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After Syria Blocked a Swede, Finns Ready With 10, UN Stonewalls Still

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 25 -- As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman refused for the third day in a row to describe the status with the UN of Norwegian General Robert Mood, the Permanent Representatives of two member states told Inner City Press that that nationality of the individual Syria blocked was Swedish.

  Why, one of them asked, would Syria block a Swede and accept as UNSMIS Force Commander a Norwegian? Haven't both countries been affiliated with the Group of Friends on Syria?

  But that Group's membership has remained fluid, with few countries attending the last meeting in Paris. The meeting in Turkey was better attend. Will all those countries be blocked?

  Tuesday evening Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice:

Inner City Press: I saw that General Mood seemed to at least, go into the-at the beginning of the meeting, Major General Robert Mood, is he the Chief Military Observer or did he stay for the meeting, and if so, in what capacity?

Ambassador Rice: He was in the room. He didn't speak. And I can't get ahead of what the Secretary-General is going to decide. Nothing has been announced to my knowledge.

  Tuesday night there were reports that Mood already had the job, even talk of a letter from Ambassador Rice "taking note" of Ban's appointment of Mood. At the UN's noon briefing on Wednesday, Inner City Press as the only media asked about Mood's presence in the previous day's Security Council consultations, and status with the UN.

Ban's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey said he "had nothing" on that, but might have something later. We'll be waiting.

  Inner City Press also asked about the public offer by Finland to send 10 observers, who they are already training. Del Buey declined to respond to the offer, claiming that UN Peacekeeping under Herve "The Drone" Ladsous is working as fast as it can. That's not what some Security Council members say.

   Finland is a candidate for a Security Council seat, competing for one of two WEOG seats with Australia and Luxembourg. Will either or both of these countries also offer observers? Watch this site.

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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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