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March 1, 2011: Libya

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On Libya, Failed Mediator Al Khatib Moves On From UN, But Resignation Denied

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 21 -- After the UN's failed mediation attempt in Libya, its part time mediator Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib submitted a letter of resignation, sources told Inner City Press last week, angry at how "the Brit" Ian Martin took over the whole Libya file for the UN.

  Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson's Office to simply confirm or deny the receipt of Khatib's resignation letter, but no answer was given. Then the UN canceled its normal noon briefing on September 21, telling Inner City Press to submit questions by e-mail.

  Of four questions posed, by close of business two remained unanswered and even unacknowledged. But on Khatib came this:

Regarding Mr. Al Khatib, we have the following points:

The conflict in Libya and the United Nations' efforts to support Libya have entered a new phase with the establishment of a UN mission and the expected appointment soon of a Special Representative to head that mission.

In this context, Mr. Al-Khatib has completed his assignment and the Secretary-General and the Security Council have expressed their appreciation for his valuable contributions during the earlier stage of the crisis to pursue a peaceful political solution to the conflict.

It is not accurate, therefore, to speak of a "resignation". Mr. Al-Khatib has expressed his appreciation for having had the opportunity to serve the Secretary-General in such an important function and the Secretary-General has thanked him for his efforts. Clearly we are in a different phase now and there is a normal transition in how the UN engages on Libya.

  Long story short: Khatib's unsuccessful time with the UN is over, now begins Ian Martin's time.

(Ex) "Mediator" Khatib, Ban & Martin on Aug 26,
candor not shown

We'll have more on this tomorrow - watch this site.

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Libya Mission of UN Headed by Brit & Finn, German Coming 3d, Juppe Says NATO Will Keep Bombing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- Two weeks after Inner City Press wrote that Finn Georg Charpentier would be named deputy chief to Brit Ian Martin in heading up the UN's mission in Libya, on Monday Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky confirmed both postings, then refused to answer criticism about them. Video here, from Minute 25:38.

Inner City Press asked for confirmation of its next scoop, that the Number Three official in the UNSMIL mission will be the German Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, chief of the Policy Development and Studies branch with the UN Office for the Coordination of Political Affairs."

  Nesirky said, "I've read out two, it's not enough for you, you want the third." But Inner City Press reported on Charpentier getting the deputy post, from sources inside the UN Department of Political Affairs, back on September 1.

  As Inner City Press wrote on September 14, "Three top UN jobs on Libya -- four if you count [Canadian elections expert Craig] Jenness -- and no Africans or Arabs, after all the planning was done in New York by a Brit."

  Twice Inner City Press asked Nesirky to respond to criticism from within the UN's own Department of Political Affairs that Africans, and Arabs, have been cut out. Nesirky repeated, these are international civil servants. Europeans only?

  Many questions were raised about Charpentier's closeness with the Khartoum regime of Omar al Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court. This is the best the UN can find?

  Since Ian Martin erred by writing in his report, leaked to and published by Inner City Press, that NATO would have a continuing role in Libya, it appears that Ban looked for a non-NATO member -- but only as far as Finland.

  Earlier on Monday, French foreign minister Alain Juppe took five questions at the Council on Foreign Relations, mostly about Palestine. Inner City Press was there, but not called on by fawning moderator James P. Rubin to ask about Libya. In his opening remarks, Juppe said that NATO will keep bombing until all Qaddafi supporters give us. He called South Africa "the most reluctant" of the IBSA countries, but said that on March 19 at the UN South Africa "got convinced." And so it goes.

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Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

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