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As UN's Obasanjo's Accused of Bias, UK's Milliband Due in NY for Zim, Blair Won't Talk Until February

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, December 10 -- As the UN's attempted mediation in Nairobi of the troubles in the Congo hit, by all accounts, a brick wall, in New York Rwanda's mission was demanding a copy of a UN report which accuses them of financially supporting the rebels of Laurent Nkunda.  That this report, prepared by UN experts and circulated to the Security Council's DRC Sanctions Committee, was unavailable to the country concerned while being available full-text to a British news organization was a cause of African outrage Wednesday night. Rwanda, a country abandoned by the UN while hundreds of thousands were being killed, is now left out of the loop of UN reports, while the UN sidles up to the Congolese government because it is welcome and has invested there.

  The talks have broken down, Nkunda's spokesman says, because Ban Ki-moon's chosen envoy, former Nigerian general and president Olusegun Obasanjo, is not objective. In interviews in Nairobi, Obasanjo has admitted the stand-off. But the statement issued in his name by the UN in New York is decided more upbeat.

   Inner City Press has exclusively reported on Obasanjo's seeming conflict, accused as he is of a side-deal with China for a $8 billion railroad in Nigeria, just as Congo's president Joseph Kabila made a side $9 billion deal for the resources of Katanga.  Could this explain the bias the CNDP sees? Who vetted Obasanjo as mediator? A senior UN official has admitted to Inner City Press that no review was done, since Obasanjo was so high profile. Only after the fact has even the UN asked the question. But perhaps it is too late.

UN's Ban and Tony Blair, "I won't speak until February," come what may

Footnote: At a reception Wednesday night at the Indonesian mission, talk turned to the Security Council's agenda for next week. Somalia pirates, led by Condi Rice; a discussion of Zimbabwe, featuring the UK's Milliband. Inner City Press on Wednesday asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Michele Montas to confirm what the UK's Gordon Brown said about his conversation with Ban -- namely, that Zimbabwe will be discussed next week. Video here.

   The UK mission confirms Milliband's attendance, not at the Mideast Quarter of which the UK is not a player, but for a Zimbabwe meeting. Tony Blair, who sits on the Quartet, has reportedly rebuffed briefing the Security Council until, at earlier, February. More and more people ask, who is signing his UN checks? Would JPMorgan Chase, another of his employers, put up with such delays?

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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