ICP Asks Kay about SEMG regime change letter on Eritrea
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 4 — After UN envoy Nicholas Kay briefed the Security Council about Somalia on February 4, Inner City Press asked him six questions. Video here, and embedded below.
Inner City Press asked Kay about plans to further expand the UNSOM mission outside of Mogadishu. Kay mentioned Kismayo and also a Puntland office. Inner City Press asked him about Somaliland. Kay said he has been in “close contact” with the Somaliland government, calling “keen to see a strengthened engagement of UNSOM in Hargeisa.”
Given previous positions, Inner City Press asked if by this he met an UNSOM office in Somaliland. Kay replied, I think they are happy to have UNSOM staff working in Hargeisa.”
Inner City Press asked about the UN Guards supplied by Uganda, does Kay want more? He said hes asked for 120 more, and even more might to necessary for UNSOM’s expansion.
On the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group, Inner City Press asked about the range of parties listed as violating the sanctions, does UNSOM work on this? Kay replied about helping the Somalia government build capacity to comply, for example with weapons and ammunition controls.
Inner City Press asked Kay about the SEMG “regime change” letter it exclusively exposed, see below. Kay replied quickly, that was the previously SEMG, there is a new SEMG. But now new? We’ll see. In any event, Kay’s responses were appreciated, including by the new Free UN Coalition for Access.
Back on October 7, 2014 Inner City Press exclusively reported that a member of the UN’s Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group Dinesh Mahtani used UN SEMG time and letterhead for unrelated advocacy regarding Eritrea. Mahtani’s letter was exclusively put online here by Inner City Press.
The UN on October 27 specified that it was Mahtani’s use of the UN letterhead that was not approved. Video here. Tellingly, Mahtani’s resignation went unmentioned by wire service write-ups of the SEMG report he was involved in, which Reuters in particular is promoting(while censoring its own anti-Press submissions to the UN, click here for that.)
The silence by Reuters, for which Mahtani used to work, and Agence France Presse continues even as the two UN Security Council Permanent Representatives, one on-camera, have spoken about Mahtani, and UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has done so twice, both times on-camera.
Some social media users from the Horn of Africa citing Mahtani’s friends in New York and Nairobi and correcting themselves that Mahtani quit but was not fired are focused on how the letter emerged, projecting their own fixations on Inner City Press (which beyond the Horn reports on Argentina debt, Sri Lankan war crimes, Ebola in West Africa) rather than whether the letter was appropriate.
(The UN Secretariat, even with Ban Ki-moon in the Horn of Africa, is apparently just as distracted: spokesman Dujarric had no comment on the Somali President versus prime minister spat when Inner City Press asked, video here.)
Former SEMG-er Matt Bryden, asked to comment on Mahtani’s letter, has instead continued to ask for explanation of the view that by reporting on the flow of lubricants to Eritrea’s air force he was micro-managing, or making a telling showing of this UN sanctions apparatus.
The UN seems to hire Western-aligned advocates and then given them no training or guidance. Then when they err, at least in this case, they are disciplined and resign. But what is learned? What is changed? We’ll have more on this.
ICP Asks Kay about SEMG regime change letter on Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 12:00 AM Rating: