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March 1, 2011: Libya

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Jibril of Libya TNC Tells Press NATO Almost Done, Catching Gaddafi Is Key

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- When Mahmoud Jibril appeared for UN press conference on Friday, it was the first since the Transitional National Council he heads was given Libya's seat at the UN. Inner City Press asked Jibril two questions, about NATO and the International Criminal Court.

  Jibril had said that the south is liberated, Sirte will be in 48 hours and Bani Walid is under seige, "we are squeezing it." Inner City Press asked if that is true, when will NATO's protection of civilians mandate end?

  "When the need [to protect civilians] is not there," Jibril answered, "I don't think there is a need for NATO... Once the whole Libyan territory is liberated." According to him, if Bani Walid falls after Sirte, that's it for NATO.

Inner City Press asked for Jibril's and the TNC's view on whether Gaddafi and the other ICC indictees should be sent to the Hague, if and when captured, or be tried in Libya. Jibril said, "the most important question is how to catch Gaddafi." After that, he said, it's up to "legal consultants" to consider "the supremacy of Libyan or international law" and "the national interest of the Libyan people." Video here, from Minute 18:04.

  This deference to consultants differed from Jibril's answers to other questions, on which he said it will not be up to the TNC, but to "the Libyan people" -- which was also Ian Martin's response to Inner City Press about the ICC - click here and watch this site.

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In Libya, UN Plans Over 200 Staff, Martin Says on NATO He Was Right, Dodges on ICC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 22 -- Shrinking from his earlier plan for Libya including 200 military observers, UN envoy Ian Martin on Thursday told Inner City Press that 146 "international staff" as well as 50 local hires are being proposed to the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for action as early as next week.

Inner City Press asked Martin a series of questions, about his leaked report and the exclusion of Africans and even Arabs from his Mission's leadership, to his view of the role of NATO and of the International Criminal Court. Video here.

Martin claimed that his statement in his August 22 report that NATO "would" have a continuing role had been validated by the Security Council -- on September 16. But was it appropriate for the UN Secretariat to be positing continued NATO bombing as a "factual statement?"

On Third Avenue on September 19 Martin graciously answered Inner City Press' request for confirmation that Number Three official in the UNSMIL mission is the German Hansjoerg Strohmeyer by saying "There is no number three."

  On September 21, Martin acknowledged that Strohmeyer has been given the chief of staff post. What's in a name?

  Inner City Press asked, now that UN mediator Al Khatib has left, reportedly miffed at being shouldered out by Martin and others, will Martin offer mediation for the armed conflict still taking place around Gaddafi supporters' last bastions, now being bombed by NATO? If the Libyans ask, Martin said, and they haven't.

  On whether Gaddafi and the other indictees should be sent to the ICC, Martin said it is entirely up to the Libyans. Inner City Press asked for his assessment of trying them in Libya or the Hague, but Martin would not answer.

(Ex) "Mediator" Khatib, Ban & Martin on Aug 26,
146 int'l staff not shown

  Martin said he couldn't confirm what Chad's President Idriss Deby told Inner City Press on September 19, that there remain 400,000 Chadians in Libya, some of whom were recruited as mercenaries by the Transitional National Council and not only Gaddafi. Martin said he couldn't confirm who fought as mercenaries, nor the numbers of sub Saharan Africans remaining.

  He visited a jail last time he was there. Where are those people now? Watch this site.

Footnote: There were only three questioners at Martin's press conference, one of whom tossed a softball question for Martin's views of the role of women in the New Libya.  What about the role of women -- so far invisible -- in the UN Support Mission to Libya?

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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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