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Cablegate: Somalia: Building Blocks for October 8 Briefing


DE RUEHC #4737 2802306
O 072246Z OCT 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Action Request: USUN should draw from the building
blocks in paragraph 2 below in drafting the statement for the
UN Security Council briefing on Somalia on October 8, 2009.
End action.

2. Begin building blocks:

Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to begin by
thanking Special Representative Ould-Abdallah for his
continued dedication in monitoring and reporting on the
situation in Somalia.

Security Situation/Insurgent Attacks

While the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) must
focus on long-term governance issues, it is clear that
Somalia,s immediate challenge remains the security
situation. Many of the other challenges Somalia faces stem
from or are exacerbated by the continuing insecurity in
Somalia, including the humanitarian crisis and piracy.

The United States strongly condemns the September 17
suicide attacks against the African Union Mission in Somalia
(AMISOM) headquarters which killed 21 people. The United
States was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of members
of the AMISOM force resulting from this attack. On behalf of
the United States, I would like to express my condolences to
the Ugandan and Burundian people for those lost, and my hopes
for a quick recovery for those wounded in the attack.

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Piracy is without question a symptom of, as well as a
contributing factor to, the instability and insecurity in
Somalia; without stability in Somalia, there can be no
durable resolution of the piracy problem. Not only must
efforts to combat piracy be strengthened and broadened in
scope, but efforts to stabilize Somalia must be significantly
increased to provide a long-term solution to the piracy

TFG Efforts
Despite the challenges it faces, the United States is
encouraged by the TFG,s institution-building initiatives.

We are strongly supportive of the High Level
Committee,s efforts to advance implementation of the
Djibouti Agreement, and welcome the TFG,s efforts to work
with the international community to address the issue of
insecurity through the Joint Security Committee.

Support for TFG and AMISOM
The international community has a stake in the survival
of the TFG and in the defeat of al-Shabaab and other
extremist groups, particularly those affiliated with
Al-Qaida. Al-Shabaab and other extremists perpetuate
violence in an attempt to intimidate the Somali people into
submission, and imperil the TFG.

AMISOM,s personnel are to be commended for their
heroism and their spirit of sacrifice in their mission in the
cause of peace. The United States continues to be a strong
supporter of funding a logistical support package for AMISOM,
and will continue to provide equipment and training to AMISOM
Troop Contributing Countries. The United Nations Support
Office for AMISOM continues to provide critical supplies and
equipment to AMISOM troops. AMISOM is playing an important
role in Somalia, and the United States commends those nations
which have contributed thus far, especially Uganda and

We call on all donors to follow through on their
pledges made to the TFG and AMISOM at the international
donors conference in April, six months ago.

Humanitarian Situation
The security situation in Somalia is contributing to
the worsening humanitarian situation, a trend which we cannot
condone or accept. The ongoing violence imperils the
delivery of critical food and other humanitarian aid to the
3.8 million Somalis who require assistance.

Ongoing violence is also contributing to the growing
refugee influx into Kenya, with some 300,000 Somali refugees
now dangerously crowded into camps originally designed for
90,000. The USG, in concert with UNHCR and other donors, has
urged the Government of Kenya to allocate additional land for
Somali refugee camps.

The United States denounces the violence against
humanitarian agencies and staff, which jeopardizes the
mission of these groups to provide aid intended for
vulnerable groups such as women and children. We also call
for the immediate and unconditional release of those aid
workers still held by armed groups in Somalia.

Humanitarian access in Somalia is very much constrained
by security, and even piracy. The United States remains the
largest bilateral donor of humanitarian assistance to
Somalia, having provided more than $150 million in food and
non-food emergency assistance this past fiscal year. We urge
the international community to contribute to the Consolidated
Appeal for Somalia.

We condemn those that seek to divert or prevent aid
from reaching the Somali people that need it most, and
support the United Nations, efforts to ensure that
assistance reaches those for whom it intended.

In particular, we are deeply concerned about reports of
diversion by al-Shabaab, which not only hurts the people of
Somalia but strengthens al-Shabaab in its war against the
TFG. Based on these reports, we reviewed our emergency
programs to make sure that we are doing everything we can to
help the people of Somalia and prevent diversions.

Our review concluded that our standing policy that
prohibits assistance from going to al Shabaab is appropriate,
and that our implementing partners should exercise increased
due diligence to avoid diversions in Somalia.

Eritrea and Outside Actors

The United States remains deeply concerned about
Eritrea,s destabilizing actions in the region. The
detrimental effects of its actions are clearly observed in
Somalia. The Somalia Sanctions Committee,s Monitoring Group
has reported that Eritrea has provided political, financial,
and military support to armed opposition groups in Somalia.

We remain willing to engage the Eritrean government
should it stop destabilizing the Horn of Africa.

Thank You, Mr. President.

IO/FO: GAnderson

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