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Malcorra on W. Sahara, Eliasson on Yemen, Heyzer at the Altar, Who'll Replace Ban?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 16 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Susana Malcorra visited Venezuela and Guyana this month, the UN sent out a statement describing her trip about the border controversy between the two countries. But when Malcorra went earlier this year to Morocco and to the Tindouf camps, on the topic of Western Sahara, no such statement was sent out.

   Some wondered, since the UN already has an envoy on Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, why Malcorra traveled there. Well-place UN sources exclusively tell Inner City Press of jockeying for position as Ban Ki-moon enters his final year, saying both Malcorra and Ban's Deputy Secretary General, recently on a similarly duplicative trip to Saudi Arabia and Iran, harbor dreams of replacing Ban.

  The sources tell Inner City Press that Malcorra was slated to leave New York for Geneva, with Singapore's Noeleen Heyzer to become Ban's chief of staff, when the host country had second thoughts. Malcorra was asked to stay on, first until June, and now continuing. She took on a more political and visible role. Some say the host country favors her for Secretary General, while they could “live with” Irina Bokova. The game, they say, is on.

   Inner City Press at the beginning of October asked the month's UN Security Council President Spain why there is no Western Sahara meeting this month, as has taken place in other recent Octobers. It was explained as due to Ross traveling to the region - which was visited by Malcorra previously.

  Who is undercutting whom? And who speaks for the UN on Yemen: envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmad - send to be arranging a deal for his native Mauritania to lend troops to Saudi Arabia - or Ban's deputy Eliasson? Watch this site.


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