Security Council to Boost AMISOM in Somalia. Also, Ban the Export of Charcoal.
No one yet knows where these additional troops will come from, or how fast they will get there, but the Security Council is poised to send in the re-enforcements nonetheless. “The United Nations Security Council plans to vote tomorrow to increase the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia to as many as 17,731 troops. The draft resolution obtained by Bloomberg News seeks to raise the strength of the African Union Mission in Somalia, or Amison, from the current 12,000. Amison has a UN mandate “to take all necessary measures” to reduce the threat posed by al- Shabaab, a terrorist organization that the U.S. says has links to al-Qaeda. The UN’s authorization will take place as the U.K. prepares to host an international conference on boosting security in Somalia and tackling piracy off its coast on Feb. 23 in London. The African Union peacekeepers are working alongside soldiers from Somalia’s western-backed transitional government in their fight against a five-year insurgency by al-Shabaab, which controls most of the country’s central and southern regions. The al-Qaeda-linked militia is trying to topple the administration and establish a state ruled by Islamic law. The draft resolution also asks Somali authorities to “take the necessary measures to prevent the export of charcoal from Somalia.” Trade in charcoal is one of the waysthe al-Shabaab militia raises money.” (Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/w5NPfs)
IAEA on Iran: We Came. We Didn’t See. We Left
The International Atomic Energy Agency negotiators who traveled to Tehran to kickstart negotiations over nuclear talks are now on their way back home with not much to show for the effort. “The U.N. nuclear agency says its experts have again failed to dent Iran’s refusal to cooperate in probing allegations that Tehran covertly worked on an atomic arms program. An International Atomic Energy Agency statement says Iran refused an IAEA request for access to a site where the agency suspects explosives testing related to a nuclear weapon took place. It also says that despite “intensive efforts,” no agreement was reached on how to relaunch the probe, which has been stalled for nearly four years. The statement was released early Wednesday, after the IAEA team left on a return flight to Vienna. The unusual timing — shortly after midnight in Europe — reflected the urgency the IAEA attached to the communique.” (ABC http://abcn.ws/zSFBic)