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With Jordan As UNSC Prez, ICP Asks Kawar of Western Sahara, UN Killings in Gao

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 2 -- When Ambassador Dina Kawar of Jordan assumed the presidency of the Security Council and held a press conference on April 2, Inner City Press asked her about the review of Western Sahara scheduled for the month, and about a report to be presented that afternoon behind closed doors about UN Peacekeepers in Mali killing three civilians by using excessive force. Video here and embedded below.

   Inner City Press asked if the Security Council under Ambassador Kawar will see that there is accountability for the UN Peacekeepers who killed the three civilians, beyond simply being repatriated to their home country (which UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq would not even identify.)

  Ambassador Kawar said that “of course it's not justifiable” but added that she had not yet seen the UN report into the killings in Gao.

Inner City Press has asked the Council's president in March, Francois Delattre of France, about the Gao report; his spokesman said its release will be up to the Secretary General.

 A single stakeout by UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous will foreseeably not be enough. Ladsous has refused to answer Press questions, from rapes in the DR Congo to Darfur, video here, Vine here.

   Ambassador Kawar said that peacekeeping is one of the topics in the Security Council's retreat with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon -- peacekeepers' “work, their relationship with the host country -- along with “sanctions in general.” One wonders if the Ramos Horta report, and Ladsous' resistance to accountability, will or should be among the topics.

  On Mali more generally, Ambassador Kawar said “we happy with the talks with the Algerians as mediators,” acknowledging that not all have agreed (for example the MNLA). She went philosophical, that intra-state conflicts are more complicated that those between states.

  On Western Sahara, as Inner City Press reiterated the question including on the inclusion of human rights monitoring in the mandate of MINURSO, Ambassador Kawar said that “the mandate will be extended” but that she couldn't say more for now, not yet having seen the report. We'll have more on this.

  Inner City Press began its question by thanking Ambassador Kawar for the briefing on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, expressing a hope she will hold question and answer stakeouts at the UNTV stakeout after closed door consultations.

  We'll have more on this as well -- and on Jordan main thematic debate for the month, on April 23, on "the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace." There will also be a briefing by Staffan de Mistura on April 24, and an Arria formula meeting on cultural destruction on April 27. Watch this site.


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