Inner City Press


In Other Media-e.g. Somalia, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia   For further information, click here to contact us          .

Home -

Search is just below this first article

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07 7/19/07 6/29/07 6/14/7 6/1/7

How to Contact Us


Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"

Inner City Press Podcast --

At UN, Del Ponte "Stupified" by UNMIK's Support for Haradinaj, Dodges UN's Srebrenica Role

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

UNITED NATIONS, December 10 -- As focus increases on Kosovo, which the UN has administered since 1999, on Monday Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, strongly criticized the UN's leadership in Kosovo for having openly praised "a person indicted for war crimes," Ramush Haradinaj, and thereby having chilled and intimidated witnesses. Most recently, the UN's second-in-command in Kosovo, Steven Schook, has proclaimed "having great respect for Ramush Haradinaj's performance as prime minister of Kosovo," and has claimed that is one of the reasons he is under investigation by the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services.

    Monday Inner City Press asked about this, and Ms. Del Ponte replied that she is "stupefied" by this, and that she has had "a lot of problems with UNMIK," the UN's Kosovo mission, stretching back to the leadership of Jessen Petersen and even, before Ramush Haradinaj was indicted, Bernard Kouchner. "I have nothing against personal friendship between friends," she said, "except when it has a chilling effect on my witnesses!" She asked rhetorically how a prosecution witness living in Kosovo would feel, when the UN's de facto governors of Kosovo praise a man indicted for war crimes.

            Inner City Press asked a second question, about whether Ms. Del Ponte supported the UN's attempt to cite immunity when sued in Holland for its role in not providing protection in Srebrenica. She called the question "completely different" than the Kosovo question, and then pointedly did not answer it. Video here, from Minute 20:03.

Ms. Del Ponte at the UN, Srebrenica - UN case answer not shown

            Ms. Del Ponte's long-time deputy, David Tolbert, who is also leaving at the end of the year, expressed shock that UN officials would "show friendship and support to someone indicted for war crimes." Afterwards, when asked by Inner City Press where he would be heading at the end of the year, when Serge Brammertz takes over as lead prosecutor of the ICTY, Tolbert declined to say where, only that it would be announced soon. Asked why he was not chosen, he said, "Ask the Security Council." Or, perhaps, ask Brammertz.

            As luck would have it, there was a Brammertz sighting on Friday night when the Ambassador of Liechtenstein threw a party in his 50th story penthouse on 40th Street and Second Avenue. A guard with a guest list stood in the lobby; upstairs Brammertz, who usually is surrounded by three or four body guards, mingled with the crowd. Perhaps it's the transition from the Hariri case in explosive Lebanon to the quieter ICTY explains the seeming drop-off in security. Then again, things are heating up in Kosovo...

* * *

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

  Because a number of Inner City Press' UN sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor, and while it should be unnecessary, Inner City Press is compelled to conclude this installment in a necessarily-ongoing series by saluting the stated goals of the UN agencies and many of their staff. Keep those cards, letters and emails coming, and phone calls too, we apologize for any phone tag, but please continue trying, and keep the information flowing.

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Search WWW Search

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-07 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540