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As Gbagbo Moves to Eject UN Choi from Ivory Coast, No UNSC Action Under US, Only Obama Statement

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 3, upstead -- In Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo's adviser and Ambassador to the UN Alcide Djedje has threatened to throw out of the country UN envoy Y.J. Choi after Choi rejected the decision of the Gbagbo dominated Constitutional Council that Gbagbo won the run off election, 51% to 49% over Alassane Ouattara.

   This took place hours after the UN Security Council, led this month by the US, had begun to call a meeting, then stood down. Inner City Press observed and reported the preparations for the meeting.

   Inner City Press  can now report that a video link was established, and a UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire official appeared on screen, ready to speak to the Council.

  But the US never convened the Council to meeting. Another Permanent Five ambassador told Inner City Press on Friday afternoon that the US had said, only a press statement, no meeting.

  Some fairly or unfairly even wondered if the US decision not to call a meeting despite the “crisis” in Ivory Coast was related to Permanent Representative Susan Rice not being in New York.

  At 11:50 am, Inner City Press asked the US Mission to the UN to confirm or deny by e-mail that there would be a Council meeting. Not having any response for an hour, Inner City Press asked again, including a question on Sudan, and was told that it would be called.

  During that time, apparently more friendly press was told that there would be no meeting, but rather a press statement read by Brooke Anderson.

  Now as 6 pm has passed, no meeting, and no UN Security Council press statement read by Brooke Anderson. (Also, no answer on 12 SPLM soldiers killed in Sudan.)

   The US Mission had not informed UN staff still in waiting that they could go home (perhaps to return this weekend).

   An African diplomat told Inner City Press at the stakeout that some countries, like his, wanted to check that all had been done correctly, including in Choi's statement.

UN Choi & Gbagbo in 2007, threat to eject not shown

  At 5:15 pm e-mailed out a copy of a statement by US President Obama, hailing Ouattara's win and calling on Gbagbo to respect the result.

  So has Barak Obama become the Security Council? What explains the Council's failure to meet, and failure to even issue a press statement?

  Some of those surrounding the Council have been told to be "on alert" for a Council meeting, or at least read out of a UNSC statement by some US Ambassador, over the weekend...

* * *

In Cote d'Ivoire, Elections Official Asks US & France for UN Protection, UN Slow

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 2, 11:40 am, updated 12:40 -- The head of the elections commision in Cote d'Ivoire was holed up in a hotel room, sending messages to France and the US that if the UN Mission ONUCI would provide protection to get to the airport, he would release the elections results and then fly to Paris.

This was being discussed inside the UN Security Council as noon approached on Thursday. UN envoy Choi demanded to know why the request for help was being directed to France and the US and not to him.

Inner City Press asked a Council source why Choi himself doesn't release the results he has. “He hasn't finished counting,” was the answer. So Choi and ONUCI are slower than the electoral commission?

UN's Ban & Choi, cut out of communications and slow on count

It was announced at the UN that new Council President Susan Rice would read a statement after consultations. Watch this site.

Update of 12:40 pm -- after publication of the above, the chairman of the electoral commission Youssouf Bakoyoko announced that Alassane Ouattara won the run off. It is emphasized, as a matter of courage, that he did so AFTER the Gbagbo dominated Constitutional Council had declared that his time was up. While some at the UN analogize what is to come to the Bush v. Gore case of 2000, others say that's a stretch. Ambassador -- this month, President -- Susan Rice read a statement and said she will take quesitons at her 1 pm press conference on the month's program of work. Watch this site.

 Later on December 2, Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: On Côte d’Ivoire...I’d like you to confirm that the head of the elections commission actually asked two Member States in the Security Council for ONUCI protection to leave the country and that somehow ONUCI said this request, until it was made directly to it, wouldn’t be fulfilled. It’s something that’s been reported to people inside the Council. And the question is whether ONUCI was aware of a request by the head of the elections commission for ONUCI protection to leave the country and, if so, what ONUCI’s reaction was.

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Haq: As far as that goes, no, I wouldn’t confirm any of these specific discussions. What I will say is that ONUCI is providing protection to the head of the Independent Electoral Commission, and so, he is receiving protection, as are other people.

We'll see -- watch this site.

 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

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