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In Greek IMF Tragedy & Lagarde Guilt, Africa Ignored As Sudan Protests, Coups

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 28 -- The International Monetary Fund and its director Christine Lagarde often use Africa, or the idea of Africa, as a place that they vaguely help or at least care about.

But at Thursday IMF briefing, amid repeated questions about Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Hungary, not a single sub Saharan Africa question was taken, much less answered. It's not that they weren't asked. Inner City Press submitted questions about the Democratic Republic of the Congo and these, among others:

In Sudan, the IMF earlier this month urges the government to institute "emergency measures." Have the steps since announced, which have given rise to protests that have been cracked down on, been consistent or inconsistent with the IMF's advice?

Pledges to the IMF have given rise to questions & protests in South Africa, the Philippines and elsewhere, by those who say the money could be better spent at home on the poor. What is the IMF's response?

And again: What is the status of IMF programs in and reviews of Mali and Guinea Bissau, given coups in each country?

  But the IMF did not take the questions (in previous weeks, it has answered Inner City Press' questions about Sudan by email after the fact.)

  Now, the IMF gives austerity advice to Sudan, then when protests erupt, the IMF would answer or even take the question.

  A journalist ran in late, citing an interview at the American Enterprise Institute, and still got another answer on Greece. Perhaps it is Lagarde's guilt for telling Greeks to pay taxes when she doesn't. But what about those children in Niger? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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