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The East African : Sep 29th 2014
20 The EastAfrican NEWS SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 3, 2014 US seeks Rwanda’s help for an arms embargo on South Sudan It is lobbying the 3 Af≥ican membe≥s of the UN Secu≥ity Council to suppo≥t a ban on a≥ms t≥ansfe≥s to both sides in the conflict By KEVIN KELLEY Special Correspondent T he United States is looking up to Rwanda and other African members of the UN Security Council to push through additional sanctions on belligerents in South Sudan and to press for a United Nations-backed international arms embargo on the warring factions. President Obama’s special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth said on the sidelines of the UN Security Council meetings that the US was lobbying the three African members of the UN Security Council to support a ban on arms transfers to both sides in the conflict. The thinking is that veto- wielding members of the council who sometimes oppose sanctions would be less likely to block an arms embargo if Rwanda, Nigeria and Chad — the African states holding rotating seats on the 15-member UN body — signal their support for that action. A senior US official said the resolve for sanctions strengthened after President Salva Kiir skipped a highlevel UN session last week on the humanitarian impact of South Sudan’s civil war. America’s frustration The US is clearly frustrat- ed by South Sudan leaders’ unwillingness to end the country’s ruinous civil war and by East African mediators’ failure to make good on their threats to take punitive actions in response to that intransigence. At his on-the-record brief- ing, Mr Booth noted that leaders of the eight-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development had threatened four months ago to implement punitive measures if the government and rebels did not reach agreement. “They have indeed let that threat go unfulfilled,” Ambas- Somalia: ‘It’s ou≥ wate≥, sove≥eignty’ By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent The Somalia government has now clarified that it is Kenya’s violations of the integrity and sovereignty of Somali water territory that forced it to file a case at the International Courts of Justice on August 28. Somalia’s Attorney-Gen- eral, Dr Ahmed Ali Dahir, argued that it is against the international law for Kenya to unilaterally sign agreements with oil and gas companies for explorations in the Somalia territorial waters. The EastAfrican estab- lished that the decision by Somalia to file a case at the ICJ against Kenya for the violations of our territorial waters, has been prompted by the new drive within the circles of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud that the historical dispute between Kenya and Somalia land border that kicked off in 1958 has never been resolved. But with the prospects Rwanda President Paul Kagame addressing the UN General Assembly last week, where he warned against tribe and religion-based ideology. Picture: AFP sador Booth said. Igad recently set another deadline for the peace talks, again warning of sanctions if an end to the fighting is not achieved. The latest makeor-break point is set for midOctober. The US has already moved to punish additional military commanders in South Sudan. Washington recently levied sanctions against major generals on both the government and rebel side after taking the same action earlier this year against two other commanders. But “the impact of these unilateral measures has been inconsequential since most South Sudanese elites’ wealth is concentrated in neighbouring states,” a US-based NGO said last week. The Enough Project, which focuses on conflicts in East and Central Africa, added in a report that “massive statecorroding corruption” is fuelling the fighting in South Sudan. The two sides are battling over who will have the 15 ability to plunder the country’s wealth, the report said, noting that billions of dollars that should be used to develop one of the world’s poorest countries has been stolen. “The US government should seek to identify, recover and return the assets stolen by corrupt individuals to the people of South Sudan through the expertise of the Department of Justice Kleptocracy Initiative,” the Enough Project urged. During the UN meetings the heads of state of Rwanda and Uganda warned separately that ideologies based on tribe and religion are a threat to African nations. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni denounced “the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism of religion or tribe as well as chauvinism vis-a-vis the women” in his address to the UN General Assembly. “It is this pseudo-ideology that has fueled most of the conflicts in Africa.” “Only parasites revel in such schemes,” he said. President Paul Kagame of Members of the UN security Council. Chad, Nigeria and Rwanda hold rotation seats on the body Rwanda spoke later in similar terms from the same podium. Due to weak national identities, he told the UN, “ethnicity, region and religion become the dominant currency of politics and nations are RATIONALE The thinking is that vetowielding members of the council who sometimes oppose sanctions would be less likely to block an arms embargo if Rwanda, Nigeria and Chad — the African states holding rotating seats on the 15-member UN body — signal their support for that action. The US has already moved to punish additional military commanders in South Sudan. It recently levied sanctions against major generals on both the government and rebel side. torn apart.” International of oil and gas deposits in the Indian Ocean, there has been a growing unease within the Somalia government since October 2011, when Kenya unilaterally embarked on military expedition in Somalia, and Nairobi’s subsequent influence in creation of the Jubbaland Interim Administration led by Sheikh Ahmed Madobe. Omar Hassan Yarrisow, a former spokesperson for President Mohamoud—who is conversant with issues surrounding Kenya/ Somalia relations—argued that the Somalia leader has been keen to engage Kenya over the pending land and maritime borders but Kenya has skipped three scheduled meeting without explanation. Suspicious Somalia “This strengthened the underlying suspicion that the objective of Kenya’s military presence in Southern Somalia is to control Jubbaland for the sake of potential oil and gas resources,” said Mr Yarrisow President Uhuru Keny- systems should encourage efforts to strengthen national identity, Kagame added. “In Rwanda,” he said, “we have focused on building accountable government institutions and renewing our dignity as a nation.” And such efforts have proved successful, with Rwandans today “among the most optimistic and civic-minded people in the world,” Kagame declared. atta and President Mohamoud on Wednesday in the side-lines of the UN climate summit in New York to discuss the issues, but Mogadishu had taken a position that Nairobi must acknowledge that the boundaries drawn by the colonial masters have never been discussed the two as independent entities. Diplomatic sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Somalia President Hassan S. Mohamoud. Pic: File intimated that Somalia has been given legal advice that the country could get more resource-rich maritime territory by opting for international legal arbitration rather a bilateral negotiations with Kenya The two countries have no maritime border agreement but Kenya had in 2009 signed a memorandum of understanding with the former Somalia Transitional Government to have the border mapping based on straight line, which has since been rejected by the Somalia parliament. Kenya’s Attorney-General Prof Githu Muigai, maintained that diplomatic negotiations between Kenya and Somalia have been going on for years but now that Somalia has chosen to go to court, his office will handle the case while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will carry on with negotiations. He has already assembled a team of international maritime lawyers to argue the Kenya case against the application by Somalia. Prof Muigai says the MOU—that was deposited by the UN—not only described the mapping of the maritime border based a horizontal line eastwards, but also contained no objections in case either of the countries decides to apply for more territorial waters beyond the internationally recognised 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone. Kenya prefers the mari- time border to be on a straight horizontal line into the ocean from where the land meets the sea, but Somalia maintains that the border line moves towards southeast, cutting into what Kenya believes is naturally theirs. When contacted, Moham- med Affey, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) Special Envoy to Somalia, played down the dispute arguing that it a bilateral issue between Kenya and Somalia, but added that the regional body is willing to mediate between the two countries if called upon.
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