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On Cyprus US Speaks Against Turkey Drillship  Yavuz While UN Guterres Silent Censoring 371 Days

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusives I II III   

UNITED NATIONS, July 9 – After Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 22 March 2017 Inner City Press about one of its Cyprus exclusives (I II and III) asked UN spokesman Farhan Haq a question at that day's UN noon briefing (from which for its questions it has now been banned for 371 days). Now on 9 July 2019 from the US State Department's spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, this: "The United States remains deeply concerned by Turkey’s repeated attempts to conduct drilling operations in the waters off Cyprus and its most recent dispatch of the drillship Yavuz off the Karpas Peninsula.  This provocative step raises tensions in the region.  We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint and refrain from actions that increase tensions in the region.  Energy resource development in the Eastern Mediterranean should foster cooperation, increase dialogue between the two communities and among regional neighbors, and provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity.  We continue to believe the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement." Meanwhile silence from Guterres, and see here about "urkey." From the 22 March 2017 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: On UNFICYP [United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus], I wanted to ask… it's been said from here that there… I guess UNFICYP or people here at Headquarters are looking at two issues:  one, the Chief Financial Officer becoming a Cypriot citizen, seemingly in violation of the status of for… status of mission agreement; and also the… the… the filmed stealing of watches by UNFICYP personnel.  Particularly, on the latter, where it seems like it's on video, what's actually been done since this video emerged?

Deputy Spokesman:  You've heard what we've had to say about both of those questions.  I don't have anything further to say at this point.  Once there's an update, we'll provide it.

Question:  Is there a timeline?

Deputy Spokesman:  Once we're done with the process, we'll let you know.  And if that's it...

  Haq never sent any update to Inner City Press - and in mid 2018 the Office of the Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric and Alison Smale for Antonio Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up and banned from the UN. But the information continues to come in, even if Dujarric refuses to answer written questions despite the promise of Smale to UNSR David Kaye and his own on camera promise, here. Now on March 14, a day when Guterres' UN physically pushed Inner City Press out of a "press freedom" event it was invited to, this: "Dear Mr. Lee.  As the deadline approaches for Mr. Husein Moussa’s normal retirement age of 62 in April of 2019, one can only begin to wonder as to why the UNFICYP Mission did not open a vacancy for his post.  The answer of course is simple yet complex.  The simple answer is that Mr. Moussa has requested to continue to work until the age of 65 and the mission has accepted his request.  Here’s where the answer becomes complex considering the following facts:  Mr. Moussa is holding a professional post but he does not have a university degree. Mr. Moussa was found guilty by the organization of abusing the female staff in his section. Mr. Moussa, acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus (the hosting country) losing in the process his impartiality which in turn resulted to his declaration as “persona no grata” by the Turkish Authorities.  Mr. Moussa has accepted a high valued gift which he proudly portrait on his Facebook page. The gift was given by Ms. Avgoustina Diola in aid of their “quid pro quo” agreement. “Quid pro quo” agreement. Mr. Moussa offered a temporary job to Ms. Avgoustina Diola in UNFICYP’s Finance Section followed by the promise of a permanent job with the condition that she will use her connections in the Republic of Cyprus in order for him to acquire the Cypriot citizenship. Ms. Diola kept her part of the deal and Mr. Moussa became a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus. Once Mr. Moussa became a Cypriot, he did not honor his part of the deal but instead of offering Ms. Diola a permanent job, he requested for her temporary contract not be renewed ever again.     All of the above raise the following questions:  Why is the Organization rewarding Mr. Moussa by extending his contract for another three years?  Did the Organization consider the above facts before extending Mr. Moussa’s contract?    Is the organization ever going to question Mr. Moussa about his nonexistent university degree?  How can a Cypriot Citizen hold an international post in Cyprus?  Is the organization ever going to discipline Mr. Moussa for accepting a gift in exchange for a favor?  Is the organization ever going to question Mr. Moussa about his “relation” with Ms. Diola?  Is the “Quid pro quo” agreement between Mr. Moussa and Ms. Diola not a punishable offense?  Is staff allowed to use the organization resourses for personal gain?  Is the organization ever going to take any action against Mr. Moussa?  In an organization with so much corruption, it is doubtful that any action will be taken against any offender." This is Guterres' UN: a fish rots from the head. On 9 January 2019 Inner City Press asked Guterres, Smale, Haq and Dujarric in writing: "January 9-2: On Cyprus, please immediately state the status of the complaints and cases, which Inner City Press has previous asked about including before being roughed up and banned from the UN 189 days ago, against Chief Finance Officer of UNFICYP Husein Moussa who was reported to the OIOS for illegally obtaining the citizenship of the host country (Cyprus) in violation of the Status of Force Agreement and was reported for accepting a free VIP ticket to a champions league football match. On information and belief a  case with number 661/16 was opened by OIOS and it was redirected to the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Mr. Atul Khare, to follow up and investigate the allegations. What has happened?  Please respond to criticism that current UNFICYP’s SRSG Ms. Spehar knows but looks the other way.     OIOS knows and twice (Case No 661/16 & Case No 395/17) have initiated an investigation process but then somehow the cases came to a standstill. What is the status? What is the SG's comment and action?"

Still now on 18 February 2019, no answers at all, and this in the mail: "I would like to thank you for publishing last month the case of the abuse of authority and corruption by UNFICYP’s Chief Finance Officer Mr. Mr. Husein Moussa.  I am guessing based on your following statement “Hours later, no answers at all. So we publish this, with more to follow:” ( that you will follow up your publication by exposing the full extent of the abuse of authority and corruption that took place in UNFICYP by Mr. Moussa.    The abuse of authority and corruption case of Mr. Moussa is remarkable enough but what is more astonishing is the fact that after a number of allegations to the OIOS, providing indisputable hardcopy evidence, with the primary directly involved witness confessing the wheels and deals of Mr. Moussa, the organization is choosing to play dumb and freezes this investigation.  I can only guess that the organization is hoping that Mr. Moussa will most likely choose to retire this April at the age of 62 (his normal retirement age) and maybe it is financially more beneficial for the Organization to let him get away with murder rather than having to spend thousands of dollars pursuing this investigation in order to discipline him by discharging him for his acts of abuse of authority and corruption.  But what if Mr. Moussa chooses to continue until he is 65 now that this new retirement age has become an option for him? (The Organization has now changed the mandatory retirement age to 65)  The question is what is the level of abuse/corruption one must commit in order for the Organization to finally take action?  What is this Organizations’ tolerance level for abuse of authority and corruption?" The tolerance level of Guterres for corruption is high - he leads the charge, with his cover up for CEFC China Energy. We published this, with more to follow: "Hello Mr. Lee,  I would like to reveal and share with you incidents that prove the hypocritical attitude of the UN when it comes to taking action against corruption and abuse in the UN system.  Back in December of 2016, the Chief Finance Officer of UNFICYP Mr. Husein Moussa was reported to the OIOS for illegally obtaining the citizenship of the host country (the Republic of Cyprus) in direct violation of the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) between the UN and the Republic of Cyprus. In addition, Mr. Moussa was reported for accepting a free VIP ticket to a champions league football match. A case with number 661/16 was opened by OIOS and it was redirected to the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Mr. Atul Khare, to follow up and investigate the allegations.  More specifically, the allegations stated that: (see text in red)  Cypriot Citizenship  Mr. Moussa has illegally obtained Cypriot citizenship based on the years of assignment in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP).  Mr. Moussa has been working in UNFICYP since August of 2002. On October 2012, Mr. Moussa applied for naturalization to the Cyprus Republic based on the number of years he was stationed in Cyprus.    

For a non-Cypriot in order to be eligible to apply for Cyprus Citizenship, one of the methods is to reside in Cyprus for over seven years. Please note that this is the method Mr. Moussa used in order to apply for a Cyprus citizenship.    

In this connection, the SOFA stipulates that:     “ENTRY AND EXIT: IDENTIFICATION  7. Members of the Force shall be exempt from passport and visa regulations and immigration inspection and restrictions on entering or departing from Cyprus. They shall also be exempt from any regulations governing the residence of aliens in Cyprus, including registration, but shall not be considered as acquiring any right to permanent residence or domicile in Cyprus. For the purpose of such entry or departure members of the Force will be required to have only (a) an individual or collective movement order issued by the Commander or an appropriate authority of the Participating State; and (b) a personal identity card issued by the Commander under the authority of the Secretary-General, except in the case of first entry, when the personal military identity card issued by the appropriate authorities of the Participating State will be accepted in lieu of the said Force identity card.”     Mr. Moussa has used the time (seven years) he acquired as a member of the (peace-keeping) force in order to apply for the naturalization process. This is a clear violation of the force agreement signed by the President of Republic of Cyprus and the United Nations.    

Nevertheless, Mr. Moussa succeeded in acquiring the Cyprus citizenship on the 8th of December 2016 with the following Cypriot Identification number 1320612 and he has also acquired a Cypriot passport.     Accepting gifts    

In relation to the VIP ticket, the United Nations Ethics office webpage says “Honours, Favours, Gifts and Remuneration     Accepting an honour, decoration, favour, gift or remuneration in connection with official duties may give rise to a real or potential conflict of interest, as it may be seen to create an obligation.  As a rule, we cannot accept any honours, favours or gifts from any governmental sources. However, when the rejection of a gift would be seen as embarrassing to the Organization, we may accept it, but then hand the item or award over to the Secretary-General. Likewise, we cannot receive honours, gifts or benefits from non-governmental sources without prior approval.  Small gifts of a social or customary nature from non-governmental sources are normally acceptable but must be reported to the head of the Office or Department. Even after receiving approval, we should be mindful not to create an impression that a personal benefit could improperly influence our professional decisions.”  Inner City Press has photos - removed from Facebook after Moussa was informed about the allegations. The rules are clear about receiving gifts and what should a staff member of the organization do in a case like this. Mr. Moussa proudly advertised that he received a free gift, whose actual value is more than $120, for a Champion’s League game in Nicosia between a Cypriot team and a Danish team in August 2016. His United Nations ID number “ICV 1028” is depicted on the ticket with his name.  There are several questions to be asked in regards to this gift bearing in mind that that Mr. Moussa is the Finance Section Chief - handling a budget of over $50,000,000. Who gave him this gift and why? And the main question is why he did not report/return this gift to the UNFICYP Administration.  It is unclear what actions the organization took in order to discipline Mr. Moussa but it would appear that he was not found guilty of any violations of the code of conduct for UN employees.    
In a 17 Jan 2018 NYHQ press availability given by Mrs. Elizabeth Spehar, SRSG and Head of Mission of UNFICYP, Inner City Press asked Ms. Spehar about the status of the investigation in regards to the allegations against Mr. Moussa and she replied that it was still ongoing. To this day it is unknown if this initial investigation is still ongoing. Video here - Inner City Press has since been roughed up and banned from entering the UN by Guterres, himself linked to Gulbenkian Foundation's attempted sale of its oil company Partex Oil and Gas to China Energy Fund Committee, proved to have bribed in the UN. 

  Inner City Press follows up and will follow up, even as Guterres to try to cover up his own links to China Energy Fund Committee through Gulbenkian Foundation bans it from entering the UN. Inner City Press on 21 February 2017 asked about the delay and the case of the "Chief Financial Officer of UNFICYP [United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus who] has been recently granted citizenship of Cyprus.... is there any policy on host countries of peacekeeping missions giving citizenship to internationals that are based there?"

   UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq replied, "I'm not aware of someone from UNFICYP taking Cypriot nationality, but I'll check on that."  Inner City Press asked again. From the UN's March 7 transcript:

Inner City Press; on Cyprus, you’ve said that there are two things… you or Stéphane [Dujarric] had said there are two things being investigated by the UN system, one being the chief financial officer having become a citizen of Cyprus in contravention, some say, of the Status of Forces Agreement and also the stealing of watches, the films… apparent stealing of watches by UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) peacekeepers.  So I wanted to know, since it… apparently, the only way to get it is to ask again, what is the status of those two investigations, particularly the filming of peacekeepers taking watches out of a watch store?  Has anything actually occurred since then?

Deputy Spokesman:  No.  I mean, the mission’s investigating the veracity of the allegations, and it will take prompt and appropriate action if UNFICYP personnel have been found to have committed any wrongdoing.  But that is… that investigation is proceeding.  Regarding the other case, the competent UN offices are reviewing it to confirm its compatibility with applicable UN rules.

Inner City Press: another question on Cyprus.  I know that you'd said that the [Husein Moussa] thing is somehow being reviewed.  There's now a story and a video of UNFICYP [United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus] peacekeepers stealing a watch on the Turkish Cypriot side.  And they named the individuals and that the article says that there is a legal proceeding, which I assume has to be a UN… since they are UN peacekeepers.  Are you aware of this incident?

Spokesman:  Yeah, no, the Mission is very much aware of the report.  They've launched an investigation to look at the veracity of the allegations.  And, obviously, should this be found to be true, they will take prompt action against any personnel to have found [to have committed] wrongdoing.  We would expect UN personnel, whether it's Headquarters or in the field, to act with the highest level of standards and conduct.

Inner City Press. There seems to be a spate of allegations currently about the Mission.  Do you think the Mission is either worse run than other missions or… Why is this all happening now?

Spokesman:  No. We have no… I have no doubt about the excellent administration of the mission.  As to whether or not it's an orchestrated campaign or why it's happening now, that's really not for me to analyze. 

  Really. On Febuary 26, five days after UN lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric on February 24 ran out of the UN Press Briefing Room as Inner City Press asked about UN Peacekeeping (and the lack of UN due process for journalists) and declined written questions after that, we have this exclusive report.

  The CFO of UNFICYP is named Husein Moussa. Complaints about his have been lodged against him since at latest May 2016 in e-mails and attachments UN Under Secretary Generals Atul Khare, Jeffrey Feltman and Herve Ladsous, among others. Inner City Press is exclusively publishing the contents of a May 6, 2016 email leaked to it, here, and a series of attachments about Husein's Moussa's lack of academic verification, here, including in Annex 3 a 2014 "follow on the academic verification for Mr. Moussa... not yet cleared."

  Beyond violating the Status of Forces Agreement between the UN and Cyprus by obtaining Cypriot citizenship, Moussa is charged in the May 2016 email with using UN vehicles after-hours and a variety of other irregularities: "Husein Moussa, the Chief Finance and Budget Officer, continuously and freely used the UN owned vehicle throughout his assignment to UNFICYP, i.e., since 2002." (So much for Ban Ki-moon's supposed mobility policy.)

  Also that "Husein Moussa had mentioned to a friend of his that the information about his university degree he had provided in his PHP was not true... If the brushing of this case under the carpets continues, I will refer the details to the international media for another UN scandal they will publish with great pleasure."

  Now that this has happened, and the UN's two holdover spokesmen have refused to provide basic answers and even run out of the briefing room and ignore written questions, it has become an issue in the Cyprus talks, one of the few possibly fruitful UN diplomatic efforts in the past decade. Corruption and scapegoating makes today's UN even less able to be fit for purpose.

On February 27, Inner City Press again asked the UN, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: on 21 February, I asked your deputy about this case that's reported in both Turkish Cypriot and Cypriot side of the Chief Financial Officer of UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) becoming a Cypriot citizen.  So I wanted to know, since I've heard nothing back, do you have an answer?   And, two, I've obtained or been… a memorandum that, in fact, these issues around Mr. Hussein Mousa were raised to Mr. [Atul] Khare and a variety of Under-Secretaries-General as far back as May 2016, including an educational problem.  And so I'm wondering, since this is now supposedly a problem in the talks, the Turkish Cypriot side has raised it, what is the answer on it?

Spokesman:  I don't know the individual involved, but I know that UNFICYP is aware of the case and the competent UN offices are reviewing it, also to confirm its compatibility with applicable UN rules.  Once the review is taken, then we'll take a look at the situation.

From the UN's February 21, 2017 transcript:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you on Cyprus a general question and then something very specific.  One is, where does it stand on the talks?  As of at least the last reporting, it may not restart because of the request by the Turkish Cypriots that the Cyprus President denounce this new law or get it repealed.  So, want just an update on that.  And the other one has to do with it's a very specific story in the press there that the Chief Financial Officer of UNFICYP [United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus] has been recently granted citizenship of Cyprus.  And so the Turkish Cypriot side finds that strange and says, I guess he's an international civil servant but what explains, is there any policy on… on host countries of peacekeeping missions giving citizenship to internationals that are based there?  Thanks.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I'd have to check about that.  I'm not aware of someone taking… from UNFICYP taking Cypriot nationality, but I'll check on that.  Regarding your initial question, our envoy, Espen Barth Eide, did meet with the parties late last week to continue discussions in terms of finding a way to bring them back together for talks.  We don't have any new date for talks between the leaders to announce at this point.

   Then no answers, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric running out of the briefing room amid Inner City Press questions and refusing its written questions since, while first continuing the restrictions on Inner City Press' journalistic access at the UN imposed in early 2016 then having Inner City Press roughed up and banned. Today's UN is corrupt.


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