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


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, Chad Says No Agreement, 2 Week Rollover Predicted, Short Shrift for Congo Trip

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 -- The UN peacekeepers in Chad face the expiration of their mandate on May 15. The UN Security Council, which travels to Kinshasa on May 13, had scheduled May 12 for a vote on a new Chad mission resolution.

  But Chad's UN Ambassador Ahmad Allam-mi told Inner City Press on May 11 that he has "no agreement from N'Djamena." He added that since "the UK has no government," he predicted for May 12 no more than a "technical roll-over" of the mandate, for two weeks.

  On May 10, Inner City Press asked this month's Council president, Ambassador Salam of Lebanon, about the Chad (MINURCAT) resolution: could he pass it before the Congo trip? Let us see, he said, before rushing away from the UN TV stakeout.

  Top UN humanitarian John Holmes also came to the stakeout. Inner City Press asked him about the push to throw out UN peacekeeping missions, not only from Chad but also the DRC. Could local authorities provide enough protection to civilians and, another focus of Holmes' office, humanitarian workers?

   Holmes spoke about the Chadian unit charged with such protection, and said he'd made suggestions to the Council on how to deal with the Lord's Resistance Army.

  A Security Council member preparing for Thursday's trip to the DRC -- they will spend only one night, in Kinshasa -- told Inner City Press that Holmes' suggestion had been "regional solutions," and that he'd said the LRA's attacks are now "more criminal than political."

  Holmes still had no answer as to whether the UN's MONUC mission will investigate the reported killing of civilians by the Congolese Army during its airport retaking in early April.

Chad in the Council: no agreement, "no UK government," roll over

  It seems there should be an answer on this. What's the point of the Security Council inserting protection of civilian language into resolutions if the UN Missions won't even investigate reported massacres of civilians by their governmental partners?

Footnote: while Ambassador Salam has yet to provide a substantive answer to Press questions at the stakeout, now in the 11th day of his 30 day presidency, he was seen on Tuesday morning stepping out of a public Council session on sanctions regimes to attend an Arab Group meeting in adjacent Conference Room 8. Somehow we doubt the topic was MINURCAT. And so it goes at the Security Council.

* * *

At UN, Lebanon Dodges on Iran and Congo Trip, Says Ban's Staff Is Invited

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 4 -- This month's Security Council president, Nawaf Salam of Lebanon, is in a tough position. While the Western permanent powers on the Council have been beating the drums for sanctions on Iran to pass this month, Lebanon's coalition government contains the pro- Iranian Hezbollah. Salam was asked if he would prefer Iran not come up this month. No one has ask that it come up, he replied.

  Inner City Press asked about the Congo, the Council's whirlwind trip only to Kinshasa. Video here, from Minute 21:33. In previous years, when the Council has gone to Africa it has included four or more countries. This time it was going to be three, with Uganda and Rwanda, but is not whittled down to one.

  Several African Ambassadors-- and one African American Ambassador -- have complained to Inner City Press for different reasons about the limitations on the trip. Sudan's Ambassador said, on the record, that it should be called the Council's DRC trip, not an Africa trip. Another, off the record, questioned not at least going to the East.

  Salam replied that the Council has gone to the East in the past, that this is to negotiate with Joseph Kabila the terms of renewal of mandate of the MONUC mission. He said, "I haven't heard from any African state on the Council that it is a disrespect." But African states are not limited to those on the Council.

Lebanon's Salam on May 4, apples and oranges not shown

Inner City Press also asked about the Council's decision last month to bar the UN Office of the Spokesperson from its consultations. Salam said yes, this has been an issue, but said that now the Executive Office of the Secretary General can come inside.

To some, this means only the identifiable denizens of the third floor of the UN's North Lawn building. Spokesman Martin Nesirky has declined to answer this question, saying to ask the Council. Now, as Ban Ki-moon himself said this week, the ball is back on the other side of the court. Watch this site.

* * *

At UN, Ahmadinejad Defends Iran's Treatment of Women, Mocks Obama & Ban Ki-moon

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 4 -- When Iran dropped its candidacy for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council last month, some described it as restoring at least some credibility to the UN, as when Bosnia stepped in and beat out Belarus for a seat two years ago.

But when Inner City Press asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Iran's successful replacement candidacy, for a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, despite gender discrimination and repression, Ahmadinejad had a different and lengthy answer.

  He said the switch was procedural, that Iran had always wanted the CSW seat more than the Human Rights Council, which within the Asia Group Pakistan was supposed to run for. Due to a misunderstanding, Ahmadinejad said, Iran temporarily made a grab for the HRC, before returning to the seat promised to it, on the Commission on the Status of Women.

  But how does Iran intend to use the seat, Inner City Press asked, since it has refused to sign the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women? We will never sign that, Ahmadinejad vowed. He went to on paint of picture of "love and complementariness" in Iran.

Women won't do menial jobs in Iran, he said, nothing "like you and me, cleaning the street or driving a truck." He said he had read that 70% of married women in Europe suffer physical abuse, but refuse to complain for fear of losing their families. Women are better off, he concluded, in Iran than in Europe.

UN's Ban and Ahmadinejad, human rights not shown

Ahmadinejad's answers came during a more than one hour long press conference held Tuesday across the street from the UN. The room in the Millennium Hotel was full, with journalists from the Daily News, Washington Post and wires, and even Christiane Amanpour (who was not called on).

The moderator had taken a list of reporters who wanted to ask question, which Inner City Press arrive too late to sign. But having covered Iran's Nowruz receptions -- "be more positive next time," the Iranian mission admonished, leading Inner City Press to ask "or what?" -- the moderator nodded and allowed the question.

In fact, many journalists remarked that Ahmadinejad's press conference was more open and democratic than those of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, or the pre-screened stakeout by Hillary Clinton the previous day. There, the US State Department decided in advance which questions to take. At Iran's event, alongside some very pro Tehran question, questions were taken about for example the reports of North Korean weapons intercepted on their way to Iran.

We don't need weapons from them, Ahmadinejad answered. If America finds and seizes such weapons they can keep them. Regarding Ban Ki-moon, Ahmadinejad said that if the UN were in Tehran and Iran had a Security Council veto, Ban would never have spoken as he did on Monday. Asked repeatedly about sanctions, he said that if they go through, it will mean that US President Obama has "submitted" and been taken control of by a gang. This order, he said, will soon collapse.

But what of those arrested and disappeared after the contested elections? Ahmadinejad did not answer that question, fastening instead on the women's rights part of the question. Whether the Iranian mission will in the future allow such questions to be asked, and even answered, remains to be seen.

 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 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -