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Cablegate: Somalia: Talking Points for Somalia Briefing


DE RUEHC #3238 3251630
O 201623Z NOV 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the talking points in
paragraph 2 for the UN Security Council briefing and
consultation on Somalia to be held on November 20.

2. Begin points:

-- We would like to thank the (DPA official), (DPKO
official), as well as the IMO Secretary-General Mitropoulos
for their briefings this morning.

-- The United States retains keen interest and concern for
Somalia. Despite political progress under the framework of
the Djibouti Peace Agreement and follow-on dialogue, Somalia
is once again embroiled in political battles among the
leadership of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). In
addition, the security and humanitarian situations continue
to paint bleak pictures for the lives of everyday Somalis.

-- The United States reiterates its support for the dialogue
process in Djibouti under the leadership of SRSG Ahmedou
Ould-Abdallah and for the process outlined by the
Transitional Federal Charter. Once again, we call upon all
Somali stakeholders, including the leadership of the TFG, to
engage constructively in this process in the interest of
establishing lasting peace, stability, and effective
governance in Somalia.

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-- In paragraph 103 of the November 17 UN report on Somalia,
the Secretary-General states that the international
community's strategy for addressing the multiple threats to
regional stability that emanate from Somalia should be
coherent. We could not agree more. The Council cannot take
a piecemeal approach to dealing with these problems. The
problem of Somalia piracy is a direct result of the lack of
rule of law and poverty on the ground. The political
situation impacts the security situation, and vice versa.
The humanitarian situation is a direct result of the security
situation and so on.

-- The United States is encouraged by the signing on October
26 of the Cessation of Armed Confrontation Agreement as well
as an agreement to form a unity government between the
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for
the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS). Along with the Djibouti
Agreement, these positive developments signal real political
progress on the ground. However, this political progress is
being threatened by the deteriorating security situation.
The international community must take immediate steps to
stabilize the situation so that the political process can

-- The United States notes with appreciation the
Secretariat's concept brief for an International
Stabilization Force/Multinational Force.

-- The United States, however, was disappointed with the
conops for a UN Peacekeeping Operation to Somalia. The
United States does not agree that an assessment team needs to
be on the ground to develop a feasible concept of operations,
nor do we agree that a peacekeeping operation must be
preceded by an International Stabilization
Force/Multinational Force. Therefore, the United States will
continue to push for an additional conop for a UN PKO for
Somalia with a limited mandate, a geographic focus on
southern and central Somalia, and one that is not dependent
on the deployment of a preceding Multinational
Force/International Stabilization Force.

-- We understand that it is the recommendation of the UN
Secretariat that first an International Stabilization
Force/Multinational Force must pacify the area before a UN
PKO can be deployed, but we respectfully disagree. The
United States feels it is only prudent to have contingency
planning for every scenario.

-- On piracy, the United States tabled this morning a
resolution on Somalia piracy to renew the authorities
provided in UNSCR 1816. It is obvious from this week's news
that piracy is still a significant problem, and that these
authorities must not be allowed to lapse even for one day.

-- Since the adoption of 1816 we have seen an exponential
increase in the number of piracy incidents off the coast of
Somalia. Just this week Somali pirates have seized an oil
tanker the size of an aircraft carrier off the coast of
Kenya. Fueling the rise in piracy is that fact that, for the
most part, pirates are not facing any consequences for their
actions. This suggests that granting states the authority to
interdict pirates is not enough. This body must make
progress on the vital issue of what to do with pirates once
you've captured them. Fortunately, the
international community has an existing legal mechanism to
address this issue. The 1988 Convention on the Suppression
of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Traffic --
the "SUA Convention" -- provides that state parties will
establish as criminal offenses, among other things, the
seizing or taking control of a ship by force or threat of
force or any other form of intimidation and establish
jurisdiction over these offenses in a variety of
circumstances. Moreover, the SUA Convention contains
provisions facilitating the delivery of captured pirates to
state parties for investigation and, where appropriate,
extradition or potential prosecution. Currently, 150 states,
including many in the region, are party to SUA.

-- Our resolution urges all States that have not already done
so to become parties to the SUA Convention - by the way,
something the Security Council has repeatedly urged in the
past - and further urges States parties to the SUA onvention
to fully implement their obligations under that Convention.
It also calls upon the Secretary-General, in cooperation with
the IMO, to work with States parties to the SUA Convention
and other Member States to build judicial capacity for the
successful prosecution of persons suspected of piracy and
armed robbery at sea.

-- We look forward to working with all of you on this
important resolution.

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