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Annan Says Weapons To Be Put Down by Gov't, Opposition & "Others" - AQ?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 22 -- Early Sunday morning Kofi Annan issued a statement in his own name that "I urge all forces whether governmental, opposition or others to put down their weapons and work with the United Nations monitors."

  One wondered, what forces with weapons are these "others," neither governmental or opposition?

  Inner City Press has asked Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi "what is meant by these 'other' forces that are different than the 'opposition.' Some could see it as a reference to Al Qaeda or other non-Syrian fighters. Is that what is meant?"

  If that is the reference, it seems strange to also call on these "other" forces to "work with the UN monitors." What would Al Qaeda say? "We want to work with the UN - please send us to UNAMA in Afghanistan"?

The work schedule of the monitors is also in question. On April 20 Inner City Press asked US State Department Spokeperson Victoria Nuland:

Inner City Press: The Moroccan colonel who’s leading the UN team there now has been quoted that he’s not going to take his team out on Fridays. He doesn’t want to be used politically. There’s a quote to that effect. And I’m just wondering, since it seems that one of the purposes of the observer mission is to allow people to protest, and that’s a big day they want to protest, what would the U.S. think of that?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, I haven’t seen the comments of the Moroccan lead. As I said, all of the modalities for these peacekeepers are being reviewed based on the experience of the initial group, and they have to be worked out through a new Security Council resolution, and obviously, we have to see how it goes on the ground.

  Transcript here. More has been written since, about the Colonel's comments. So Inner City Press has asked Fawzi:

"do you have a comment or gloss on the Moroccan colonel saying the observers would go out on Fridays, to not be used? On Friday I asked the US State Department, particularly in light of Friday being a/the big protest day, but they hadn't yet seen the quote. Can you comment or explain the Colonel's statement?"

  When these questions are answered, it will be published here. Watch this site.

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

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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

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