Home > SOMALI NEWS, UN & ORG (Somalia) > On Somalia, UN Looks Away from Mercenaries & Funder, Withholds MOU

On Somalia, UN Looks Away from Mercenaries & Funder, Withholds MOU

Monday, December 13, 2010

Laaska News (Lasanod,Somalia).

By Matthew Russell Lee (Inner City Press).

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 — As not only Puntland but the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu move to use mercenaries, the UN is in denial even as its Security Council’s sanctions regime is being violated.

On December 6 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: there is a former US official, Pierre Prosper, who has said that Puntland, the portion of Somalia, has hired a private military contractor, Saracen, to do anti-piracy work — that it’s being all funded by a Muslim nation that he wouldn’t name. So what I wonder is whether, given Mr. [Augustine] Mahiga or anyone in the UN, given both the prohibitions against mercenaries and also the 1992 sanctions on Somalia, what does the UN say to Puntland pretty openly, or at least as acknowledged by a former US official, hiring a mercenary firm to patrol the coast of Somalia, and what’s the UN going to do in light of this report?

 

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, thanks for the question, Matthew, and let’s see what we can find out. I don’t have anything at the moment.

A full week later, the UN Spokesperson’s Office has not provided any information. But on December 10, Inner City Press asked the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden about mercenaries. Despite reports that the TFG is moving forward, Bowden said that there’s been a step back. Video here, from Minute 13:55.

 

Inner City Press asked if the UN knows the identify of the country funding the mercenaries. Bowden did not answer, but said that the funder should contact the UN Somalia Monitoring Group, or they might be in violation of the sanctions. But the country has indicated it will not identify itself, ostensibly to not suffer attacks. Is there a loophole in the sanctions regime for this?

 

 

 

UN’s Bowden on Dec. 10, mercenaries and MOU not shown
  On the UN World Food Program’s confidential Memorandum of Understanding with the OIC, Inner City Press asked what it says about paying to deliver service.

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  Ms. Kiki Gbeho, Head of the Somalia Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs replied that she “hopes” it has prohibitions, adding that the UN “in principle does not pay to deliver… perhaps it has happened, but it is the policy not to pay.”

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But neither she nor Bowden have seen the WFP agreement. What does it mean, then, to be a UN Humanitarian “Coordinator” or OCHA Head of Country office? What is WFP doing? Watch this site.
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In Somalia, Entrepreneurs Prosper & Petrie Violate Sanctions in Puntland, TFG Tricks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 6 — Somalia and Puntland have become hotbeds for diplomatic entrepreneurs as they leave the UN and US government. The UN’s Charles Petrie has said he will be working for the Transitional Federal Government — but some in the TFG are not so such, not least about for whom Petrie will be working.

 

  On December 6, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky about a former US State Department officregime:ial seemingly involved in violations of the 1992 UN Somalia sanctions regime:

 

Inner City Press: there is a former US official, Pierre Prosper, who has said that Puntland, the portion of Somalia, has hired a private military contractor, Saracen, to do anti-piracy work — that it’s being all funded by a Muslim nation that he wouldn’t name. So what I wonder is whether, given Mr. [Augustine] Mahiga or anyone in the UN, given both the prohibitions against mercenaries and also the 1992 sanctions on Somalia, what does the UN say to Puntland pretty openly, or at least as acknowledged by a former US official, hiring a mercenary firm to patrol the coast of Somalia, and what’s the UN going to do in light of this report?

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Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, thanks for the question, Matthew, and let’s see what we can find out. I don’t have anything at the moment.

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 After UN business hours on December 6, Inner City Press asked SRSG Mahiga directly. He said the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General had not asked him, but to his credit gave a long and detailed answer.

  Mahiga said he had told Puntland officials that they might well be violating the UN’s Somalia sanctions. They replied, according to Mahiga, that since it “doesn’t involve arms, it can’t violate the sanctions.” This is an inaccurate reading of the sanctions regime.

 

 Mahiga asked if Prosper was still working for the US. Not on paper, is the answer. Mahiga said Petrie’s roll is even more confusing. According to Mahiga, Petrie wanted to work as a consultant to the TFG while still under UN contract.

Inner City Press previously corresponded with Petrie — one of the more intriguing UN officials — then asked for formal confirmation, of his letter, and his role.

 

 

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UN’s Ban and Mahiga, Charles Petrie, Prosper and Somalia sanctions not shown
  The following arrived:

From: UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply
To: Inner City Press
Subject: Your question on Charles Petrie

Mr. Petrie submitted his resignation from the UN effective 1 November, but was asked, for operational reasons, to postpone his departure to the end of the current mandate, which concludes 31 December, 2010. He is continuing to exercise his functions as ERSG for Burundi until that time. It was also decided that while still under the UN’s employ Mr. Petrie would provide some support to the UN Political Office for Somalia’s work with the Transitional Federal Government, drawing on his past experience as Deputy SRSG for Somalia. He is doing so in close collaboration with SRSG Augustine Mahiga.

    But on December 6, Mahiga told Inner City Press that “No one knows who Petrie is working for.” Petrie says he had the agreement of the previous TFG, but according to Mahiga, the current government is not so sure. Watch this site.

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Source:http://www.innercitypress.com/som2cons121310.html
 

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