From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (email@example.com)
Date: Sat May 30 2009 - 09:51:29 EDT
Excerpt: "As for the support of Eritrea for the Islamist group
al-Shabab, he said that there was much talk of such involvement, but
there was no way for him to monitor that situation or to know the truth
of such a claim."
United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)
Posted: 5/30/2009 7:43:00 PM
Impunity in Somalia was a major factor maintaining a long-running
"genocide in motion" in that Horn of Africa country, the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General emphasized to correspondents at
a Headquarters news conference this afternoon.
"People who have killed, displaced and maimed are still around, whether
in Somalia, Nairobi or in their new country home," Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah
said, adding that many who stayed inside Somalia to continue the
violence had put their families in safe havens outside the country.
Mr. Ould-Abdallah, who was in New York for consultations at
Headquarters, stressed that it was the willingness of anti-Government
forces to keep fighting, whether for profit, power or other reasons,
that was devastating the country, not the threat of an Ethiopian return
or the illegitimacy of the authorities.
The Government might be weak, he said, but it had as strong a claim to
legitimacy as most African Governments; overturning it by force would
defy Security Council resolutions.
Before last year's Djibouti Agreement, which facilitated the departure
of Ethiopian troops, it was claimed that the foreign presence was
prolonging the conflict, he said. After they withdrew, however, the
fighting had continued, and he knew of no evidence of continued
"This is a diversion from the real problem," he said. "Somalis have to
stop killing Somalis and reject any alibis."
As for the support of Eritrea for the Islamist group al-Shabab, he said
that there was much talk of such involvement, but there was no way for
him to monitor that situation or to know the truth of such a claim.
Asked about other foreign rebel fighters, he said the rebel leaders had
extended a welcome to such fighters and there was wide information
available on them.
When asked what safeguards were in place to make sure international
payments to trained police forces in Somalia were not engendering abuse
to civilians, Mr. Ould-Abdallah stressed how few trained police there
were -- 2,700 -- in that large country in which civilians were being
killed every day. Even those police had not been paid for 18 months.
To suggest that they should not be supported was irresponsible, he
maintained. "The problem we face today is anarchy and disorder, and not
to pay trained policemen because a few of them may have stolen or may
have abused is unacceptable," he said.
On piracy, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said that that the international presence
was beginning to show results, because the pirates had to go further
afield for their quarry, over 100 pirates had been captured, and their
financiers knew they were being watched.
It was important that it be a truly international effort, he said,
demonstrating to Somalis that there was international attention being
paid to their tragic situation and showing that such efforts could
Asked about law of the sea issues, he said he was not aware of any
connection between Norwegian oil companies and the joint submission for
the delineation of the continental shelf made by Somalia and Kenya,
assisted by Norway.
He said he did know, however, that Norway had helped other African
countries with their submissions, and that Somalia's was very similar to
the ones made by France, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Spain.
Outlining upcoming political activities on Somalia, Mr. Ould-Abdallah
said that he planned to be in London for an 8 June meeting with the
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, after which he would convene in
Rome the International Contact Group on Somalia, of which he is the
Chair, although that meeting might be postponed.
He also described contacts with the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD), an Africa regional economic group, which he said
could play a role in the Somali crisis similar to that played by the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the crises in
Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Shabelle Media Network - Source of Somalia News
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