Susan Rice Still Blank on ICC Meeting on Bashir's Billions, UK Calls
Iran Tour Diversionary, Bosnia Bilats
January 4, updated -- US Ambassador Susan Rice was asked Tuesday
about Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo and Sudan's
Omar al Bashir's
Rice called Gbagbo a serious concern, and reiterated to
Inner City Press that she still does
not recall any meeting with
International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo about
Bashir diverting money to foreign bank accounts.
the presidency of the UN Security Council for January, other Council
members' Ambassadors arrive for bilateral consultations on the
month's program of work. Susan Rice went first, and spoke afterward
to the Press. She predicted an “interesting” 2011, with the
Council being joined by countries which seek a more permanent
presence: India, South Africa, Germany.
showed Rice a follow up story quoting “one senior American
official” as “aware of the prosecutor's investigation.” Rice
said she had seen the story, but still did not remember the meeting
with Ocampo memorialized in a State Department cable published by
WikiLeaks. I think I would remember that, she said.
Representative Mark Lyall Grant went in second for consultations. On
Iran's invitation to some countries to take a nuclear tour of the
country, Lyall Grant called it “diversionary,” but noted the
upcoming round of talks.
asked Lyall Grant about a Swiss report that UK foreign secretary
William Hague said he would look favorably at sending troops -- the
article implied UK troops -- to Cote d'Ivoire. I've been away, Lyall
Grant said, but I doubt he meant UK troops, rather that he would
support a vote to send troops.
his way out,
Lyall Grant said on the Middle East that anything that leads to a
resumption of negotiations will be good. He declined to comment on
the new line up of the Council -- whether for example India might
support China in driving Myanmar entirely off the Council's agency,
or others support the pro-sovereignty position Russia took on Ivory
Coast -- saying “at least let us meet” before asking for comment.
asked Lyall Grant about Nepal. He said the opposition letter which
the UN Secretariat told Inner City Press on January 3 had been
received had still not been circulated. Yes, he noted, Karin Landgren
has got another job. Click here
for the Jan. 3 Inner City Press piece
Amb. Rice & Lyall Grant in Darfur, Bashir's billions not shown
on the schedule came late -- Bosnia's Ivan Barbalic left the Council
at 10:50, saying that one Ambassador was late, “Vitaly” was
expected later in the morning: Russia's Ambassador Churkin.
Security Council but not entering, a diplomat from Georgia stopped to
ask Inner City Press why the Council doesn't at least ask for a
briefing from Secretary General's representative to the Geneva talks
about Abkhazia. “Russia is keeping it off the agenda,” the
diplomat complained. Watch this site.
11:41 pm -- as India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri
walked in to the Council, Inner City Press asked him what are India's
priorities for the month. “Full support for the Bosnian
presidency,” he said quickly. Inner City Press asked, What about
“The mission is
over,” he said. “Wind up.”
* * *
Bosnia's January Light Except Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire a Footnote
22 -- The UN Security Council in January, when
Southern Sudan's secession referendum is scheduled, will be chaired
by Bosnia - Herzegovina.
of the Program of Work, obtained by Inner City Press, shows a month
with at least three briefings on Sudan including Darfur (on the 6th,
17th and 26th), one on Central Asia (on the 13th), an open meeting on
post conflict institution building (on the 21st) and explosive Cote
d'Ivoire in a footnote, to be brought up if necessary.
of the Security Council deem it a surprisingly light
schedule. Also, in the assignment of chairman positions for the
Counncil's subsidiary bodies in 2011, Bosnia has been given only one
working group, that on Working Methods.
Permanent Five members had chosen Bosnia over Portugal for this
potentially reforming post precisely because they do not want reform.
Permanent Representative Ivan Barbalic has to date always been genial,
though most in the UN press corps haven't yet heard much from him or
his Deputy. That should chance this month.
wider Balkan -
Security Council news, the youth video
from Serbia initially selected
for one of the final four by the US Mission was vetoed as not being
sufficiently tied to the Security Council's agenda, as it was about
UN's Ban & Barbalic,
arriving Jan 09 - 2 years later, his month not yet shown
remarked that the Serbian youth who
made the vetoed video was particularly well spoken: a new Vuk
Jeremic, it was said.
more Bosnia video news, concerning the protests to UNHCR by
Bosnian rape victims of Angelina Jolie and her new movie, Inner City
Press this month asked the UN's expert of Sexual Violence and
Conflict Margot Wallstrom for any guidance on the controversy. Though
Wallstrom had just been in Bosnia, she said she didn't understand the
protests. We'll see.
* * *
3 Videos Got Vetoed, French Went Nuclear, Montage
the UN Security Council, even an event as
seemingly benign as a day for youth to show videos about world
problems is subject to backroom arguments and vetoes.
sponsored youth day on December 21, the US Mission
to the UN last
week presented Council members with four videos to be screened. Three
were essentially vetoed, multiple sources tell Inner City Press.
video by a
German youth about nuclear weapons was vetoed by France, which even
argued that the video wasn't by a youth.
about the Lord's Resistance Army, arguing that the
portrayal of an African woman and children in front of a hut made
them look “too poor.” That video has been replaced by one from
Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
video about natural resources was shot down. An argument made by the
vetoers was that some issues are not on the agenda of the Security
Council, and that to show these videos would be an encroachment of
the rights of non Council members.
to the December 21 event during which they will
stay at Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting's residence, reportedly asked
why a video submitted by an Austrian about children and armed
conflict wasn't selected. Inner City Press is informed that this
will, at least, by in montage assembled by the US Mission.
Araud of France, vetoed nuclear video, with Gabon,
LRA video not shown
video on water, initially selected, was vetoed. The three videos, the
official story goes, are now linked to from Ambassador Susan Rice's
Twitter account. Inner City Press has been asked, in a separate
story, to “give the children voice.” Watch this site.
Footnote: earlier, based on which children's parent
could afford to fly them to the December 21 event, Inner City Press
dubbed it the "Rich Kids' Summit," then the "Summit of Kids from Rich
Now it's said that at least the Chinese government is flying
some kids in, and that New York City students form the Children's Zone
in Harlem and schools in Brooklyn and Queens (not the Bronx or Staten
Island) that the US Mission has not named on the eve of the event, will
be there -- as will we.
* * *
Sudan's Bashir Stashed $9B, Despite
to a cable
describing Susan Rice the US Permanent Representative to the UN being
told by International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo
about Sudan's Omar al Bashir “stashing” $9 billion in “illegal
accounts,” Ambassador Rice on December 20 told Inner City Pres that
“I don't have a recollection of that being told to me directly.”
about the cable and what she and the US Mission
to the UN had done after Moreno Ocampo told her and her then Deputy
Alejandro Wolff being told about Bashir's $9 billion.
going to comment on cables,” she began. After denying any
recollection of being told “directly” about Bashir's billions,
she said “I don't know if it was said to anyone else.”
that ICC “Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Ambassadors Rice and
Wolff on March 20  that Sudanese President Bashir needed to be
isolated. Ocampo suggested if Bashir's stash of money were disclosed
(he put the figure at possibly $9 billion), it would change Sudanese
public opinion from him being a 'crusader' to that of a thief. Ocampo
reported Lloyd's Bank in London might be holding or knowledgeable of
the whereabouts of his money.”
Susan Rice & Wolff & UK's Lyall Grant, Bashir's "$9B in Lloyds"
on December 20, “in January 2009 US
authorities fined Lloyds $350 million for concealing the origins of
wire transfers from Sudan, Iran and Libya in violation of US
sanctions against the countries... Lloyds' so recent fine, for
concealing the source of money from Sudan, would have given Rice and
the Obama Administration leverage to get Bashir's accounts confirmed
or denied by Lloyds at that time. At issue is not only corruption by
a leader indicted for war crimes and genocide: under the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement, oil profits were to be split between
North and Southern Sudan. Southerns have alleged that the Bashir
government had improperly kept and hid revenue. Could this have been
the money? What did the US Mission to the UN, State Department and
Obama administration do to find out?”
answer to this question, Inner City Press later
on December 20 asked Susan Rice, as transcribed
that Ocampo of the ICC told the U.S.
Mission or yourself that Bashir had $9 billion taken from Sudan and
put in London, Lloyd's of London, is what he mentioned. And I just
wondered, it's one of these cables, I don't want to talk about the
cable aspect of it, but I just wanted to know what do you think of
that? Is that something Ocampo met with you and Ambassador Wolff and
said, and if case, what did the U.S. do to find out if it's true?
comment on cables. I don't have a
recollection of that being told to me directly, and I don't know if
it was said to anybody else.
see the cable:
E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000306 EO 12958 DECL: 03/23/2019
GO AFTER BASHIR'S MONEY AND CALL FOR HIS
ARREST; REASSURE CHINA
for reasons 1.4 b/d
Luis Moreno-Ocampo told
Ambassadors Rice and Wolff on March 20 that Sudanese President Bashir
needed to be isolated. Ocampo suggested if Bashir's stash of money
were disclosed (he put the figure at possibly $9 billion), it would
change Sudanese public opinion from him being a "crusader"
to that of a thief. Ocampo reported Lloyd's Bank in London might be
holding or knowledgeable of the whereabouts of his money. Ocampo
suggested simply exposing that Bashir had illegal accounts would be
enough to turn the Sudanese against him, "as with Pinochet."
conflict to create a better
negotiating position, and thought Bashir was using the expulsion of
the NGOs to divert attention away from his arrest warrant. Ocampo
suggested the U.S. and the international community also needed to
push for Bashir's arrest to isolate him. Ocampo likened Bashir's
situation to "a bleeding shark being surrounded by other
sharks," with no loyalty, only greed, motivating those competing
for power. By promoting the possibility of Bashir's arrest, Bashir
would be further marginalized within Sudan's ruling elite, Ocampo
be beneficial to reassure China that
its access to oil would not be jeopardized. If China believed Bashir
was becoming a destabilizing influence, Ocampo said China might be
more open to his removal as long as his replacement would guarantee
support for China's economic interests.
million, for concealing the source of money from
Sudan, would have given Susan Rice and the Obama Administration
leverage to get Bashir's accounts confirmed or denied by Lloyds at
the ICC in the Hague on December 19, Moreno
that he did and does have information about
the $9 billion. The unprosecutorial briefing of Rice and Wolff
described in the cable may cause Moreno Ocampo some problems at the ICC.
light of his December 18 statement, on top of the cable, Ambassador
Rice and those above her may wish to provide some further explanation.
Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.