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March 1, 2011: Libya

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With No Libya Asset Unfreezing or Stop NATO Resolutions at UN, Norway Makes Request; Whither Jamahiriya Sign?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 31 -- As August turns to September and the Arab Fall, in the UN Security Council there has neither been proposed a draft resolution to lift sanctions on Libya nor to stop the NATO bombing.

  Even on the day of Eid al Fitr, with the UN building closed, another country on Wednesday submitted an unfreezing request to the Libya Sanctions Committee. The request, referencing only the "international mechanism" still based in Qatar and not the Transitional National Council, was to be announced in Oslo on September 1.

   (Germany's note verbale request announced August 29 referenced like the US the "relevant authorities," according to a self-described reliable source.)

  Beyond South Africa's unfreezing standoff with the US last week, the blocks of Russia and China have been much discussed, with the former called principled and the latter, merely business related.

  Why haven't the Western countries put forward a resolution to remove the sanctions in toto and unfreeze Gaddafi's money? The answer seems to be that with the situation on the ground, this would trigger a counter-request to get NATO to stop its bombing. And that NATO and the West don't want to do.

  As various delegations conferred with Inner City Press about its "scoop" in obtaining and publishing the Ian Martin report, they described stealth outreach by the UN to non-NATO countries, while Al Khatib was still trying unsuccessfully to mediate. (The consensus seems to be that Al Khatib is now "finished.") This included the likes of Bangladesh -- which said no -- and non-NATO member Finland.

By 48 St Mission, Rebel flag & Gaddafi named sign, Aug 31, 2011 (c) MLee

  After spotting Ibrahim Dabbashi on Second Avenue with a cell phone, Inner City Press noticed on the scaffolding in front of Libya's mission the sign of ownership, by the "Libyan Arab Jamahiriya." Since that was Gaddafi's name, one wonders when it will change. Watch this site.

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On Libya, As UN's Martin Calls Ongoing NATO Role a "Factual Statement," Military Dreams Shot Down

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 30 -- While the 200 UN Military Observers envisioned in Ian Martin's leaked August 22 report to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were ruled out on August 30 by the UK and Russian Ambassadors and Martin himself as not requested by the Libyans, Martin told the Press that NATO's continuing role is just "a factual statement."

  Inner City Press, which exclusively obtained and published Martin's 10 page plan for Libya, asked him three questions, first about his line that "the Security Council's 'protection of civilians' mandate implemented by NATO does not end with the fall of the Qadhafi government and, therefore, NATO would continue to have some responsibilities."

  "That's just a factual statement," Martin said. But unless one is entirely embedded on the Western / NATO side of the debate, it is in fact a contested and controversial statement to say NATO will continue to have responsibilities in Libya.

  Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, for example, on Tuesday told Inner City Press that post-conflict "should be the end of NATO's mission." He also said that the African Union, which unlike NATO is not mentioned in Martin's 10 page report, should play a role in post conflict Libya.

  Inner City Press asked Martin about the AU not being in his report. Martin replied that Ban Ki-moon is headed to Paris for the September 1 meeting and hopes to there meet with the chairman of the African Commission. (Then Ban will proceed to, among other stops, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.)

  While Martin was meeting behind closed doors in the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin emerged and Inner City Press asked him about the military observers concept in Martin's August 22 plan: "up to 200 UNMOs... 50 UNMOs able to redeploy immediately from other missions."

  Churkin said that "the Libyans don't see a need for military observers," but said to ask Ian Martin.

  Moments later Inner City Press put the same question to UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who paused and said that the NTC, the National Transitional Council, is "not suggesting" military observers.

  Ian Martin, when asked by Inner City Press, said that the plan of military observers was premised on there being a ceasefire, which has not occurred. But his plan was dated and signed on August 22, when the rebels were already in Tripoli. Now there is the standoff in Sirte -- watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

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