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On Guatemala Impunity Law Inner City Press Asked UN Guterres But Nothing Now US Speaks

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A, NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 14 – With UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres obviously failing, from Guatemala to Cameroon which he covered up by censorship, the pro-UN industial complex is casting around for someone, anyone to blame but Guterres and themselves. Now, one less. On February 8, banned Inner City Press in writing asked Guterres, his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, Alison Smale and spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "February 8-3: On Guatemala, what is the SG's comment and action on that war criminals convicted of extrajudicial killings, torture and sexual slavery could soon walk free if Guatemalan lawmakers sanction a blanket amnesty for crimes committed during the 36-year armed conflict which left 200,000 people dead or disappeared. Congress will vote this week to reform the national reconciliation law and give absolute impunity for crimes against humanity including genocide, rape and forced disappearance?" Six days later, no answer at all, despite Smale's and Dujarric's promises that there would be answers. Now on February 14 from US State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino, this: "the United States is deeply concerned about the proposed amendment to the national reconciliation law in Guatemala.  The amendment would grant broad amnesty for perpetrators of serious human rights violations and abuses as well as for convicted criminals.  The trials held in Guatemala for crimes related to human rights violations and abuses have restored dignity to the victims’ surviving families, inspired increased trust in state institutions, and served as a positive example to other nations seeking to address a legacy of conflict.    The United States remains committed to supporting Guatemalan institutions and the Guatemalan people in their ongoing fight against corruption and impunity." For the corrupt Guterres, a current argument, propped up by former Guterres official Jeffrey Feltman who signed off on Bernardino Leon's sell out of the UN to the UAE, is that Guterres is forced to be weak because the P3 (France, UK and US) won't back him up. But could it be Guterres' fault? These analysts, including Human Rights Watch, have said nothing about Guterres' links to briber China Energy Fund Committee, much less his roughing up and banning of the Press which asked. They didn't cover Guterres' ghoulish order to staff not to ask him any questions or even take selfies when he used their work space for his photo op. Is it any wonder Jimmy Morales and many in Somalia laugh at Guterres? Are those close to Guterres, profiting from insider status, not part of the problem that is killing the UN? Who is killing the UN? His name is Guterres. And he has many accomplices, including those producing what are, in essence, defenses of Guterres but which his spokesman are the type of hard hitting coverage that proves he is not a censor for twice banning the critical Press. For weeks the UN of Guterres had refused to answer Press questions about Somalia. Now after Guterres' SRSG representative Nicholas Haysom was ordered to cease operations in, and presumably leave, Somalia, Guterres on January 4 has said the country CANNOT declare Haysom Persona Non Grata, since the UN "is not a state." Why then can Guterres rough up and ban a journalist and claim immunity? And Inner City Press, which Guterres had roughed up on 3 July 2018 and banned since, had before that asked Guterres' Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about a PNG-ing of UN staff by Burundi and Dujarric said, "I don’t know what the status of the staff member who was 'PNG-ed.' We can check." Video here. But it's worse. When the UN tried to send an SRSG to Iraq and the government objected, the decision was reversed. But never, UN staff tell Inner City Press, has a UN Secretary General given in as quickly as Guterres has to Somalia. They tell Inner City Press exclusively that Guterres was hung up on on the phone. And that the UN Political Affairs operation under Rosemary DiCarlo was not even in the loop on the absurd statement read out by Farhan Haq at at noon. "She's nothing," a long time DPA official told Inner City Press. "If Washington every looks closely she'll be fired." If it happens, it should be for the scandal of the handover of the Department's website to the photographer husband of her chief of staff, unacted on by the titular head of the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services who has disappeared and is said by her own staff to be... well, that will have to wait. Watch this site. Sierra Leone PNG-ed Michael von der Schulenburg, of whom Inner City Press also asked before being roughed up and banned under Guterres - who claims immunity for all of this. We'll have more on this. Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Guterres will nevertheless replace Haysom "in due course." This is Guterres' full statement via Haq: "The Secretary-General deeply regrets the decision of the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to declare the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Nicholas Haysom, persona non grata.     The Secretary-General has full confidence in Mr. Haysom, an experienced and respected international civil servant who has distinguished himself in numerous senior leadership roles, in the field and at UN Headquarters.       The doctrine of persona non grata does not apply to, or in respect of, United Nations personnel.  As described in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the doctrine applies to diplomatic agents who are accredited by one State to another in the context of their bilateral relations.  The United Nations is not a State and its personnel are not accredited to the States where they are deployed, but work under the sole responsibility of the Secretary-General.     At the same time the Secretary-General is totally committed to ensuring that the needs of the Somali people are at the forefront of the work of the United Nations in Somalia. UNSOM needs to be able to carry out in the most effective manner its mandate to support the country.  Therefore, he intends to appoint in due course a new Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM.       The Secretary-General remains strongly committed to assisting Somalia in its efforts to achieve peace, stability and prosperity for all."  While Guterres' spokesmen refused to answer banned Inner City Press' written questions on January 2, including about Somaliland, in the briefing room Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said "at this stage, I can’t officially confirm it.  What I can say is that we’re looking into the matter.  We’re trying to get the various details corroborated, and we’re going to see, based on that, what further steps are needed.  Question:  Fink was due to address the Council tomorrow, was he not?  Deputy Spokesman:  Yes, and he is going to address the Security Council, and I believe he’s also scheduled to meet with the Secretary‑General tomorrow." But there is nothing on Guterres' public schedule, for the second day in a row after a ten day junket with location and costs undisclosed. Fink, indeed. Somaliland's government issued a statement that “Somalia’s decision to expel UN Rep doesn’t concern Somaliland;" its Upper House has invited Haysom to relocate there. Guterres was on a junket location UNdisclosed for more than ten days; on January 2 there is nothing on his public schedule. And he has still said nothing, including on this: Somalia's foreign ministry is notifying United Nations Secretary General that Mr Nicholas Haysom is banned and cease all operations within the country. This decision comes after Mr Haysom deliberately and intentionally interfered in state affairs."  And, typically, from the UN of Guterres, nothing. This remained the case even many hours later when Guterres robo-issued a statement about what Haysom had called an indirect attack on the UN compound: "The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s attacks against the United Nations compound in Mogadishu. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured colleagues.     The Secretary-General recalls that intentionally directing armed attacks against United Nations personnel may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law. He urges the Somali authorities to investigate the attacks and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.     The Secretary-General reaffirms that such acts will not diminish the strong resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and Government of Somalia in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country." Guterres, whose spokespeople have declined 10 days of questions as to where the UNSG is and how much it costs, refuses Inner City Press' questions about why it is not a conflict of interest to refuse to audit CEFC when in 2018 it tried to buy Partex Oil & Gas from the Gulbenkian Foundation of which Guterres has been a paid board member... The UN supports and funds AMISOM in Somalia but rarely answers when AMISOM kills people. But this time AMISOM has stepped in it, and the UN should be required to answer the Press, even as corrupt Secretary General bans it for the 166nd day. Our correspondents told us: "the Ethiopian contingent under AMISOM abducted Mukhtar Robow Ali, former Al Shabab number 2 and candidate to Southwest state of Somalia. The amisom handed over to Somalia federal government who was not happy to his candidacy. As result people took to the street and at least 10 people was killed by Ethiopian/Amisom.  Amisom works under U.N. Peacekeeping framework (outsourced project) and is funded by EU and US. Somalia police participated the killing is under the payroll of UNDP.  Hours past still no words from UN bosses [because they are corrupt]. The city is preparing to more riot and conflict.  Robow is no longer under U.N. or International sanctions and recently met the U.N. envoy however the government of Somalia is exploiting the weaknesses of Amisom through corruption to the highest officials.  Dozen Somali federal MPs accused the Amisom envoy as taking sides and may have benefited financially from the government." On December 14 banned Inner City Press in writing asked the UN, before a noon briefing it was banned from and in which no one allowed in asked any question about anything in Africa, much less Somalia, asked "December 14-3:  On Somalia, what is the SG's comment and action on the deadly violence triggered by the arrest of Mukhtar Robow while seeking the presidency of South West state in next week's election? Separately, what role including logistical support did the UN play?" At 2:40 pm deputy UN Spokesman Farhan Haq responded, "Regarding question December 14-3, we can say the following: Together with international partners, we underscore the importance of respecting the electoral process and the rule of law. We do not endorse or reject individual candidates.
We are concerned about developments in South West State. We deplore all violence and any other acts that could exacerbate the humanitarian situation.
We underscore our support for the agreed framework governing the elections, and urge all parties to respect the integrity of the electoral process. We encourage constructive dialogue to resolve political differences in order to advance the political and economic progress of the country." But after more questions arose, including resignations, on December 17 before Guterres' lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric held a briefing he banned Inner City Press for, Inner City Press asked Guterres and him in writing, "December 17-1: On Somalia, what is the SG's comment and action now that Somali authorities say Mukhtar Robow has been disqualified from contesting in this week's regional elections? Also, what is the UN's knowledge of any role by UN supported AMISOM and/or Ethiopian troops in the arrest of Mukhtar Robow?" And more then five hours later at close of business, no answer by Dujarric to this or any other Press question asked. Totally corrupt. Uganda was recently shown in the US v Patrick Ho trial to be soliciting bribes at the UN, at least its foreign minister Sam Kutesa, soliciting a $500,000 "campaign contribution" to the President. We'll have more on this. In November the UN Secretariat merely passed the buck through its spokesmen when banned Inner City Press asked about "peacekeepers" from Burundi supported by the UN killed at least four civilians in Somalia. Here was the second question, from Inner City Press which after covering the UN from inside for 10 years has been banned by SG Antonio Guterres for 132 days and counting: "November 12-3: On the Burundian troops shooting civilians in Somalia, while all your office answered was to look at AMISOM's press release, Inner City Press' question is how this is impact the UN continuing to take/pay Burundi soldiers as UN Peacekeepers, or if at a minimum those involved in the Somalia reprisals will be barred from UN “service,” given that “Burundian troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) are alleged to have opened fire on four civilians on Tuesday after their convoy was targeted by a roadside bomb. Three of the men died at the scene, while the fourth died later in hospital. Witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International reported that the troops drove over an improvised explosive device that detonated as they travelled through a district in the north of Mogadishu. In response, the troops are alleged to have exited their vehicles and “arbitrarily shot” the four men, who were named as Ali Shire Ugas, Hassan Yusuf Siyad, Qasim Dahir Khayre and Ahmed Mohamud Basey. Three of the men were lorry drivers, while Basey was a tuk-tuk driver." To this, on November 13, the UN answered: "On question Nov. 12-3, we are aware that AMISOM is conducting an investigation into the incident.  UNSOM has shared relevant information with AMISOM as it proceeds with its investigation." What information? Why keep deploying these troops? Back on "
November 7-4: On Somalia (and Burundi) what is the SG's comment and action on that “African Union soldiers in Somalia have been accused of killing four civilians in the capital, Mogadishu. Witnesses say the soldiers opened fire on locals when their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. The incident happened in the Huriwa district in the north of the city.On its Twitter account, the African Union mission said its convoy had come across explosions but made no mention of the shooting, alleged to have involved Burundian troops”? Hours later, the UN told Inner City Press only that AMISOM had a statement. But that wasn't the question - it was passing the buck regarding killings by force the UN Secretariat supports. Here is today's UN Security Council statement: "The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks of 9 November 2018, which killed and injured innocent Somalis.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Somalia.  The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The members of the Security Council commended the swift response of Somalia’s security and first responders.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Somalia and all other relevant authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist attacks.

The members of the Security Council paid tribute to all Somali and international actors working to bring peace and stability in Somalia.  The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to support peace, stability and development in Somalia.  They underlined that neither this nor any other terrorist attack would weaken that determination." UN Deputy Spokesman
Farhan Haq has not answereed a single one of Inner City Press' dozen questions submitted on November 8 and 9. Inner City Press on July 5 was banned from entering the UN, the day after it filed a criminal complaint against UN Security for physically removing it from covering the meeting about the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' $6.7 billion peacekeeping budget, as witnessed and essentially cheered on by senior UN official Christian Saunders, tearing its reporter's shirt, painfully and intentionally twisting his arm and slamming shut and damaging his laptop. On August 17, Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale issued a letter banning Inner City Press from the UN - for life. With no due process. She and Guterres have put the UN in the US Press Freedom Tracker, here. Smale said, again, that the UN would answer Press questions to the Spokesman Stephane Dujarric and his Office.  But that has been shown to be false. What will be the consequence? Impunity.


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