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 AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

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


ICP on YouTube

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

As Mali Representative Asks Why Close Borders Amid Hunger, At UN No Answers

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- Despite much talk that sanctions should be targeted, the UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted a Presidential Statement supporting "the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)," which has moved to close Mali's borders, leading to long lines for gasoline and impending loss of electricity.

  The UN Secretariat, even with its humanitarian mandate, has refused to criticize these untargeted sanctions. On April 3 Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman

Inner City Press: On Mali, some are saying that the ECOWAS sanctions, they’re closing the borders, that there are already people lining up for gas, they are not targeted in any way. I heard you say that the UN humanitarians are concerned about shortages, but Valerie Amos, for example, on South Sudan said that they should keep pumping oil because of humanitarian needs. What does the UN say about a sanctions regime that would essentially close the border and block the entry into, of consumer goods like gasoline. How is it consistent to talk about shortages when they are being caused by the sanctions?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Well, these are measures that have been introduced by the regional organization, ECOWAS. I would refer you to them to ask about that. From a purely humanitarian point of view, it is obvious that the sooner that the political side of this can be dealt with, and we can get back to constitutional order in the country, the easier it will be to deal with the humanitarian crisis that existed even before this, and has obviously been exacerbated by the developments of recent days. I think that’s what we have at the moment.

Also on April 3 Inner City Press asked Gerard Araud, the Ambassador of France, about the impact of the sanctions, and to explain why Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France would not intervene in Mali while it played the key role in ousting Laurent Gbagbo in Cote d'Ivoire. Video here, from Minute 2:09.

Araud stammered that "the only difference between Cote D'ivoire and Mali is that in Cote d'Ivoire we had a UN mandate, resolution 1975.... [here] we are not doing to ask for it, no French intervention in Mali." He continued, "As for sanctions, it's decision by ECOWAS, they have knowledge of the region.

But if that's the logic, wouldn't one assume that the representative of Mali knew even more about the plight of Mali's people than ECOWAS?

Wednesday after Jeffrey DeLaurentis of the US, as president of the Security Council for April, read out the Council's statement, he gave to floor to "the representative of Mali," Ouman Daou. He has been the Permanent Representative of Mali at the UN since 2008. Now with his president overthrown by "muntineers," it is not clear who exactly he represents.

Ouman Daou handled it with aplomb. He said he represented "the people" of Mali; he questioned the ECOWAS sanctions, asking "is this the time to close the borders? To leave us thirsty and hungry?"

But the Council, having just expressed support for ECOWAS, did not answer. DeLaurentis thanked "the representative of Mali," and deemed the meeting over. Will Ouman Daou continue to appear at Mali's representative? Will anybody listen? Watch this site.

Share |

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

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, 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 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]