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Kenya As UNSC Prez Bans Pandora Papers Questions and Inner City Press Which Asks

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

UN GATE, Oct 4 –   With Kenya taking over presidency of the UN Security Council on October 1, on September 29 Inner City Press wrote to the Kenyan Mission to the UN to request access to its October 1 press conference by Ambassador Martin Kimani.

 Inner City Press wrote to the Mission and to its listed spokesman, James Ndirangu Waweru.

Five day later, nothing - inconsistent, to say the least, with Kenya's duty as President of the UN Security Council. No answer either to this, yet:

"Despite your Mission's failure to answer in any way Inner City Press' formal request in late September, here for your comment on deadline is a question we have also emailed to UN spokespeople:  "On corruption and Kenya (and more), what are the comments and actions of SG Guterres on that the Kenyattas' offshore investments include a company with stocks and bonds worth $30m (£22m), a foundation where his mother and the president are listed as beneficiaries, and an offshore company that could not be traced back to the Kenyatta family, which was used to buy an apartment in central London now valued at $1.3m (£1m)"    Please explain why you did not respond, and confirm receipt, and arrange for access to your stakeouts this month as UNSC president." No answer yet.

At the delayed October 1 Press-less briefing, after a pitch by Raychelle Omamo, the Ambassador took only six questions, all nearly identical but still in clumps of three to allow evasions. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

It begins: UN Security Council "press" conference by October President Kenya Mission UN   AmbMKimani  - Inner City Press emailed asking for WebEx access (as it has at IMF) & Q's on Afghanistan Burma Cameroon, Yemen Nigeria - no answers. #UNcorruptsEveryone

 Now  @AmbMKimani  says UNSC will go on junket to Niger (no UN mission there) and Mali (failing mission); he quotes an unnamed Ambassador at breakfast this morning trying to "touch reality." The reality at the UN today is censorship

 Now  AmbMKimani  says "UNSC is expected to negotiate a resolution for the mission for a Referendum in #WesternSahara." The UN has been supposed to hold that referendum for decades and never did, took money, had sex abusers running MINURSO here

 Now  @AmbMKimani  claims he will grant interview request. Then why did  @KenyaMissionUN  refuse to even answer on WebEx access to ask about Nigeria Cameroon Yemen? Says he wants Kenyans to know what he's doing. We'll work on that - watch this feed

Kenya PR
                        pressless presser

Now those allowed in the room consent to asking questions in bunches, so that  AmbMKimani  can dodge or ignore any Qs he wants. Tellingly, all three called on first ask the same question. Nothing on Nigeria Cameroon Haiti, Western Sahara much less UN rapes in CAR, most recently by a peacekeeper from Peru

And now it's over -  AmbMKimani  took only six questions, at least four and a half of them on the same topic. The topics that Inner City Press emailed  @KenyaMissionUN  about were not asked about, nor the email answered

 Inner City Press covered the UN and UNSC under Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon then was thrown out under Antonio Guterres after asking him directly about [, among other things including Cameroon,] the omission from his financial disclosure covering 2016 of his link, through Lisbon's Gulbenkian Foundation which paid him money, to convicted UN briber CEFC China Energy.

This was and is a legitimate journalistic question however Inner City Press has been banned by Guterres and his USG Melissa Fleming. 

There is no commitment by the UN Secretariat to even respond to a polite law firm letter seeking access to Inner City Press, see video. See also Press Freedom Tracker and The Independent (UK)

The Kenyan Mission and Kenya have a duty to not collude in censorship, and to take questions from media. Inner City Press is permitted (in fact, invited) to put WebEx questions to the IMF briefings, see below, and is accredited at the SDNY Federal court here in New York. 

So it remains up to Kenya and the Kenyan Mission to provide access. We will be covering them closely.

For now: "Here is the UN Security Council program of "work" for October under  @KenyaMissionUN   @AmbMKimani : #WesternSahara 13th, 4th #Haiti (cholera), 18th CAR (UN rapes) - no #Cameroon or #Nigeria, Inner City Press asked why, no answer."

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