Sahara, UN “Has No Firsthand Knowledge,” Used YouTube to
November 12 -- With the death count in the camps in Western
Sahara unclear, and the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations
scheduled to give a report to a closed door session of the UN
Security Council on November 16, Inner City Press on November 12
asked UN acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq what the UN knows about
the deaths, on a Spanish national and others, and the barring of
said the UN
“has no first hand information,” and that this had been “made
clear when we made the statement on Monday.” Video here,
asked what the UN's MINURSO peacekeeping mission has been doing. In
October, the UN and Security Council were told of the impending
attacks on the camp by Moroccan forces. Did MINURSO do nothing, not
only to prevent, but even to observe the carnage?
The burning camp, MINURSO not seen
fact, Inner City
Press is told by sources in the UN Department of Political Affairs
that on Monday, November 8 they were watching YouTube videos of
events, just before that day's noon press briefing, in order to
figure out what statement to issue.
Rabat, Morocco tell Inner City Press of a European Union diplomat
there bragging about access to MINURSO's report to be delivered (or
read from) on Tuesday, saying that it takes Morocco's side. Watch
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As UN Council Weighs Early Briefing on Morocco
Violence, France Claims Not Political, Ross
November 10 -- As Morocco has attacked demonstrators' camps
in Western Sahara, the Security Council has been silent. On November
9 in a closed door session, non Permanent Council member Mexico
finally made a push for a briefing on the violence. (Click here
for note by Inner City Press.)
Council president, Mark Lyall Grant of the UK, was charged with
asking UN envoy Christopher Ross if he would brief the Council now on
the current violence, or wait until the previously scheduled November
23 session. This morning Lyall Grant is to report back to Council
members, again in a closed session, on what Ross prefers.
asked a concerned Permanent Representative on the morning of November
10 when the Western Sahara briefing would be.
early next,” the Permanent Representative replied. But this was
before Lyall Grant's slated report-back to the Council. Major Morocco
have something to say about the timing.
asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud when the briefing on Western
Sahara and the violence would be. Araud said with the talks in
Greentree ending, Ross was being asked if he wanted to come to the
Council earlier than November 23.
next week is busy for the Council, with a debate on Sudan on Tuesday,
November 16, a day off for Eid on November 17, and a retreat with
new Council members (including South Africa, which on Western Sahara
stands on the opposite side from France). Araud called it a matter of
“agenda, not politics.”
Christopher Ross, agenda and briefing not shown
Council source told Inner City Press that Lyall Grant will be calling
Ross for the second time on this afternoon of November 10. The first
time, he said skeptically, Ross “did not have his agenda” or
schedule with him. Now Ross will be asked if he can come brief the
Council on Friday November 12 or Tuesday November 16, after the Sudan
debate. Watch this site.
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