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On Syria, as Annan Deputy Guehenno Takes French Post, Replacement Doubts

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 15 -- As envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan selected as his deputy Jean-Marie Guehenno, who until then was serving as France's representative on the UN Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations.

Once Guehenno accepted the post as Annan's deputy, he gave up his post for France's governement on the SAG, where as reported by Inner City Press he was replaced by Nicolas de la Riviere.

  On July 13 French president Francois Holland named Guehenno to another post in his government, to chair a committee to write a white paper on defense and security.

  It seems clear Guehenno will have to leave his post with Annan, for which he had been given a six month contract. (How many of the money has been and will be paid or returned remains to be seen.)

What does this mean for Annan's mission? His other, subsequently named co-deputy Al Kidwa has never been allowed into Syria by the Assad government, as he was nominated by the Arab League.

While Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi resisted Inner City Press' questions about who was being employed -- among them disgraced former Congo envoy Alan Doss, exposed for asking UNDP to break its rules and give a job to his daughter and then allowing the person whose job was taken to be prosecuted -- is seems impossible that an announcement about Guehenno and any replacement will be be made public.

Whistleblowing sources have raised to Inner City Press that another controversial member of Annan's team, one who left a Geneva based NGO after millions went missing, has a close family member employed in the Kofi Annan Foundation, about which Fawzi has refused to answer questions, and which itself does not answer.

   On Ban Ki-moon's and Guehenno's successor twice removed Herve Ladsous' Senior Advisory Group on Pecekeeping Operations, Guehenno served alongside alleged war criminal Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva, who is depicted in Ban's own Experts' report as engaged in shelling hospitals.

   Guehenno never spoke out about it, and Ladsous has refused to answer Press questions about this and other topics. 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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