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From Baidoa to the UN, Denials on Ethiopian Troops Being in Somalia, Resolution Is Passed

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, December 6 -- "There are no Ethiopian troops in Somalia, except as invited by the government to assist in training." So said Idd Beddel Mohamed, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Somalia's Baidoa-based Transitional Federal Government, in response to Inner City Press' question Wednesday outside the UN Security Council chamber. Video here, from Minute 1:23.  The Council had just passed a resolution partially lifting the legal fiction of the Somalia arms embargo, for "supplies of weapons and military equipment and technical training and assistance" to the Transitional Federal Government.

            The Islamic Courts Union has said that foreign troops in Somalia will be fought. Despite the protestations of Ambassador Idd Beddel Mohamed -- including "I don't know where you got your information" about Ethiopian troops in Somalia, the answer being, from the admission of Ethiopian official themselves -- there has already been fighting between the Islamic Courts and Ethiopian forces. Most close observers, including now The Observer, opine that full fledged war has only been delayed by monsoon like conditions in Somalia.

            The Council President for December, Qatar's Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, when asked by Inner City Press about the Ethiopian troops said, "We don't refer to this" in the resolution. Video here, from Minute 1:11. Inner City Press asked if this resolution pledging or at least legalizing military help to the TFG group that has lost both territory and popularity in Somalia doesn't just embolden the TFG to not negotiate with the Islamic Courts. Qatar's Ambassador said the goal is just to avoid crisis or civil war. It's a bit late...

            Qatar's Ambassador earlier in the week answered Inner City Press' question about the Monitoring Group's report that 11 countries have violated the embargo by saying that these countries have been invited to explain themselves to the Council this week or next. We'll see.

DR Congo - a partial view by MONUC

            At the UN's noon briefing on Wednesday, along with the fighting in Eastern Congo, still-unresolved issues surrounding UNDP and its ex-Administrator arose, click here for the transcript, and here for the seventh installment in Inner City Press' series on UNDP, "Questions of Money Wasted, Neutrality Trampled, Russian Office Audits Withheld and Sachs Expenses."

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Annan's Spokesman Silent on 150 Dead in Congo, War in Somalia - But in Loud Defense of UNDP's $567,000 Book

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 -- The Secretariat of the UN System is a bully pulpit, it is said, from which human rights issues and the voices of the underdogs can be amplified. One wonders, therefore, in the final month of Kofi Annan's tenure, how they are decided on what issues to spotlight in their noon media briefing.

            Tuesday for example, nothing was said of reports of 150 killed by UN troops in Eastern Congo. These may well all be rebels -- although as in Kazana, a village torched in April of this year, click here for more, they may not -- but 150 killed by the UN, it seems, should  merit mention at the Spokesman's daily briefing. When only the happy news of UN Peacekeeping head Jean-Marie Guehenno being in-country was mentioned, the following exchange took place:

Inner City Press: There are reports from eastern Congo of renewed fighting involving renegade General Nkunda, not the town of Sake this time, but Bunagana.  What does the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) have to say about continued fighting in eastern Congo?

Spokesman:  I will try to get you something from them

            But nothing was provided, even eleven hours later. In the interim, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador de la Sabliere for his position on Ivory Coast. As transcribed by the French mission:

Inner City Press: On Cote d' Ivoire, what is France thinking of the situation? [Gbagbo has blocked UN Security from accompanying Prime Minister Banny, and Gbagbo has said *he* will protest to the Security Council the actions of the International Working Group.] Will France want to get back --

Ambassador: There was a meeting of the international working group on Friday, which represents the international community. I don't know if you have seen the communique which is an important one. We think that the Council should endorse this communique.

Another Tuesday question and non-answer by Kofi Annan's spokesman:

Inner City Press: On Somalia, the Transitional Government has said it will not speak with the Islamic Courts.  Also, an adviser to the President of Ethiopia has said that Ethiopia is at war with Somalia.  Does the Secretary-General or Mr. Fall have a comment?  Do they think the resolution introduced might embolden the Government not to speak with the Courts?

Spokesman:  We would encourage the Federal Transitional Government to speak to the Islamic Courts, as we would the other way around, and to resume a dialogue.  I will see from Mr. Fallís office if thereís a more formal response.

            Again, after more than eleven hours, no response was provided. Perhaps as the spokesman argues (below), putting requests "on the clock" is "unfair." But in this case these are wars we're talking about.

Civilians flee in eastern DRC

            Given the two non-answers about the Congo and Somalia, some were surprised by the length and vehemence of the Spokesman's response to a question about the book "UNDP: A Better Way?" According to the UN-produced transcript, the following was said:

Inner City Press:  Yesterday I asked you about the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  I did receive a response that UNDP paid $567,000 to produce the book.  But I've also gotten a message that youíve gotten as well from UNDP, complaining about whatís essentially a book review, saying that reporting on what employees of UNDP say is somehow reprehensible and asking to speak to my superiors.  As a UN agency, is this an appropriate use of funds?  Can you find out if these are core funds meant to assist low-income world citizens and also whether that's appropriate press relations because my intention is to ask you questions about UNDP from now on.  You get the answer and quibble about how itís characterized, but it's not working for me.

Spokesman:  I think UNDP has been extremely, extremely responsive to all your questions.  You have submitted some 50 or more questions to them and they have responded to them, not always in the time frame that you allow them to respond because you ask very detailed questions and they respond to them.  You have printed on your website, in full, emails that may or may not be from UNDP staffers airing grievances.  Some of them are slanderous to a number of UNDP staffers.  That is obviously your right, but you may also want to extend the same courtesy to UNDP by publishing, in full, their responses to you, notably on the book.  I think it is totally appropriate for a UN agency to commission a book about its activities.  As they told you, the author had full editorial freedom in writing, in researching and writing the book.

Obviously, there is a very good system in place at UNDP on whistle-blowing, through which staff can air their grievances.  Obviously, people are free to use the press to do so; it is their right.  But I think if you are going to publish, in full, emails that are completely slanderous, you owe it to UNDP to put out their answers in full.  Again, they have been extremely, extremely responsive to you.  I noticed on your site you document the amount of time it takes them to answer questions, sometimes eighty hours.  When you ask very detailed questions on a Friday, maybe it takes until Monday to answer.  If you want to put a time log on how long it takes to answer every one of my questions, thatís your right.  But I think itís completely unfair.

            Consider the line, "Obviously, there is a very good system in place at UNDP on whistle-blowing," and compare to the following two sample findings of the UNDP Ombudsman:   

"management has known of a visit in advance, retaliatory action has sometimes been taken the members of staff have been warned about the consequences of saying certain things to the Ombudsperson -- a term that has been dubbed 'pretaliation.' There are also many cases of staff being primed as to what to say to the Ombudsperson."

            As is relevant to Inner City Press' reporting so far in its UNDP series, the UNDP Ombudsman also found that

"Most disturbing of all is when a visit from the Ombudsperson which throws light on abusive behavior actually makes the situation worse for those members of staff in an already vulnerable position. An abusive manager will sometimes use intimidation or try to discover by a process of questioning and elimination the names of those who have consulted the Ombudsperson. When no effective action has been taken after the visit of the Ombudsperson to remedy the situation, there are instances of where the abusive behavior has intensified, renewed attempts have been made by the abuser to find out who spoke to the Ombudsperson and retaliatory action has been taken against anyone suspected of doing so."

            These are findings of the UNDP Ombudsman. After such findings, it is questionable for the Secretariat to (mis-) use its bully pulpit to claim that UNDP employees "obviously" have "a very good system in place at UNDP on whistle-blowing."

            Inner City Press is told by UNDP sources that after work began on its UNDP series, UNDP's Associate Administrator Ad Melkert met with Poverty Group staff to try to short circuit internal dissent at the violation of recruitment and hiring rules to accommodate some in the winding-down UN Millennium Project. UNDP sources tell Inner City Press that Ad Melkert told staff not to complain as rules are broken. One of the more egregious current cases involves Guido Schmidt-Traub, who sources tell Inner City Press has already been given a UNDP job even while the purported recruitment process for the position is still open. Inner City Press' question to UNDP about Mr. Schmidt-Traub's position remain unanswered.

            Now UNDP seeks to problematized the process of asking questions, even by email, by demanding that the entirety of their verbose responses be used. No publication that covers the UN System -- except perhaps those paid for by UNDP itself -- grants an agency the right to dictate what is published and whether or not employees can be quoted.  In fact, the UN Secretariat has a policy that "As a matter of principle, every member of the Secretariat may speak to the press, within limits: 1) Speak only within your area of competence and responsibility; 2) Provide facts, not opinions or comment; and 3) Leave sensitive issues to officials who are specifically authorized to speak on them."

            It has been made clear to Inner City Press by numerous sources inside UNDP that UNDP does not abide by this policy. Secondarily, one wonders if the matters of the until-last-week head of the Office of Human Resources and of the "UNDP: A Better Way?" book deal have formally been deemed "sensitive issues."

            Perhaps UNDP feels free to tell its employees to whom they can speak. But UNDP cannot dictate to the media who they must be covered. For example, while Inner City Press has been giving UNDP the courtesy of asking for the agency's response, and sometimes waiting two or more weeks for it, this is not required. Take, for example, this concluding news analysis, in advance of the December 18 or 19 press conference at which Kemal Dervis will now appear, after repeated requests for months:

         News analysis: Nexis searches show current UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis' inordinate focus on his native Turkey: being quoted on accession to the European Union and even on controversial questions about Cyprus. These quotes are not related to, and in fact may not assist, UNDP's work. But one can surmise that Dervis, having had his attempt to be taken seriously as a candidate for UN Secretary-General rebuffed, is aiming for a position in Turkey. In this view, Dervis is using UNDP money to further his own goals.

            Must one seek UNDP's comment on this news analysis, and wait two weeks to get it? While the answer is "no," even if it were "yes" Inner City Press eight days ago sought to ask Mr. Dervis a question, only to be told that he doesn't answer questions in this fashion, in the General Assembly hallway, coming out of meetings. It must be noted that Kofi Annan does take such questions with aplomb. His deputy, most recently, less so. In fact, some think that the Secretariat spokesman on Tuesday was so vehement in his defense of UNDP and its $567,000 book because of the looming presence of his Number Two boss, the former Administrator of UNDP. In these times of transition there is sympathy. But there are still wars, and defending the indefensible while ignoring the ignored cannot be countenanced.

At the UN, Interlopers into Somalia Are Discussed, With Chadian Pull-Back, Peacekeepers and Uganda's Karamoja

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, December 4 -- In Somalia, the only thing holding back full-scale war at this time is the weather, sources in the region tell Inner City Press. There are thousands of Ethiopian troops in the country, against which the Islamic Court Union has pledged to fight. Meanwhile at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday, Jan Egeland said the conflict can have only a political, not a military, solution. In response to a question from Inner City Press concerning the draft resolution proffered by now-outgoing  U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, Mr. Egeland said that inserting (more) foreign troops into Somalia, against which the "strong" Islamic Courts would fight, meant the situation in Somalia "could get worse." Video here, from Minute 5:48.

            Following-up on the UN Monitoring Group's recent report that 11 countries are violating the arms embargo on Somalia, Inner City Press on Monday asked this month's president of the Security Council, Qatari Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser what the ramifications of the report and violations would be. Video here, from Minute 37:50. He answered that the 11 countries have been invited to respond to the Council, "next week or the week after." We'll see.

            Mr. Egeland also took questions about Uganda's Karamoja region and about Eastern Chad. He characterized the former as an "emerging conflict" on which the UN was taking "early action." Video here, from Minute 2:28. On the other hand, inside Uganda calls have grown for the stepping down of military officials responsible for the killing of civilians in Karamoja, click here for more. Of Eastern Chad, he acknowledged that many aid workers have been removed, and said that "gloomy" forecasts were coming true.

Chadians flee destroyed village

   Kofi Annan's spokesman, earlier on Monday, had been more upbeat, characterizing the removals as "regroupings." From the transcript:

Inner City Press: in eastern Chad what is the status of UN agencies continuing to provide services?  Or have they in fact left, as is being reported?

Spokesman:  I will have to check for you on that.  My understanding is that there has been some regrouping because of the security situation, but we are not at a stage where we are no longer providing services.

            Speaking of services, a briefing was given on Monday by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jane Holl Lute and representatives of UNDP and of Save the Children, who had been participating in the UN's "Conference on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and NGO Personnel." Inner City Press asked Jane Holl Lute what the UN troops in Congo, for example, do if they witness or hear of sexual abuse by the Congolese Army, with which they work. She said she would consult with the Mission, and added that "in my view, there is at minimum a duty to report." Video here, from Minute 21:45.

            Asked to comment on the Secretary-General's statement last week that the crisis in Fiji could make UN acceptance of Fijian peacekeepers less likely, Jane Holl Lute said that was beyond the scope of the briefing but could "be discussed off-line." While her subsequent off-the-record statements were heady -- no, not Hedi Annabi -- and of public interest, it is hoped that the UN further articulates what ramifications human rights abuses may have on a country's status of a troop contributor. It is also hoped that Jane Holl Lute provides, as Inner City Press has requested, information about the April 2006 incidents at Kazana in eastern Congo, click here for more.

On Somalia, Past Arms Embargo Violations Forgiven in Zeal to Contain Islamic Courts

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- The U.S. is pushing a Security Council resolution which would lift the arms embargo on Somalia, but only for those supporting the Baidoa-based Transitional Federal Government.

            Inner City Press asked U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, according to the transcript:

Inner City Press: What would you say to those who say that some in the transitional federal government are essentially the warlords and not selected by the Somali people?    Ambassador Bolton:  Unlike any other aspect of authority in Somalia that also hasn't been selected by the Somali people, it's a situation where in the interest of preventing further hostilities and associated displacement of persons and loss of life and the rest of it, that we're interested in making this proposal. 

            While the U.S.-sponsored resolution is widely viewed as taking sides with the TFG, many of those taking neither side have noted that there is less gun violence and chaos in the regions now controlled by the Islamic Court than was the case when the warlords / TFG were titularly in command. One of Inner City Press' sources writes that in Mogadishu

The Union of Islamic Courts have opened the city and roads to the hinterland, ports and airports, they've begun to established a proper Islamic judicial system, police stations etc. They've executed two murderers in five months and they have apprehended the pirates who hijacked a ship off El Maan last week (I saw them paraded at the port).  The Islamic Courts are beginning the process of returning properties stolen in the wars to their rightful owners, a huge job but the core issue in resolving the conflict. The majority of Somalis are Sufis and although they are concerned about crackdowns from the Wahabi elements I have never seen this form of Muslim worship performed so openly in the city (because before, pilgrimages etc were curtailed by insecurity). The economy is going through a mini-boom, with a lot of fresh construction. 1,700 workers (surprisingly a UN ILO -funded project) are clearing the rubbish of 16 years of war from the streets.

  And now another war looms. Following on the UN International Labor Organization reference, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the UN System's dealing with the Islamic Court. Mr. Dujarric mentioned that the UN has been urging the Islamic Courts to negotiate with the Transitional Federal Government, and that UN humanitarian agencies work with whoever controls territory. Video here, from Minute 11:10. He said that more information will be forthcoming; we'll see. Inner City Press Friday asked Ambassador Bolton, video here:

Inner City Press:  On Somalia, what's going to be the ramifications of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and apparently Uganda having violated the previous arms sanctions -- arms embargo on Somalia?   

Ambassador Bolton:  You know, it's a very complicated situation.  This resolution is a step toward resolving it, but we're not -- we don't pretend to say that this resolution alone will be a complete solution.  A lot more work remains to be done.  It's a very complicated situation.

            UK Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said much that same thing. With such a cavalier approach to past (and ongoing) violations of arms embargos, how does this reflect on, for example, the South Lebanon embargo? We'll see.

Hospital in Somalia

            Also on Friday, Doctor Dennis Makwege Mukengere of the Panzi Hospital in Eastern Congo spoke, along with Jan Egeland, at a UN press conference. He said, in response to questions about MONUC and Laurent Nkunda and Peter Karim, that such militia leaders are responsible for many of the rapes whose victims he treats, as is the Congolese Army. Video here, from Minute 20:55.

            Inner City Press again asked Jan Egeland about Karamoja in eastern Uganda, where UNDP funded a voluntary disarmament program which was not effective distinguished from violent, involuntary disarmament. Jan Egeland said that President Museveni agreed to meet with (his) military high command about the issue. On UNDP having funded UNDP's disarmament, Jan Egeland still said nothing.

            On UNDP, click here for the third installment in Inner City Press' necessarily ongoing UNDP Series, From Sleaze in Vietnam to Fights in DC-1, UNDP Appears Out of Control at the Top.

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

At the UN, Indigenous Rights Get Deferred, As U.S. Abstains, Deftly or Deceptively

At the UN, Threat and Possible Statement on Fiji Spotlights Selection and Payment of UN Peacekeepers

At the UN, China and Islamic Dev't Bank Oppose Soros and World Bank On How to Fight Poverty

At the UN, Misdirection on Somalia and Myanmar, No Answers from UNDP's Kemal Dervis

UNDP Dodges Questions of Disarmament Abuse in Uganda and of Loss of Togo AIDS Grant, Dhaka Snafu

At the UN, The Swan Song of Jan Egeland and the Third Committee Loop, Somalia Echoes Congo

UN Silent As Protesters Tear Gassed in Ivory Coast, As UNMOVIC Plods On and War Spreads in Somalia

In the UN, Uzbekistan Gets a Pass on Human Rights As Opposition to U.S. Grows and War's On in Somalia

At the UN, Cluster Bombs Unremembered, Uighurs Disappeared and Jay-Z Returns with Water -- for Life

From the UN, Silence on War Crimes Enforcement and Conflicts of Interest on Complaint from Bahrain

En Route to Deutsche Bank, the UN's Door Revolves, While Ban Ki-moon Arrives and Moldova Spins

As Two UN Peacekeepers Are Killed, UN Says Haiti's Improving, Ban Ki-moon on Zimbabwe?

Nagorno-Karabakh President Disputes Fires and Numbers, Oil and UN, in Exclusive Interview with Inner City Press

Inside the UN, Blaming Uganda's Victims, Excusing Annan on Mugabe, and U.S. Blocked Darfur Trip

U.S. Blocked Council's Trip to Darfur Meeting, Brazzaville Envoy Explains After U.S. Casts a Veto

At the UN, Council Works Overtime To Cancel Its Trip About Darfur, While DC Muses on John Bolton

UN Panel's "Coherence" Plan Urges More Power to UNDP, Despite Its Silence on Human Rights

On Water, UNDP Talks Human Rights, While Enabling Violations in Africa and Asia, With Shell and Coca-Cola

Will UN's Revolving Door Keep Human Rights Lost, Like Bush's Call and WFP Confirmation Questions?

On Somalia, We Are All Ill-Informed, Says the UN, Same on Uganda, Lurching Toward UNDP Power Grab

On WFP, Annan and Ban Ki-Moon Hear and See No Evil, While Resume of Josette Sheeran Shiner Is Edited

Would Moon Followers Trail Josette Sheeran Shiner into WFP, As to U.S. State Dep't?

At the UN, Positions Are Up For the Grabbing, Sun's Silence on Censorship, Advisor Grabs for Gun

In WFP Race, Josette Sheeran Shiner Praises Mega Corporations from Cornfield While State Spins

At the UN, Housing Subsidy Spin, Puntland Mysteries of UNDP and the Panama Solution

In Campaign to Head UN WFP, A Race to Precedents' Depths, A Murky Lame Duck Appointment

At the UN, Gbagbo and his Gbaggage, Toxic Waste and Congolese Sanctions

WFP Brochure-Gate? John Bolton Has Not Seen Brochure of "Official" U.S. Candidate to Head World Food Program

Ivory Coast Stand-Off Shows Security Council Fault Lines: News Analysis

At the UN, It's Groundhog's Day on Western Sahara, Despite Fishing Deals and Flaunting of the Law

"Official" U.S. Candidate to Head WFP Circulates Brochure With Pulitzer Claim, UN Staff Rules Ignored

Senegal's President Claims Peace in Casamance and Habre Trial to Come, A Tale of Two Lamines

A Tale of Two Americans Vying to Head the World Food Program, Banbury and Sheeran Shiner

At the UN, the Unrepentant Blogger Pronk, a Wink on 14 North Korean Days and Silence on Somalia

At the UN, Literacy Losses in Chad, Blogless Pronk and Toothless Iran Resolution, How Our World Turns

Sudan Pans Pronk While Praising Natsios, UN Silent on Haiti and WFP, Ivorian Fingers Crossed

UN Shy on North Korea, Effusive on Bird Flu and Torture, UNDP Cyprus Runaround, Pronk is Summoned Home

At the UN, Silence from UNDP on Cyprus, from France on the Chad-Bomb, Jan Pronk's Sudan Blog

Russia's Vostok Battalion in Lebanon Despite Resolution 1701, Assembly Stays Deadlocked and UNDP Stays Missing

As Turkmenistan Cracks Down on Journalists, Hospitals and Romance, UNDP Works With the Niyazov Regime

At the UN, Darfur Discussed, Annan Eulogized and Oil For Food Confined to a Documentary Footnote

With All Eyes on Council Seat, UN is Distracted from Myanmar Absolution and Congo Conflagration

As Venezuela and Guatemala Square Off, Dominicans In Default and F.C. Barcelona De-Listed

At the UN, North Korea Sanctions Agreed On, Naval Searches and Murky Weapons Sales

At the UN, Georgia Speaks of Ethnic Cleansing While Russia Complains of Visas Denied by the U.S.

At the UN, Deference to the Congo's Kabila and Tank-Sales to North Korea, of Slippery Eels and Sun Microsystems

At the UN, Annan's Africa Advisor Welcome Chinese Investment, Dodges Zimbabwe, Nods to Darfur

At the UN, Richard Goldstone Presses Enforcement on Joseph Kony, Reflecting Back on Karadzic

UN Defers on Anti-Terror Safeguards to Member States, Even in Pakistan and Somalia

Afghanistan as Black Hole for Info and Torture Tales, Photos and Talk Mogadishu, the UN Afterhours

Amid UN's Korean Uproar, Russia Silent on Murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Chechnya Exposer

UN Envoy Makes Excuses for Gambian Strongman, Whitewashing Fraud- and Threat-Filled Election

Sudan's UN Envoy Admits Right to Intervene in Rwanda, UNICEF Response on Terrorist Groups in Pakistan

At the UN, As Next S-G is Chosen, Annan Claims Power to Make 5-Year Appointments, Quiet Filing and Ivory Coast Concessions

Chaos in UN's Somalia Policy, Working With Islamists Under Sanctions While Meeting with Private Military Contractors

U.S. Candidate for UN's World Food Program May Get Lame Duck Appointment, Despite Korean Issues

At the UN, U.S. Versus Axis of Airport, While Serge Brammertz Measures Non-Lebanese Teeth

Exclusion from Water Is Called Progress, of Straw Polls and WFP Succession

William Swing Sings Songs of Congo's Crisis, No Safeguards on Coltan Says Chairman of Intel

Warlord in the Waldorf and Other Congo Questions Dodged by the UN in the Time Between Elections

In Some New Orleans, Questions Echo from the South Bronx and South Lebanon

In New Orleans, While Bone Is Thrown in Superdome, Parishes Still In Distress

At the UN, Tales of Media Muzzled in Yemen, Penned in at the Waldorf on Darfur, While Copters Grounded

US's Frazer Accuses Al-Bashir of Sabotage, Arab League of Stinginess, Chavez of Buying Leaders - Click here for video file by Inner City Press.

Third Day of UN General Debate Gets Surreal, Canapes and Killings, Questions on Iran and Montenegro and Still Somalia

On Darfur, Hugo Chavez Asks for More Time to Study, While Planning West Africa Oil Refinery

At the UN, Ivory Coast Discussed Without Decision on Toxic Politics, the Silence of Somalia

Evo Morales Blames Strike on Mobbed-Up Parasites, Sings Praise of Coca Leaf and Jabs at Coca-Cola

Musharraf Says Unrest in Baluchistan Is Waning, While Dodging Question on Restoring Civilian Rule

At the UN, Cyprus Confirms 'Paramilitary' Investigation, Denies Connection to Def Min Resignation, CBTB Update

A Tale of Three Leaders, Liberia Comes to Praise and Iran and Sudan to Bury the UN

UN Round-up: Poland's President Says Iraq Is Ever-More Tense While Amb. Bolton Talks Burmese Drugs, Spin on Ivory Coast

As UN's Annan Now Says He Will Disclose, When and Whether It Will Be to the Public and Why It Took So Long Go Unasked

At the UN, Stonewalling Continues on Financial Disclosure and Letter(s) U.S. Mission Has, While Zimbabwe Goes Ignored

At the UN, Financial Disclosure Are Withheld While Freedom of Information Is Promised, Of Hollywood and Dictators' Gift Shops

UN's Annan Says Dig Into Toxic Dumping, While Declining to Discuss Financial Disclosure

A Still-Unnamed Senior UN Official in NY Takes Free Housing from His Government, Contrary to UN Staff Regulations

UN Admits To Errors in its Report on Destruction of Congolese Village of Kazana, Safeguards Not In Place

As UN Checks Toxins in Abidjan, the Dumper Trafigura Figured in Oil for Food Scandal, Funded by RBS and BNP Paribas

Targeting of African Americans For High Cost Mortgages Grew Worse in 2005, While Fed Downplays Its Own Findings

The UN and Nagorno-Karabakh: Flurries of Activity Leave Frozen Conflicts Unchanged; Updates on Gaza, Gavels and Gbagbo

The UN Cries Poor on Lawless Somalia, While Its Ex-Security Chief Does Business Through Ruleless Revolving Door

At the UN, Micro-States Simmer Under the Assembly's Surface, While Incoming Council President Dodges Most Questions

"Horror Struck" is How UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments Would Leave U.S., Referral on Burma But Not Uzbekistan

Security Council President Condemns UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments, While UK "Doesn't Do It Any More"

At the UN, Incomplete Reforms Allow for Gifts of Free Housing to UN Officials by Member States

Rare UN Sunshine From If Not In Chad While Blind on Somalia and Zimbabwe, UNDP With Shell in its Ear on Nigeria

Annan Family Ties With Purchaser from Compass, Embroiled in UN Scandal, Raise Unanswered Ethical Questions

At the UN, from Casamance to Transdniestria, Kosovars to Lezgines, Micro-States as Powerful's Playthings

Inquiry Into Housing Subsidies Contrary to UN Charter Goes Ignored for 8 Weeks, As Head UN Peacekeeper Does Not Respond

On the UN - Corporate Beat, Dow Chemical Luncheon Chickens Come Home to Roost

Stop Bank Branch Closings and Monopolies in the Katrina Zone, Group Says, Challenging Regions- AmSouth Merger

Ship-Breakers Missed by UN's Budget for Travel and Consultants in Bangladesh, Largest UNIFIL Troop Donor

With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

UN Decries Uzbekistan's Use of Torture, While Helping It To Tax and Rule; Updates on UNIFIL and UNMIS Off-Message

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Africa Can Solve Its Own Problems, Ghanaian Minister Tells Inner City Press, On LRA Peace Talks and Kofi Annan's Views

At the UN, Jay-Z Floats Past Questions on Water Privatization and Sweatshops, Q'Orianka Kilcher in the Basement

In the UN Security Council, Speeches and Stasis as Haiti is Forgotten, for a Shebaa Farms Solution?

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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