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UN Refuses Press Qs on Haiti, Congo Rapes & Raid, Mad about De Mistura Scoop?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 -- That UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey almost never has answers to questions is one thing.

  But on April 5 Del Buey decided he wouldn't even let questions be asked.

 Del Buey simply refused to take Inner City Press questions on Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, countries in which the UN has peacekeeping missions (mis) run by Herve Ladsous costing $800 million and over $1 billion, respectively. To this low has Ban Ki-moon's UN sunk.

The first speaker at Friday's noon briefing was Ban's main spokesman Martin Nesirky, who been gone all week in San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and now Madrid.

  The purpose of the call-in was to describe and promote a call Ban made -- by Skype! -- to Malala, the courageous schoolgirl shot be extremists in Pakistan.

   Nesirky said clips from the call would soon be uploaded to YouTube.

(Flashback: after the UN raided Inner City Press' office on March 18, on March 19 a UN supervisor wrote to demand that the after raid video be removed from YouTube as a “first step.” This request, about which Inner City Press answered questions from the Department of Public Information which led the raid, has never been withdrawn.)

  As a question to Nesirky, Inner City Press asked him to confirm the Vatican's report that Ban will visit Pope Benedict in Rome on April 9, and to confirm a visit to and appointment of Staffan De Mistura, currently deputy foreign minister of Italy as UN envoy to Mali, “as we have reported.”

Who's we?” Nesirky asked.

Inner City Press,” was the answer. Nesirky would not even confirm the Vatican visit. Mighty dangerous, the Vatican.

After Nesirky spoke about Ban's time at the UN World Tourism Organization, Del Buey read out announcements then said he would take questions.

 After leaving Inner City Press for last, as has become the norm, Inner City Press said for planning purposes that it would ask questions about Sudan, Haiti and the DRC -- all countries in which the UN has peacekeeping missions (mis) run by Herve Ladsous.

  After saying he didn't know about a Small Arms Survey report on South Sudan, Del Buey turned away and told another correspondents, “last question.”

  Why? Inner City Press asked.

  Del Buey seemed to say because he'd been in the room too long. But he took very few questions -- in fact on April 3 he managed to hold his briefing right during Susan Rice's stakeout, taking only two questions in a record low six minute briefing. Is he tired?

  The UN's Censorship Alliance, known as UNCA, never challenges the decline of access to information at the UN. The most recent posting on its glassed-in bulletin board is from February 1.

Meanwhile DPI, from the non-UNCA bulletin board won through advocacy by the Free UN Coalition for Access, recently tore down every flier, saying they were too old, including a critical flier from late March.

  The president of UNCA Pamela Falk of CBS took photos of the March 18 raid, then issued a legal threat to Inner City Press not to write about it.

To this as the UN descended. As to the questions Del Buey refused to taken, much less answer, watch this site.

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