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In UN Council, Of Syria Divisions, Kenya Incursion Excused, Perm Rep Sleep

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 11 -- Friday afternoon the UN Security Council held a series of closed door briefings, with no outcome, on Libya, Syria, Somalia and at Portugal's request, an anti-terrorism mandate for UN missions in the field.

  Afterward Portugal's Ambassador Cabral, Council president for November, told the Press that the Council remains divided on Syria, but united against Al Shabab in Somalia.

  Inner City Press asked Cabral if any member had requested that Kenya's entry into Somalia be the subject of a Council meeting.

  No, he said, members understand what Kenya is doing. Cabral confirmed that he had met with Kenya's Permanent Representative to hear his justification, with which Cabral indicated he agreed.

Susana Malcorra, the UN's head for peacekeeping field support, is said to be in Somalia. But what about Kenya bombing an Internally Displaced Persons camp and killing five civilians?

   By contrast the US is pushing for a (South) Sudan Presidential Statement to be adopted on November 15, scheduling consultations not at the US Mission but that of Portugal.

Earlier Friday afternoon Secretary General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Council about his whirlwind trip to Libya. Members told Inner City Press the briefing was "routine," including transmitting a request that more funds be unfrozen.

  But Cabral, who chairs the sanctions committee, said he now routinely signs unfreezing requests, there is "no problem." One Council member which was opposed to how Resolution 1973 was implemented asked Inner City Press, "Now what is the point of keeping sanctions on entities? Take it all off."

  When Ban left at 4 pm, Inner City Press asked about his 4 pm meeting with Palestine and "the troika." Ban replied that he is leaving on a trip on Saturday. OK then, bon voyage.

(c) UN Photo
Council watches TV screen on Nov 11, sleeping PR not shown

  Brazil's Permanent Representative Viotti told Inner City Press her country's concept paper on how to assess protection of civilians and the implementation of Security Council resolutions has been given to the Secretary General for distribution.

The most interesting tidbit we will report in the form of a "blind item" -- which Permanent Representative fells asleep? And which Perm Rep took a cell phone photograph? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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