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As Ban Names Kubis Afghan Envoy, Of Kyrgyz Accountability & Maxwell's Murder

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 23 -- With Staffan de Mistura leaving his post as UN envoy to Afghanistan, there's been speculation about who would replace him.

  On November 22 Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm what Hamid Karzai's office said, that Ban had called and notified Karzai of the identify of de Mistura's successor.

  Nesirky replied, " I can confirm there was a phone call, but I can’t tell you anything about the nature of the phone call. If I have any more details, for example, on any announcement on staffing, then I’ll let you know."

  On November 23, the day before US Thanksgiving, past 5 pm Nesirky's office told the dwindling press corps over the UN's intercom system that de Mistura's successor had just been named. It is Jan Kubis, who among other things became involved in Kyrgystan after the the political and ethnic chaos. (Click here for Inner City Press' November 22 interview with outgoing Kyrgyz president Roza Otunbayeva.)

   Kubis has previously served, among other posts, as Slovak foreign minister and as head of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

  When de Mistura after bragging to Richard Holbrooke that he had the Afghan job then temporarily said he wouldn't take it, along with Jean-Marie Guehenno and Ian Martin (now in Libya), Jan Kubis was in mix, reported at the time by Inner City Press, for the Kabul job. And now he has it. It's a small world or at least, for the UN, a small bench.

  There are several accountability issues that come to mind. It is not clear if Kubis' involvement in Kyrgyzstan had any impact on the lack of accountability to date for violence, mostly against Uzbeks, in mid 2010.

(c) UN Photo
Ban & Kubis, accountability for Uzbeks and Maxwell not shown

  While de Mistura repeatedly told Inner City Press he was pushing for accountability for the murder, by Afghan national forces, of UN staffer Louis Maxwell, now de Mistura is leaving and nothing has been done. Will it, under Kubis? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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