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Cablegate: Somalia- Talking Points for March 31 Arria Style

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #2527 0882232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 282227Z MAR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS STATE 032527

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM PHSA EWWT KCRM SO XA XW
SUBJECT: SOMALIA- TALKING POINTS FOR MARCH 31 ARRIA STYLE
MEETING ON SOMALIA

1. This is an action message. See paragraph 2.

2. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points for the March 31 Arria style meeting on Somalia.

Begin points:

-- The United States would like to thank the UK Permanent
Mission for organizing this Arria-style meeting. We would
also like to thank all the NGOs and UN organizations that
have participated today for their briefings on the
humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

-- The United States is extremely concerned about this
situation. In February 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) for
Somalia reported that nearly 2 million people are in need
of humanitarian assistance. This is an increase of nearly a
million people over the prior year. There are an
estimated one million internally displaced persons in Somalia
with an additional 335,000 Somali refugees in
neighboring countries of asylum. Clearly the situation in
Somalia is beyond desperate and requires critical support
from the international community.

-- For its part, the United States will continue to do all it
can to help alleviate the suffering of the Somali
people. In Fiscal Year 2007 and to date in FY 2008, the
United States Government has provided more than $143
million for emergency food assistance; health; nutrition;
agriculture and food security; livelihoods; coordination;
protection; water, sanitation and hygiene programs, as well
as peacebuilding activities; refugee and victim of conflict
assistance; and air operations. But this, of course, is more
than just a figure to those receiving the support
from groups like your's. Here are some of the programs we
are supporting:

- In response to critical emergency health and protection
needs due to fighting and displacement, the USG supports
the International Committee of the Red Cross efforts to help
shore up the struggling health care sector. The ICRC works
through the Sudanese Red Crescent to provide basic health
services at 25 clinics in central and southern Somalia,
which serve over 260,000 people. The ICRC also provides
surgical support teams and medical equipment at the
Keysayney and Medina hospitals in Mogadishu.

- We also have provided this year $1.2 million for: critical
nutrition programs targeting conflict and
drought-affected populations;nutrition monitoring, reporting,
and information-sharing for improved
coordination of response efforts.

- In response to water shortages and to combat cases of acute
watery diarrhea, the United States Government is
supporting Mercy Corps and UNICEF efforts to improve access
to safe drinking water and sanitation and hygiene
facilities countrywide.

- The USG is assisting Mercy Corps to provide psycho-social
support services and child-friendly spaces, and funding
UNICEF's protection activities for conflict-affected
populations.

-- In Somalia the humanitarian crisis is inextricably linked
to the political and security situation. Innocent
civilians are often caught in the middle of violence,
resulting in deaths, injuries, displaced populations, and
disruption of commerce. The United States, therefore, agrees
with the recommendation of the UN Strategic
Assessment for Somalia that political, security, and
programmatic efforts of the UN should be coordinated and
well organized with the immediate goal to suspend the vicious
cycle of violence, reprisals, and death that have
characterized the past few decades in Somalia.

-- 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. As more members of the opposition lay down their
arms and agree to work within a peaceful political
process, civilian casualties will be reduced, people will
return to their homes, commerce can
be reestablished, children can go back to schools, and
efforts on reconciliation and reconstruction can resume.

-- 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. While the 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
return of UNPOS and UNCT elements to Somalia will have a
positive impact on the humanitarian situation in Somalia and
help to reduce layers of bureaucracy that are impeding
quick decision making and knowledge of on the ground
activities.

-- The deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia
would also help the humanitarian situation in
Somalia. The UN has produced four scenarios for greater UN
involvement in Somalia's security. However, only one
scenario would call for a UN PKO. While we understand the
difficulties developing contingency planning for a PKO
when security realities on the ground are so unstable and
unpredictable, it is not realistic for the UN to wait for
the "ideal" security conditions or until all or even a vast
majority of the parties have agreed to a political
power-sharing agreement to plan for a UN PKO. The people of
Somalia can not wait any longer for the UN to take a
leadership role in the security of Somalia.

-- The United States will continue to call on the
international community to do all it can to bolster
AMISOM. For our part, we are providing over half of the
funding for the operation. We commend the brave Ugandan
and Burundian forces for their professional and dedicated
efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia. We call
on all AU countries that have pledged forces to deploy as
soon as possible. Additional support is necessary to
maintain and expand the existing force in Mogadishu. We call
on the international community to fund AMISOM fully
so that the AU can expedite the deployment of additional
forces and properly address the stability mission in
Somalia.
RICE

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