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On Burkina Faso UN Guterres Politely Sends Mueller To Partner As With Biya in Cameroon Censoring Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE, March 1 – After in Burkina Faso the cabinet of Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba resigned, giving President Roch Marc Christian Kabore a freer hand to crackdown amid terrorist attacks. Back on early January the UN's increasingly irrelevant Secretary General Antonio Guterres, censoring to conceal his links to the China Energy Fund Committee, grandly said in a robo-statement through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric that he "reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support Burkina Faso in its efforts to fight terrorism, sustain its security sector reforms, promote national reconciliation and create conditions for sustainable peace and development." Then... nothing. Nothing except on January 17 Guterres telling UN staff that human rights questions to governments are "impolite" and "arrogant," video here. Now one of his main officials is going to Burkina Faso but it's all about the money, nothing on the crackdown. Here is the March 1 announcement: "UN Assistant-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ursula Mueller, will visit Ouagadougou and displacement sites in the Centre-Nord region from 2 to 5 March 2019. ASG/DERC Mueller is expected to meet with Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and other officials, local authorities in conflict-affected areas, displaced people, UN agencies, as well as international and local NGOs.     Burkina Faso is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis where armed violence and insecurity have caused population displacement in Nord, Centre-Nord and Sahel regions and exacerbated adversity among some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.     Conflict and intercommunity clashes have uprooted over 100,000 people from their homes, more than half of them in the first two months of 2019. Some 120,000 people have no access to medical care and 150,000 children are deprived of education with over 1,100 school forced to close in the violence-affected regions. In addition, around 676,000 people are at risk of food insecurity, and 130,000 children are threatened by severe acute malnutrition this year.     The Government and the humanitarian community have responded immediately to the sudden deterioration of the situation. They are working together to bring response to scale, launched an emergency response plan in February, appealing for US$100 million to assist some 900,000 people hardest-hit by the crisis. Resources and unfettered access for humanitarian actors to the most vulnerable people remain the main challenges and will be essential to provide urgent lifesaving assistance in conflict-affected areas." This is the same Mueller who when she visited Cameroon, did not even go to the Anglophone areas where Guterres' partner Paul Biya is killing people. Now Guterres - and his senior team including Mueller - have banned Inner City Press for the 240th day in a row, with no end in sight, no roadmap, no appeal. They are censors.  In January there was this statement tweeted by UN human rights deputy in New York Andrew Gilmour, re-tweeted by Guterres' spokes - / hatchetmen Dujarric, who has refused to answer  a single one of Inner City Press' written questions in nine work days about Cameroon, Nigeria and corruption, despite promising to: "Worrying trend in deterioration of security and humanitarian situation in Burkina Faso. Govt needs urgent support. But vital to respect human rights, and avoid reprisals targeting communities where terrorists suspected of coming from.  Otherwise will be endless cycle of violence." But when Gilmour and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet were set to speak in the UN on human rights day on 10 December 2018, Inner City Press was invited but when it showed it, it was barred from entry as it asks questions about the UN's decaying record under Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Gilmour was asked about this censorship, and did nothing. Now he tweets about human rights in Burkina Faso - with what credibility? On the sidewalk in front of the UN he has said he feels bad for Inner City Press. If he cannot stand up to censorship right in the UN, what could or would he do in Burkina Faso? Inner City Press responded to an invitation and was told, "Thank you for registering to attend the Human Rights Day event at the United Nations on Monday 10 December. On Monday, please come to the UN Visitors’ Gate on First Avenue opposite 45th street starting at 2pm, at which time entry passes will be distributed."

Then, past six p.m. on Friday, December 7 this from Bachelet's and Gilmour's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: "Dear Matthew, We have received notification from UN Security that your name was flagged as "BARRED" on the list we submitted for passes for Monday's event (3pm, ECOSOC Chamber). We will therefore not have a pass for you and are unable to facilitate entry.
Thank you for your interest and best regards,
OHCHR New York Office."

   Inner City Press immediately wrote back, to the sender and Bachelet and her assistant, to Andrew Gilmour and to the moderator of the event, "Particularly since you are the UN Office of the High Commissioner for *Human Rights,* did you not ask why a journalist who asks the Secretary General and his spokesmen about the killings in Cameroon, Burundi, UN corruption, UN peacekeepers' sexual abuse of civilians, and Sri Lanka, is “BARRED” from attending your human rights event - without any hearing or appeal? I will appreciate your Office's answer to this."  We'll have more on this.

 Bachelet gave a speech on October 15 in the UN's Third Committee, she emphasized a prioritization of social and economic rights and said one of the officials of her office is "on mission in Silicon Valley" in the US. There are questions about this - but Inner City Press which has covered human rights and the UN for more than a decade was for the first time banned from access a High Commissioner's speech. This has been raised repeated to Bachelet since she took office but she has so far done nothing, not even responded. Meanwhile on October 12 Cameroon, from whose Paul Biya Secretary General Antonio Guterres took a golden statue and favors in the Fifth (Budget) Committee and remains silent on the slaughter of Anglophones, was elected to a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. This system is failing - but if Bachelet cannot even answer on Guterres maintaining a secret banned list including not only Inner City Press but also "political activists," then the UN has hit a new low.

   Inner City Press was never given a hearing by Smale before her August 17 letter with withdrew Inner City Press media accreditation. Nothing in it said anything about a ban from entering the UN as a person, a tourist, or in another other way. But this is what happened, without any recourse. Pure Kafka-esque censorship, by a former New York Times Berlin bureau chief to hinder coverage of the corruption of the former Portuguese prime minster Antonio Guterres, see September 23 New York Post here. What next? Watch this site.


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