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After Ethiopia Cut Internet Citing Coup Bid UN Guterres A Full Day Later Has Canned Statement Corrupt Censor

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, SG censors

UNITED NATIONS GATE, June 23 – In Ethiopia there was talk of a coup attempt, and of the shutting down of the Internet, on June 22. From the UN of corrupt Antonio Guterres, now at his real home in Lisbon, all day there was predictably nothing. Total silence for a day - even though Guterres grotesquely called Ethiopia a rare triumph of his tenure of failure. Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the country's defense chief of staff has been shot following unrest in the northern Amhara region.  Appearing on TV dressed in military fatigues, Mr Abiy also said several officials had been killed in an attack in the Amhara regional capital Bahir Dar.  Earlier the government said there had been an "attempted coup" in Amhara.  Reports say the internet is down in the country. And from the censor Guterres? A day of silence, now this - with nothing on the cut off of the Internet: "The Secretary General is deeply concerned by the weekend’s deadly incidents in Ethiopia. He condemns the killing of the president of the Amhara National Region, the chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defence Force and two other senior civilian and military staff. He calls on all Ethiopian stakeholders to demonstrate restraint, prevent  violence and avoid any action that could undermine the peace and stability of Ethiopia.      The Secretary General welcomes the commitment of the Prime Minister and Government of Ethiopia to ensure that the perpetrators of these actions are brought to justice.      The United Nations remains committed to supporting the Government of Ethiopia in its efforts to address ongoing challenges.    Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General  New York, 23 June 2019." Supporting the cut off of the Internet, too, as Guterres did in Cameroon? #DumpGuterres.

 Previously, even with Ethiopia now calling for the removal of UN sanctions on Eritrea, the idea was removed from the UN Security Council's 10 July 2018 Press Statement, below. On July 30 the UN Security Council meets about Somalia Eritrea sanctions - but Inner City Press remained banned from entering the UN, and still now permanently by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his Global Communicator Alison Smale and spokesman Stephane Dujarric. Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II. August 17 "ruling" here. On September 29, Eritrea's foreign minister Osman Mohammed Saleh told the UN General Assembly from which Guterres banned Inner City Press: "the unwarranted sanctions that were imposed on Eritrea in December 2009 and 2011 respectively. With positive winds of peace flowing in our region, several UNSC member States are these days calling for the immediate lifting of the deplorable sanctions. The
diplomatic discourse is not however fully coherent. As it happens, some countries are looking for procedural and other pretexts and
preconditions. The apparent aim is to move the goalpost and maintain the illegal
sanctions on Eritrea... The principal architects of the sanctions were previous US Administrations
who felt that they could use their unassailable power, and raw coercion, to ram through the UNSC, punitive measures against a small country and people to advance their misguided regional agenda. It is worth remembering here that certain officials in the US Administration had mulled imposing similar sanctions on Eritrea in 1999-2000, at the height
of the border war with Ethiopia, in order to impose asymmetric arrangements through coercive means."
On September 20, this from the UN Security Council: "The members of the Security Council welcomed the Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation signed by the President of the State of Eritrea and the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on 16 September 2018, in Jeddah and expressed appreciation to the role played by His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in facilitating this agreement. They took note of the commitment of the two countries to open a new era of peace, friendship and comprehensive cooperation as well as promote regional peace and security. The members of the Security Council also welcomed the meeting between the President of Djibouti and the President of Eritrea on 17 September 2018, in Jeddah, under the auspices of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. The members of the Security Council express hope that this meeting will open a new chapter in the relations between  Djibouti and Eritrea and encourage the two countries to continue to engage in meaningful dialogue. The members of the Security Council noted that these developments represent a historic and significant milestone with far-reaching positive consequences for the Horn of Africa and beyond. They commended the leaders of the region for their wisdom and courage in their continued effort to resolve disputes and call upon them to sustain these recent efforts and gains with a view to opening a new chapter of cooperation thereby ensuring greater peace, stability and prosperity in the region. In this regard, the members of the Security Council stand ready to support countries of the region in their endeavors. " We'll have more on this. The UK's Karen Pierce, who will become President of the Security Council in two days on August 1 (after a Twitter Q&A at 11 am on July 31, watch this site) on Eritrea said "It's something the Council needs to discuss. I think the developments are very positive. They're very welcome, and at some point that will need to be reflected in the coming months on sanctions. But the Council hasn't had a full discussion of that yet, so it's something we need to talk about." This with Inner City Press banned and the UK doing nothing about it - in fact, the formal banner is the UK's own Alison Smale, on vacation, who never responded to or acknowledged a single one of Inner City Press' seven e-mail including one on June 25 after an improper ouster by a UN Lieutenant with retaliatory animus, requesting protection. After the July 30 meeting, Sweden's Olof B. Skoog who oversaw or at least aceepted Press censorship for 28 of the 31 days of his Council presidency read out these Press Elements: "The members of the Security Council welcomed the first visit to the Horn of Africa by the Chair of the Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea since 2010 in May. The members of the Security Council noted that the Chair was not able to visit Eritrea during his visit.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the continued commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to political and security reforms, and to improving weapons and ammunition management in order to comply fully with the terms of the partial lifting of the arms embargo.
The members of the Security Council looked forward to further progress in this regard, and reiterated their readiness to support this process including through the Sanctions Committee and the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group. 
They strongly commended the historic signing of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship by the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia on 9 July, and the commitment by both parties to jointly endeavour to ensure regional peace, development and cooperation.
The members of the Security Council supported and encouraged Ethiopia in line with the commitment made by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to help in normalizing relations between Eritrea and Djibouti in the same spirit that helped facilitate the historic agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The members of the Security Council further welcomed the announcement that Eritrea and Somalia would work together to foster regional peace and stability.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their readiness to support the region in these efforts."
Inner City Press, thanks to Guterres and Smale with many assists, could not ask any questions. We'll have more on this.
On July 27, US Vice President Mike Pence issued this read out: "The Vice President met today with Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ longstanding partnership with the people of Ethiopia and applauded the historic reform efforts by Prime Minister Abiy, including improving respect for human rights, reforming the business environment, and making peace with Eritrea. The Vice President encouraged continued Ethiopian leadership in resolving regional conflicts in the Horn of Africa, as well as strengthening U.S.-Ethiopia trade and investment. The two leaders underscored their countries’ shared values and their commitment to building an even stronger partnership in the days ahead."
On July 12, hours before his belated press conference arranged to be without press, Guterres rather than OCHA head Lowcock bragged about and took credit for public money directed to Ethiopia: "The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) released today US$15 million to urgently scale up humanitarian assistance to people affected by escalating inter-communal violence in Ethiopia. Historical tensions between communities in southern Ethiopia escalated in April 2018 and led to large-scale displacements, damage of properties and loss of life.  Close to one million men, women and children are currently being sheltered with already food insecure relatives or residing in cramped public buildings without adequate food and water and substandard sanitation and hygiene facilities. “Under the leadership of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, new measures to bring unity and reconciliation have spurred great enthusiasm within the country and high international praise,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “However, the impact of inter-communal tensions presents a challenge for the new leadership. Nearly one million people are displaced and require urgent help, especially during this rainy season. It is critical to act immediately and that is why CERF is releasing $15 million to enable urgent aid." In the past, such announcements were done by OCHA. But Guterres needs a win, and so wants "better" press coverage that he has allowed the roughing up, and now has banned, the Press.
Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II. It is easy to impose sanctions, at least on  country like Eritrea, but very hard to take them off even when the original reasons, support for Al Shabaab in Somalia, is gone. Cote d'Ivoire on July 10 carried the water of Djibouti; others including the penholder the UK have their own reasons. The about-face of Ethiopia - which hasn't changed its UN Ambassador despite the changes in Addis Ababa - didn't move the needle. Meanwhile Inner City Press, which exposed the use of the UN's Panel of Experts to call for regime change, remains banned from even entering the UN.
Fox News story here ("UN roughs up, ejects, bans reporter from headquarters: Caught on tape"); petition to Guterres here; GAP blogs I and II (“Harassment of US Journalist Intensifies at the UN”). The UN under Antonio "Winds of Change" Guterres is corrupt. And it is hard to know the UK's reasons, not only in light of the telling chaos of Boris Johnson's resignation, but due to secrecy. The UK denied Inner City Press' request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for documents, and banned it from its Mission's "background briefing," ostensibly finding tape recorder holders for Japanese media which write more about US rappers than the UN to be more "international media" that Inner City Press. The P2 are a joke. Back on 14 November 2017 before the Security Council voted again on Somalia and Eritrea sanctions, Inner City Press asked the penholder on the resolution, the UK's then-Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, if there is any evidence of Eritrea supporting Al Shabaab and if not, why not at least separate the two sanctions regimes. Rycroft acknowledged there is no evidence, but said discussions on separating the two hadn't been successful. Video here. Fromthe UK transcript: Inner City Press: On the Eritrea sanctions, is there any evidence that Eritrea has been supporting Al Shabab? And if there’s not, why aren’t there two separate sanctions regimes? Does the UK favour that? Amb Rycroft: "We did explore that actually with our Council colleagues and there wasn’t the appetite on the Security Council to do that. I think there has been progress on the Al Shabab issue. There’s no evidence at the moment that the Eritrean authorities have been supporting Al Shabab, and we very much welcome that. But as you know, there are other aspects to why there is a sanctions regime on Eritrea, and what we urge the authorities there to do is to engage with the monitoring group, to engage with the chair of the sanctions committee, so that those people can come back with that positive evidence which they say is there, and that would help change the dynamic in the Security Council." Later on the morning of November 14, after four abstentions from the combined sanctions, Inner City Press was informed by a well-placed wag that the UK was not opposed to splitting the two: "the UK would rather get 15-0 votes for Somalia then all these abstentions because of the Eritrea issue." We hope to have more on this. Back in May 2017, Rycroft said "six months ago, the Security Council was quite divided on whether there should be sanctions or not on Eritrea. Before the next decision on the sanctions regime on Eritrea, coming up in November, we are going to do a review today of whether there should be a sanctions regime. We, as penholder on that issue, are seeking to find a way to unite the Security Council so that there can be some specific measures in a roadmap that the authorities of Eritrea would need to meet in order to lift the sanctions regime. Our national position is that the conditions are not yet right to lift the sanctions. But that if Eritrea did some of the things which we will set out today then we would look at it on the basis of the evidence."

 When the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the State of Eritrea Sheila Keetharuth held a press conference at the UN on October 28, Inner City Press went to ask her if she considered the impact of sanctions on Eritrea. Video here.  She answered only in terms of arms embargo, they said she simply chose not to look at the issue.

On November 10, when Somalia Eritrea sanctions were voted on, five countries abstained: Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela. Eritrea's charge d'affaires made a statement, which we've published on Scribd, here.

Before the vote, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft a question; he spoke about the Somalia Eritrea sanctions helping to limit support to Al Shabaab. Video here. But the current lack of evidence of Eritrean support to Al Shabaab has been repeatedly cited. And there are new reports calling the SEMG and its former officials into question, here. We'll have more on this.

   By contrast to Keetharuth, the Rapporteur on the Democratic People Republic of Korea Tomas Ojea Quintana answered detailed questions from Inner City Press about sanctions including unilateral sanctions on coal sales, for example. Is there no consistency between UN Special Rapporteurs? Video here.

There were only three journalists asking questions at the October 28 press conference - and yet Inner City Press was in 2016 ousted and evicted, and it is still under Antonio Guterres restricted to a minder. Petition here.


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