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As Rwanda Threatens Darfur Pullout, Will Ban Edit Out Genocide, Of Jeane Afrique and Le Monde

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 30 -- Rwanda has threatened to pull its 3485 soldiers from the peacekeeping mission in Darfur if it is accused by genocide by the UN. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky on August 27 denied that Rwanda president Paul Kagame made such a threat. Inner City Press immediately asked if Kagame's foreign minister Louise Mushiwigabo had made the threat in writing.

Now, quoting from Ms. Mushiwigabo's August 3 letter, Inner City Press on August 30 asked Nesirky to confirm the threat, and the UN's response. Video here, from Minute 20:13. Nesirky insisted he had confirmed but declined to “characterize the letter, the letters.” But now that the letter is known, what sense does this make?

Inner City Press asked, if the word genocide is dropped from the final report, whether it will be due as reported to Ban Ki-moon's doubts if the word applies, or to the threat. Video here, from Minute 21:55. Nesirky said to wait and see, to compare the leaked and final reports.

  If Rwanda releases its letter or makes it threat publicly, will the UN respond? “You seem to be on a hypothetical strand,” Nesirky said. “Let's not go down that road.” Video here, from Minute 22:37.

But inexorably the UN is being taken, or is taking itself down that road.

DSG Migiro and FM Mushikiwabo, threats not shown

 On August 27, Nesirky acknowledged that Ban's office is conferring on the content of the High Commissioner on Human Rights report.

  Since Ban named Kagame as the co-chair of his High Level Advocacy Group on the MDGs, one assumes Ban does not believe Kagame is guilty of genocide. So why wouldn't the conferring be editing, and excision of the “G” word?

On August 27, Nesirky said the UN was disappointed that Le Monde had published the draft report. In fact, it appears that Jeane Afrique first broke news of the leaked report on August 13. Later, however, even Jeane Afrique cited Le Monde, while linking to their earlier stories. So in whom is the UN disappointed? Watch this site.

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As Kagame's Rwanda Accused of Genocide, UN Downplays Threats, MDG Connection

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 27 -- In the face of Rwanda's push back Friday against a draft UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report accusing it of genocide in the Congo in the 1990s, the UN in New York was in disarray.

  UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said it was “absolutely false” that Rwandan president Paul Kagame threatened to withdrawn his country's troops from the peacekeeping Mission in Darfur, UNAMID.

Inner City Press asked if this threat was made not by Kagame but in a letter by Rwandan foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo -- from whose photo op with Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro Inner City Press was excluded. Video here, from Minute 10:20.

There has been correspondence,” Nesirky replied, calling it the “normal practice to not disclose the contents of correspondence in that way.” But Nesirky had so strenuously denied the threat of withdrawing peacekeepers, a threat Rwanda made before, after complaints about one of its general, indicted for war crimes, serving with UNAMID.

The working theory is that one of the 30 authors of the report leaked it, because they sensed or knew that the word genocide would be removed from the final version.

  Rwanda, on the other hand, is accusing the UN of more systematically and strategically leaking it, to divert attention from its peacekeeping mission MONUSCO's inaction on mass rapes by the Hutu rebel FDLR.

   Inner City Press asked Nesirky about this Rwandan government allegation. Nesirky refused to comment, saying he wasn't aware of the Rwandan government response. Video here, from Minute 14:44.

UN's Ban and Kagame in July 2010, HCHR genocide charge not shown

 Given that this UNHCRH report, at least in draft form, accused Kagame's Rwanda of genocide, Inner City Press asked Nesirky if Ban Ki-moon considered this before naming Kagame the co-chair, along with Spain's Zapatero who in turn snubbed Kagame on war crimes grounds, of the UN MDG advocacy group.

   “The two are not connected,” Nesirky said. So why not name Omar Al Bashir, one wag asked, to the UN's High Level Panel on Global Sustainability?

Footnote: in fact, on the High Level Panel on Global Sustainability, along with Kevin Rudd, Ban named the head of Research in Motion / BlackBerry, James Lawrence Balsillie.

  While one angle involves the countries like Saudi Arabia trying to block BlackBerry service if they are not allowed to unencrypt communications, the other is the opprobrium of the SEC and Canadian government at Ban's sustainable choice Balsillie. Then again, Ban put a convicted corporate criminal from South Korea on the UN Global Compact board. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

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

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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