian
assistance and facilitating full humanitarian access in South
and Central Somalia; contributing to the protection of
civilian populations under imminent threat of physical
violence within its capabilities and area of deployment; and
assisting in the promotion of rule of law in Somalia to
include the judiciary system. The mandate could be adjusted
as the security and political situations evolve.

-- The United States commends AMISOM for its courageous
efforts in Somalia. The international community needs to do
everything in its power to make sure AMISOM has the resources
it needs. While the United States cannot support the funding
of non-UN operations through UN assessed contributions, we
realize AMISOM needs more support, and we would be willing to
support a donors' conference for AMISOM. We would also
support the forming of a "Friends of AMISOM Group" that could
help raise additional resources for this mission.

-- The United States agrees with the idea of developing a
maritime task force (MTF) for Somalia, and subject to
resources, command and control arrangements, and appropriate
rules of engagement, escorting of supply ships to AMISOM and
humanitarian actors in Somalia could be an important aspect
of the mission set for such MTF. An equally important
aspects should include preventing acts of violence against
international shipping in Somali waters and counter-piracy
operations. Over the last couple of years there has been a
sharp increase in acts of violence against international
shipping and piracy in and off Somali waters. This is a
direct threat to international peace and security, as well as
global commerce, and the UN should act to stem this threat
immediately. On February 27, the TFG sent a letter to the
SC requesting assistance in combating piracy off its coast.
We look forward to working with the Council on
this important issue.

Programmatic track

-- The United States is supportive of the idea of improving
coordination and policy planning between
political, security and programmatic elements of the UN's
mission in Somalia. The UN should try to advance the
objectives in each track equally to streamline efforts and
effectiveness. While we agree with the need to more
closely coordinate programmatic efforts with UN political and
security efforts, we must be careful to maintain the
neutrality of humanitarian operations. Linking some
programmatic efforts, specifically humanitarian efforts,
too closely with political and security missions may hinder
the effectiveness of such operations, especially in
the area of how the UN offices interact with their NGO
colleagues on the ground. As a result, we should think
carefully about any efforts to institutionalize links of
humanitarian offices with political or security ones.

End points.

Outcome Document

3. At this time the United States feels a PRST is the most
appropriate UNSC document to respond to the March 14
SYG report and its annexes. USUN is instructed to work the
British and other Council partners to try to
incorporate the following elements into the PRST.

-- thanking the SYG for his thorough report;
-- recognizing SRSG Ahmedou Ould Abdullah and PM Nur "Adde"
Hassan Hussein for their continued efforts to reach
out to the legitimate opposition in Somalia;
-- condemning Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization and its
recent statement refusing to engage in any political
dialogue process and reiterating its determination to
continue targeting peacekeepers in Somalia;
-- stating the importance of having UNPOS return to Somalia
as soon as conditions permit and requesting DSS to
develop options on the relocation of UNPOS to Somalia
including a cost assessment of each option;
-- stressing the need for the international community to
provide greater financial and logistical support for
AMISOM immediately to facilitate deployment of troop
contributing countries requiring additional funding
guarantees and to help ensure the success of this critical
-- (if others in the Council agree) calling on the
international community to develop a "Friends of AMISOM"
group to help with fundraising and logistical support to
AMISOM, including the calling of a donor
conference for AMISOM;
-- welcoming the idea of a "maritime task force" to prevent
acts of violence against shipping and piracy and subject to
resources, command and control, and rules of enagagement to
escort supply ships to humanitarian actors and AMISOM in and
around Somalia territorial waters. Stressing the desire for
a UNSCR authorizing members to enter Somali territorial
waters to carry out these actions and calling on members to
assist in detaining and prosecuting
suspected pirates or others suspected of committing acts of
violence against international shipping;
-- acknowledging the effort by the UN in developing
contingency plans for a possible UN PKO, but requesting
that DPKO conduct further contingency planning that would
call for deployment of a UN PKO under less than ideal
circumstances with a mandate of protecting the TFG and its
institutions in South Central Somalia, protecting and
providing logistical support for UN activities in Somalia,
contributing to the restoration of necessary security
conditions for the safe provision of humanitarian assistance
and facilitating full humanitarian access in South and
Central Somalia, contributing to the protection of civilian
populations under imminent threat of physical violence within
its capabilities and area of deployment, and assisting in the
promotion of rule of law in Somalia to include the judiciary

© Scoop Media

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