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For Kuwait's UNSC Month, Yemen But Not Yet A New Envoy, ICP Will Ask Guterres of Bashir

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 – With the UN Security Council presidency for February being taken over by Kuwait's Mansour Al-Otaibi, Inner City Press asked him about Yemen and about Secretary General Antonio Guterres' meeting with Sudan's President Omar al Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur. On Yemen, Inner City Press asked if the name of Martin Griffiths has been circulated to Council members as replacement for Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed as UN envoy. He said it has not been circulated, adding that Kuwait will support whomever the Secretary General proposes. On Guterres' meeting, for which he'd have been required to inform the ICC Prosecutor in advance, Al-Otaibi said he had no information, that Inner City Press should ask Guterres. We'll try. Al-Otaibi said that there will be no Council trip to Myanmar this month - the government didn't say no, he said, but indicated it is not the right time. Jimmy Carter may or may not appear at an Arria formula meeting Kuwait is organizing. We'll have more on this - on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, Inner City Press asked Al-Otaibi to hold question and answer stakeouts after closed door consultation. We'll be there. Back in September to Ethiopia's Tekeda Alemu, Inner City Press asked Ambassador Alemu four questions, the answers to which sketch out the Ethopian government's worldview. Video here. In response to Inner City Press asking why Burundi, where even the UN says there is a risk of genocide, is not on his September Program of Work nor on the agenda of the Council's visit to Addis Ababa, Alemu said that you can't compare Burundi to Central African Republic, that Burundi has “strong state institutions.” But it is that very “strength,” which some say the country shares with Ethiopia, and with until recently military-ruled Myanmar about which Inner City Press also asked, that has led to the human rights violations. In this context, Inner City Press asked Alemu about the Oromo protests - and crackdown - in his country. He diplomatically chided Inner City Press for not having asked in private, saying that social media has played a dangerous role. On the other hand, when Inner City Press asked Alemu at the end about the murders of two UN experts Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, he replied that while the DR Congo is due to sovereignty the one to investigate the murders, the gruesome nature of the killings put a “great responsibility” on the DR Congo. We'l have more on this. Alamy photos here. Earlier on September 1 in Alemu's briefing to countries not on the Security Council, Bangladesh specifically asked that the Council remain seized of the situation in Myanmar. When Inner City Press asked Alemu about this, he said he still had to inform himself more about that situation. The Security Council is traveling to Addis from September 5 through 9, when alongside African Union consultations the Council's member will meet for an hour with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Alemu said. The Council will receive the “maiden briefings” late in the month of the new Under Secretaries General of OCHA and on Counter-Terrorism. There will be peacekeeping on September 20, during the High Level week of the UN General Assembly, and Yemen on September 26. But tellingly, there will not be Burundi. Watch this site.


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