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Cablegate: Somalia--Talking Points for May 12 Briefing By

VZCZCXRO0215
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #9794/01 1302238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 092232Z MAY 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1712
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 7640

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 049794

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM SO XA XW
SUBJECT: SOMALIA--TALKING POINTS FOR MAY 12 BRIEFING BY
U/SYG HOLMES

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points for the May 12 UN Security Council briefing on
Somalia by Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs
and Emergency Relief Coordination Sir John
Holmes. Begin points:

-- We would like to thank U/SYG Holmes for his informative
briefing on the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

-- The United States remains gravely concerned about the
humanitarian situation in Somalia, especially in
south-central Somalia. There are 1.5 million people in need
of assistance in Somalia. More than 60 percent of the
population of Mogadishu have left the city with some areas
being completely vacated. Over 300,000 Somalis have sought
refuge in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Yemen. Delivery of
humanitarian assistance has been hampered by insecurity,
roadblocks, and interference from the TFG, extremists, and
clan rivalries. The insecurity coupled with worsening drought
conditions make Somalia one of the worst humanitarian crises
in the world today.

-- In FY 2007, the United States Government provided
approximately $7.1 million in earmarked funds to address the
needs of Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. We
also provided $4.8 million for the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) operations in Somalia. In
this fiscal year, we have received $10 million in emergency
funds to respond to the Somalia crisis.

-- Ultimately, the humanitarian situation in Somalia can only
be addressed with a lasting political and security sector
solution, which we believe should be based on the
Transitional Federal Charter.

-- Therefore, we continue to support the efforts by the
Special Representative to the Secretary General for
Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Adballah, and the Somalia 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.
Member states with ties to Somalia should press all parties
to reject violence and embrace dialogue.

-- Likewise, we again call on the UN Secretariat to continue
contingency planning, beyond those laid
out in the SYG's March 14 report, for deployment of a UN PKO
under less than ideal circumstances. These contingency plans
should present options, based on the area of responsibility
and mission mandate, for the Council's consideration. We
understand the challenges in planning peacekeeping operations
when security realities on the ground are so unstable and
unpredictable, but the people of Somalia cannot wait for the
"ideal" security situation for the UN to take a
leadership role in the security of Somalia.

-- The United States commends AMISOM for its efforts to
secure and stabilize Somalia even while extremist elements
in the country continue to target its forces. We would once
again like to praise the bravery of the 1850 Ugandans
and 850 Burundian peacekeepers currently stationed in
Somalia. We urge all AU members who have made public
commitments to the mission to fulfill their pledge and deploy
as soon as possible. We urge all member states to
provide financial resources, personnel, equipment, and
logistical support so these forces and future troop
pledges can deploy as soon as possible. The United States
welcomes the idea of a high-level donors conference for
AMISOM to be held in New York in the upcoming months as laid
out by the Secretary General in his April 23 letter
to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

-- The United States fully supports the relocation of the UN
Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), as well as other
essential members of the UN Country Team, from Kenya to
Somalia as soon as possible. We agree with the
recommendations of the SYG in his March 14 report that the UN
Department of Safety and Security (DSS) start planning
for the relocation of UNPOS and UN Country Team elements back
to Somalia. The return of UNPOS and parts of the UN
Country team can help alleviate the humanitarian situation in
Somalia.

-- We support the idea outlined in the strategic assessment
portion of the SYG's March 14 report that calls

STATE 00049794 002 OF 002


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 mechanism among UN
programmatic activities.

-- We applaud the efforts of the UN and NGO communities to
operate in very dangerous circumstances to provide
assistance to the citizens of Somalia. We continue to be
concerned that their efforts remain hampered by
insecurity, roadblocks, and inter-clan conflict. We call on
all parties to facilitate humanitarian access for the
delivery of life-saving aid to those in need.

-- The United States believes the scourge of piracy off the
Somalia coast is also hindering efforts to alleviate
the humanitarian situation in Somalia. We continue to work
with our colleagues in the Council on a resolution to
combat Somalia piracy. We hope you will support this effort
so we can pass this important resolution this
month.

end points
RICE

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