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EU Mogharini at UN Taken Handpicked Qs on Libya, No Sudan or Burundi

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 28 -- When Federica Mogherini came to take questions outside the UN Security Council on April 24, it was as High Representative of  the European Union for Foreign Affairs Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

  But the performance was decidedly parochial. First it was announced that after the "international" media, she would do a separate stakeout just for media from her native Italy.

  Then the questions handpicked for Mogherini were all Western and Gulf (Saudi), particularly on the issue of Iran. An Iranian journalist was rejected. Chosen were Reuters, NYT, BBC jumping in and France 24, specifically selected, with a copycat Libya question.

  At the end - or, before the Italian only stakeout -- Inner City Press asked, Sudan, Burundi, anything? But there was not. Nor on Western Sahara, on which EU members earlier on April 28 pushed a resolution without human rights monitoring for a UN peacekeeping mission, MINURSO.

 On Sudan, the questions are obvious: over 90% vote for al Bashir, cover up of Tabit rapes. But in Burundi, the EU's Patrick Spirlet has been quoted that the EU will give 80 elections observers - even as radio stations are closed and people killed. What's the answer?

Maybe they're just getting it together.

 The Security Council - with its EU members - will hear about Burundi on April 28. Watch this site.

(The new Free UN Coalition for Access challenges such one-sided use of the UN Security Council stakeout. The old UNCA, UN's Censorship Alliance, won't. It is run by Giampaolo Pioli of Italy.)

 On April 27 Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, and got in response an "if-asked." Transcript here

Inner City Press:  On Burundi, over the weekend, the ruling party nominated the current president for a third… to run for a third term.  And there have been crackdowns by the police, the closure of a radio station, Radio Public Africaine, and others… I'm wondering other countries have spoken.  What is the UN's response to what's happened?

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Yeah, we're following the situation in Burundi very closely and we're deeply concerned over the violence over the weekend, including of a number of deaths following the announcement that the president would seek a third term and we urge a swift investigation into the violence.  Said Djinnit, the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes is in Bujumbura to convey the UN’s concerns and work with all parties on defusing tensions.

  Perhaps as Ban does more and more, he will "outsource" the rest of the UN's reaction to Geneva, while he for example cavorts with those who, like in Burundi, go after independent journalists.

  In Burundi, the RPA was raided and told to stop live-streaming the crackdown.

 Where is the UN Security Council, and its "pen-holder" on Burundi, on this?


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