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At UN W. Sahara Delayed for Morocco, Bardem Says It, France, Spain & US Block Referendum

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 4 -- The manipulation of the Western Sahara question by Morocco and its Permanent Security Council supporter France was made clear on Tuesday, when the briefing about Western Sahara that was set for before Morocco's contest with Mauritania for a Council seat was moved to five days after the vote.

  As Inner City Press exclusively reported, given how Morocco treats Western Sahara France pushed either to not have an October briefing of the Security Council on the topic, or to have if after the election for 2012-13 Council seats, on October 21.

  Following pushback from South Africa, Gabon, Brazil and October's Council President Nigeria, France acknowledged that the briefing must take place. After publishing news of this French loss, Inner City Press asked France's Ambassador Gerard Araud about the issue. "Of course there must be a briefing," he smirked. As to Morocco's run, he said, "Ask Morocco."

  On October 4, Inner City Press asked incoming Council president Joy Ogwu of Nigeria about the date switch on Western Sahara, and Morocco's candidacy. She replied that the important thing was that the briefing by Ross would take place, and by consensus. Some say, power regrouped itself.

  While the African Union has endorsed Mauritania for the seat, Morocco has been campaigning hard. Now it has gotten pushed back a briefing on the situation in Western Sahara. But this is still a topic in the UN General Assembly's Fourth Committee.

  Javier Bardem appeared Tuesday across from the UN in a press conference. Inner City Press asked him to assess the performance of the UN, including envoy Christopher Ross, and of France.

  Barden said on (shaky) camera, "France and Morocco, Spain and the US are trying to block -- have succeeded for twenty years [in blocking] the referendum... The UN has the obligation to remind on human rights" and "to bring the parties together." Video here.

  He said, "Christopher Ross should be backed up by the allies." We'll see -- watch this site.

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Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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