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On Syria Complaint Against Galbraith, Conflicting Reports of AFP & Reuters

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 6, updated -- In Syria news-product, two wire services and their customers on January 5 reported they have seen or obtained a December 24 letter to the Security Council, here, complaining of unauthorized visits by Bernard Kouchner, John McCain and another American named Galbraith.

  Agence France Presse, and customers such as Al Arabiya, call him David Galbraith, and say the letter is dated December 24.

  But the former US official, who has even appeared on France 24 about Syria, is PETER Galbraith. Reuters, which has that name but says the letter is dated December 30, doesn't mention Galbraith's litigation about his claimed personal economic interest in Kurdistan oil. News consumers might want to know, no?

Update: the letter clearly says PETER Galbraith, and contrary to what Reuters reported that it "saw," is dated December 24. See here.

 And "David" Galbraith in AFP, and Reuters' incorrect date, will they ever be corrected?

  These two wires appeared later in late December -- the day of Syrian Ambassador Ja'afari's letter or not? -- on the story of Sudan's move to expel two UN officials.

 Amid charges that the UN in Sudan, including Herve Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping in Darfur, has colluded with the authorities in Khartoum to cover up rapes and killing, now the UN's Resident Coordinator Ali Al Za'tari has been ordered to leave Sudan by January 2, Inner City Press first reported earlier today. Inner City Press similarly exclusively reported, and asked the UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about, Sudan's ouster of UNDP Country Director Yvonne Heller on December 24. Video here.

 While Inner City Press asked the question, Agence France Presse was in the front row of the UN Press Briefing Room but neither said nor asked anything. (Reuters either wasn't there, as with the Gambia meeting of the Security Council, or lurked to belatedly repackage the story, with a half dozen jouranlists listed, as its own.)

   A full day after that, AFP published a derivative story about the Sudanese orders, without any credit, and without this new news, responsive to Inner City Press' question(s) -- after another inquiry by Inner City Press to Dujarric and UNDP on December 25, Dujarric sent this:

From: Stephane Dujarric [at]
Date: Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: Press request on Sudan PNG-ing Yvonne Helle (asked Dec 24) & now Dec 25 Ali Al-Za'tari
To: Matthew Lee [at]
Cc: UNDP, funca [at]

Matthew, The UN has filed a protest with the government of Sudan following their decision to request the departure of two senior UN officials from the country.

  As to AFP, they then published a second story, saying ""The UN has filed a protest with the government of Sudan following their decision to request the departure of two senior UN officials from the country," Mr Dujarric told AFP.Told AFP?

  This is the same Agence France Presse which has been silent on the under-performance at UN Peacekeeping of Herve Ladsous, including a recent complaint to the UN and the Security Council P3 about Ladsous and Darfur.

By contrast, Sudan Tribune for example credits Inner City Press, here. What are AFP's policies? We've asked in the past and no answer was ever given (but see this and this).

  Overall, soo the UN has now filed a protest -- but what about the UNFPA case in April, and this one, in Darfur, which Inner City Press exclusively reported on earlier today?  And why hasn't Agence France Presse, which has previously acted at the UN in defense of UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, written about the 123 NGOs' and Sudan experts' complaint about Ladsous, below?

  Earlier this Fall, Sudan's security agency NISS ordered a UN humanitarian staffer to leave El Fasher in North Darfur, Inner City Press is exclusively informed. 

  She left, to Khartoum -- where NISS "harassed" her, ordering her to return to El Fasher and "apologize" to a NISS official there.

   Ultimately she left Sudan. Nothing was said, as with an earlier case in April (on which we'll have more; questions are pending to spokespeople who cite the holiday). This is today's UN, under Ban Ki-moon and Herve Ladsous, Helen Clark and, until now, Ali Al-Za'tari.  Watch this site.


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