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Crackdown on Somali Pirates, Based On Letter to UN by Ex-Prez Yussuf, Questioned

Crackdown on Somali Pirates, Based On Letter to UN by Ex-Prez Yussuf, Questioned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 10 — Somali pirates have been the topic at the UN for the past two days. Thursday outside the Fourth Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Japanese diplomat Masafumi Ishii, who chaired the meeting, told the Press that money will be raised to fight the pirates, and to implement a “comprehensive” strategy against them, including on land.

   Inner City Press asked if the underlying issues of toxic waste dumping and illegal fishing had been discussed at all in the meeting. No, Ambassador Ishii said, that did not come up. Inner City Press asked about a recent incident in which Germany shot and killed a pirate, seemingly in violation of rules procedures as in Afghanistan. No, that incident was not discussed, Ishii said.

  The UN Security Council resolution under which pirates are being hunted, Resolution 1851, is based on the purportedly still valid consent of Somalia, on a December 9, 2008 letter to the Council from then-President Abdullahi Yussuf, who was out of power soon after signing the letter. People and even parliamentarians in Somalia have told Inner City Press they have not found it easy to get and see a copy of this letter, which is referred to in Paragraph 10 of Resolution 1851:

“10. Affirms that the authorization provided in this resolution apply only with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the rights or obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including any rights or obligations under UNCLOS, with respect to any other situation, and underscores in particular that this resolution shall not be considered as establishing customary international law, and affirms further that such authorizations have been provided only following the receipt of the 9 December 2008 letter conveying the consent of the TFG.”

  On September 9, Inner City Press asked U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Countryman about the letter. He said he was not aware of it. Also on September 9, Inner City Press asked UN Security Council Affairs staff how to get a copy of the letter. You’d have to ask the Somali mission, was the answer.

On the beach in Somalia, Yussuf’s letter not shown

  And so on September 10, while Ambassador Ishii spoke, Inner City Press asked an omnipresent Somali deputy ambassador for a copy of the letter. No, he said. You have to ask the Council. This is called the run around.

This has the potential of being similar to the Somali parliament’s rejection of the Law of the Sea Continental Shelf filing done in the name of the Somali people by UN envoy Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, using Norwegian money, co-written and filed by Kenya. Watch this site.

Source: http://www.innercitypress.com/

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