Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At UN, Condemnation of Lebanese Army Urged by US, Aug. 9 Meeting Tensions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 6 -- With the Lebanon - Israel shootout to be discussed by the UN Security Council for a second time on August 9, Inner City Press has learned that the United States is pushing for a statement condemning Lebanon for what it sees as a premeditated sniping at Israeli commanders.

The Council's first meeting on the shootout resulted a mere “elements to the press” read out by this month's president Vitaly Churkin.

  A stronger Press Statement or Presidential Statement following the August 9 consultations, some members tell Inner City Press, could further raise tensions in southern Lebanon, along with what Hezbollah is predicting will be the indictment of its members for the Hariri killing.

  But even these members think something must be said about Lebanon calling into question the demarcation of the Blue Line.

Today in the Security Council, the force commanders of nearly all UN Peacekeeping missions are briefing Council members -- with the exception of Lebanon's UNIFIL, and Darfur's UNAMID. So the Council will not hear about these more volatile missions.

UNIFIL on the Blue Line, UNSC statement(s) not shown

To contrast the two, while facts have quickly emerged about the shootout across the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon, the UN has apparently taken no steps in Darfur to reach the “full understanding of the facts” behind the killings in the Kalma camp which the Council called for a full week ago. Watch this site.

Footnote: in the UN General Assembly lobby on the evening of August 5, a reception was held for the year's World Press Photo exhibition. A particularly striking photo shows the partially buried head of a young girl killed when the building she was in, along with a Hamas leader, was bombed. Several diplomats, among them the Permanent Representatives of the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, milled around as waiters served wine (but no food). The photos were and are food for thought.

* * *

At UN, Lebanon Gunfire Echoes Through Council Meeting on August's Work: Piracy and Chad But No Myanmar

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 3, updated -- News of a shootout between Lebanese and Israeli forces echoed through Tuesday morning's Security Council breakfast and August program of work meeting.

  Lebanon's Deputy Permanent Representative Caroline Ziada, rushing into the Council at 10 am, said there would be consultations on the shootout at 11:30.

  Other Council sources told Inner City Press the time and format were not yet set, but that “something will happen this morning.”

   In July, when French peacekeepers were pelted with eggs, an emergency Council session was held. Now with at least three dead Lebanese soldiers and one dead journalist - and reports of a senior Israeli military casualty - an emergency meeting and statement are to be expected.

Jaded observers said “this always happened in August,” harkening back to the Russia - Georgia war in South Ossetia. Russia's Vitaly Churkin, the Council's president for August, has been project a slow, vacation like month. Russia decided it would not have the standard “thematic debate” -- sources say theirs would have been on Resolution 1540 -- and to keep meetings to a minimum.

A European Council member told Inner City Press its priorities for August included keeping any re-opening of discussion on Kosovo's status at the August 3 debate to a minimum, hearing the Secretariat's plan to protect civilians in Chad, and the rule of law component in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Lebanon's DPR Ziada, under Israeli eyes, consultations not shown

Another Council member told Inner City Press that the Children and Armed Conflict report on Colombia has been completed, and so needs to be presented.

The UK, usually concerned about Myanmar or as they call it Burma, did not ask to have it even in the footnotes. We aim to have more about the UN and Myanmar, soon. And on Lebanon. Watch this site.

Update of 10:43 am -- sources tell Inner City Press that Lebanon is "any other business" item after program of work. Presidency says Churkin will go forward with 11 am press conference about the month's agenda. "They are through with Lebanon," an attendee says at 10:44. Through? Surreal.

Update of 10:48 am -- Attendee returns and apologizes. The consultations on Lebanon will be at 11:30.

Update of 11:32 am -- for the 11:30 briefing on Lebanon, head peacekeeper Alain Le Roy rushes in, and Secretariat's Nicholas Haysum. Churkin's program of work presser pushed back to after the noon briefing.

Update of 12:32 pm -- A Permanent Representative exiting the Council tells Inner City Press that “elements to the press” on Lebanon have been agreed (litany of buzzwords, restraint, investigation, 1701) and that a more formal press statement on Ban's flotilla panel is being discussed.

Update of 1:25 pm -- Churkin read out the elements to the press and then declined to take questions on them, saying it is still being investigated by UNIFIL. Alain Le Roy confirmed to the Press that Israel gave a few hours notice of the work that it would be doing. At Churkin's presser, Inner City Press asked about Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Kosovo - watch this site this afternoon.

* * *

On Darfur Camp Violence, Nur's Role as Unclear as US Stance on Doha, Sudan Says Camp Is Under UN Control, Lobbies

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 30, updated -- Darfur camp violence was taken up by the UN Security Council on Friday afternoon. According to UN sources, members of the Liberation and Justice Movement group which is negotiating with Khartoum were targeted by members of the Abdel Wahid Nur faction, which is not.

While the United States called for the consultations, it is not clear if the US stands with the UN and its Darfur envoy Ibrahim Gambari in saying that the solution to Darfur is to be found in Doha across the table from Omar al Bashir's negotiators.

French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner loudly announced that Paris based Abdel Wahid Nur would be joining the Doha process. Nearly immediately, Abdel Wahid Nur qualified this with the conditions previously listed, including safety in Darfur.

Inner City Press asked Ibrahim Gambari on July 27 about Abdel Wahid Nur's participation. Gambari said no, and characterized the conditions, including safety, as something you get at the END of negotiations, not as a precondition. One can see this as either realism or a too cavalier attitude to the protection of civilians, especially for one in charge of a peacekeeping mission with such a mandate.

More Kalma from the past, Gambari not shown

Sudan's acting Ambassador, on his way at 4 pm into the Council's suite where he would not be allowed into consultations, said that Gambari had told him at 2:30 that he would be placing some calls to get information, and would himself be giving the briefing at 4. But at that time, he was spotted by an Inner City Press source strolling the streets outside the UN, dress in white national dress.

Gambari also said on June 27 that he has gone to Paris twice to meet Abdel Wahid Nur. Three days later, he is still in New York, but not in the consultations room. Briefing was Alain Le Roy of Peacekeeping, joined at 4:40 by Lynn Pascoe of Political Affairs.

The South Sudan referendum Eminent persons monitoring group the UN is moving to set up, which Inner City Press exclusively reported earlier today, would be staffed by Pascoe's Department of Political Affairs and not the UN peacekeeping mission run by Haile Menkerios. Whether Pascoe's arrival at the Council was about this, or the Doha process implications of the attacks in the Darfur IDP camps is not yet known. Watch this site.

Update of 5:09 -- Sudan's charge d'affaires was lobbying in the hall outside the Council. “We cannot live with a paragraph about inspecting the Kalma camp... the camp is under the control of UNAMID...” Then, after fumbling with their passes, they went into the Council's suite. Coming out were the outgoing Nigerian presidency's plants and bean bag chairs with Islamic script. Coming in -- Russia's set up, for August..

Update of 5:29 p.m. -- there will be a press statement. Unclear if it will include the paragraph about inspecting or investigating in Kalma camp, which Sudan is opposing.

Update of 5:55 p.m. -- while UN TV had been told the press statement would be ready and read by now, the Council has gone into recess. Inner City Press is told by Council source that France has proposed the UN send an investigation team to Kalma camp. China and Russia have opposed it, as does Sudan. Developing.

Update of 6:13 p.m. -- Here's what happened: France “aggressively” asked for an investigation, setting of “red lights” among some other delegations. But wait - the US asked the meeting, but France made the proposal. Why? Le Roy pointed the finger at the Abdel Wahid Nur group, but France says they've spoken to him and he denies it. THAT's why France wants the investigation. You heard it here first....

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2010 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -