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At UN on Guinea Bissau, of Regional Dysfunction, Angola Lost, the Purloined Letter?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 7 -- In the wake of the coup in Guinea Bissau, Monday's UN Security Council meeting got more interactive -- or more indicative of dysfunction.

    The Economic Community Of West African States and the Portuguese Speaking Community configuration CPLP had different proposals in the Council's open meeting.

   Then the Security Council changed buildings and rooms to hold an interactive session with, among others, the Foreign Minister of Angola.

   There was an initial problem: Angola's delegation didn't show up in the North Lawn building. Frantic cell phone calls were made, but as Inner City Press exclusively reported, the meeting started without them. Only at 11:50 am did they arrive.

   Outside, a story of deeper dysfunction emerged: that the now deposed prime minister of Guinea Bissau had written a letter, to be delivered by Angola to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and then to Council members, asking for a broader mandate for the Angolan MISSANG mission in Bissau.

   The story goes that when word of the letter reached Guinea Bissau, the coup immediately happened. The prime minister was overthrown, and detained. Several Council members heard and shook their heads.

   This taken place in the context where Ban's envoy to Guinea Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, sheltered an accused drug kingpin in the UN compound for weeks, so far without repercussions.

  Monday in the Council's open session he spoke among other things about the impact on the price of cashews.

   As the Council's closed door session in the North Lawn's Conference Room 7 continued past 1:15 pm, in the hallway outside indigenous people gathered. They had booked the room, but were not allowed in. There was some talk of colonialism, and about the P-5 members. Ultimately the indigenous were moved, over to Conference Room 6, video here and below.

   Inner City Press learned that Portugal had been asking for a Council Press Statement, today, but that other members felt any statement would be "taking sides" at this point. (For the record, on the Security Council Togo "has the pen.")

   Another Council member said the Security Council should not be the judge, the regional organizations must work it out. Yet another, from the Continent, alluded to an African Union meeting on Wednesday.

  Past 1:30 pm the Council's meeting broken, with talk of yet another meeting, to involve the CPLP, African Union, ECOWAS and the UN, representative by the aforesaid Joseph Mutaboba and perhaps even Lynn Pascoe. And what about the coup in Mali? One coup at a time. Watch this site.

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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