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Cablegate: Somalia: Talking Points for July 23 Consultations

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #8372 2032315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 212309Z JUL 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 078372

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM SO XA XW
SUBJECT: SOMALIA: TALKING POINTS FOR JULY 23 CONSULTATIONS

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points for the July 23 UN Security Council consultations
on Somalia.

Begin points:

-- I would like to welcome Somali Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed
Jama to the Council today (or if the Prime Minister, I would
like to welcome back to the Council Somali Prime Minister Nur
"Adde" Hassan Hussein). I would also like to thank the
Special Representative for the Secretary General to Somalia
Ahmedou Ould-Abdullah and (DPA briefer) for their briefings.

-- While progress is being made on the political front, the
United States remains extremely concerned with the desperate
humanitarian and security situation in Somalia. Today, I
would like to make three points.

-- First, on the political situation -- the United States
would like to reiterate its strong support for the agreement
between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the
Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) that was
initialed on June 9 in Djibouti. We urge all Parties in
Somalia, whether signatories or not, to adhere to the terms
of the agreement and to engage in peaceful dialogue towards a
lasting solution.

-- We are supportive of the efforts of the UN Political
Office in Somalia (UNPOS) to implement the provisions of the
Djibouti Agreement, particularly their efforts to establish a
Joint Security Committee. We support the relocation of UNPOS
to Somalia as soon as necessary security conditions are put
in place to provide for the mission's safety. We are pleased
that the Department of Safety and Security has conducted a
preliminary study on this topic and we look forward to their
report.

-- Second, despite the substantial political progress that
has been made in the last few months, the security situation
in Somalia remains dire. We are troubled by the significant
increase in reports of criminal activities in southern and
central Somalia, as well as in the semi-autonomous region of
Puntland, which led to the UN downgrading the security
situation in Puntland from a Phase III to a Phase IV. The
Council has stated its intention, including in resolution
1772 (2007), to take measures against those who seek to
prevent or block the National Reconciliation Congress or a
peaceful political process, or those who threaten the
Transitional Federal Institutions or AMISOM by force, or take
action that undermines stability in Somalia or in the region.

-- In the Djibouti Agreement, a joint request from the TFG
and the ARS was made to the Security Council to authorize and
deploy an international stabilization force within the coming
four months. In recent weeks the Prime Minister of
Somalia Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein has called on the UN to
deploy a UN peacekeeping operation to Somalia as soon as
possible. The United States supports this request and
stresses the need for the Security Council to begin serious
deliberations on what role the UN should play in addressing
the dire security situation in Somalia.

-- Security Council Resolution 1814 specifically requested
the Secretary General "continue his contingency planning for
a possible deployment of a UN Peacekeeping Operation to
Somalia to succeed AMISOM, including of additional
scenarios...and considering additional options for the size,
configuration, responsibility and proposed area of operation
of the mission depending on different conditions on the
ground." The Council asked the Secretariat to report on this
planning within 60 days. The most recent report does not
appear to reflect these additional plans. Therefore, we urge
the Secretariat to provide the Security Council with further
contingency planning, as requested in Resolution 1814, by
August 15.

-- Last month, the United States, France, the UK, Panama, and
several other nations co-sponsored Resolution 1816, which
authorized states, working in collaboration with the TFG, to
enter Somali territorial waters to repress acts of piracy and
armed robbery at sea. We have been encouraged by the
response we have received to 1816 from the international
community and we continue to urge all states to assist in
this important effort. Those without naval capacity can also
help by providing logistical assistance in the disposition of
victims, witnesses, and suspected pirates.

-- The United States reiterates its strong view that the
international community must act now to help create the
conditions for lasting peace and stability in Somalia. The
people of Somalia cannot wait for the ideal conditions to
arise before the UN gets involved in helping to stabilize the
security situation there.

-- Third, the United States is very alarmed at the continuing
humanitarian crisis in Somalia. The Secretary-General stated
in his July 16 report that humanitarian condition in Somalia
has "taken a dramatic turn for the worse," and we agree with
this assessment. The ongoing conflict, increasing food
prices, and deepening drought have threatened to create a
humanitarian disaster on an almost unimaginable scale. Some
2.6 million people in Somalia, 35% of the entire population
of that country, now depend on some type of humanitarian
assistance. The UN estimates if the situation continues to
deteriorate that number could increase to 3.5 million.

-- Compounding this crisis is the appalling actions by
terrorists, insurgents, and organized criminal groups in
targeting humanitarian workers for assassination and
kidnapping. This year alone, 15 aid workers have been
killed, deliberately targeted by various groups. In the last
several weeks, the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab have
claimed responsibility to the cold-blooded executions of
three aid workers. Those who commit these despicable acts
against those willing to risk their lives to help others,
need to be held accountable for their actions. We call on
the Somali people to reject the actions and propaganda of
those responsible for these horrific actions, and to support
those who have signed the Djibouti Agreement and are working
toward a peaceful Somalia.

-- We are cautiously optimistic that, with the strong support
of the international community, recent political gains could
translate into an improved security situation in Somalia.
However, the Somali people need increased UN assistance and
intervention now. We urge the Secretariat to continue its
further contingency planning for a possible UN Peacekeeping
Operation expeditiously and to present these further options
to the Security Council for review by August 15. Thank you
Mr. President.

emd points
RICE

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