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UN's Somalia Scams & Bax Continue, Whistleblower Cites Spoon-Fed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- Two months ago on June 22, Inner City Press published an exclusive story about UN Mine Action chief in Somalia David Bax sharing information with US intelligence and running around Mogadishu with armed guards trying to save a girlfriend after an attack on a UN compound in Mogadishu, here.

  On June 24 (and June 26 and July 5), Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson for an answer from UN Peacekeeeping chief Herve Ladsous and the head of UNMAS to the story and a detailed complaint from a whistleblower.

  The UN told Inner City Press, "we’ll have to check on that for you, Matthew, we’ll check with DPKO," the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

  But the UN's response was to given to another media, from Ladsous' and DPKO's spokesperson Kieran Dwyer, for a story that made Bax into something of a hero. Inner City Press wrote and asked about this spoon-feeding and was told Bax as being investigated, nothing would be answered (again.)

  For writing about it, Team Spoon-Fed anonymous used social media to attack Inner City Press as they have in the past, including predictably and intentionally triggering death threats.

  Now the whistleblower has complained again to Ladsous and UNMAS, saying the UNOPS "investigation" was a scam and the story that resulted from the spoon-feeding dropped damning information because "you put pressure on the journalist about" it.

  While we'll have more about the UN's scams and pressure, this is what is meant by spoon-feeding: the UN gives answers to the critical Press' questions to hand-picked others seeking, or in exchange for, more UN positive coverage of the story. As noted this happened on the still unacted on murder of UN Security staffer Louis Maxwell.

  It has also happened on, and been done by Ladsous and Dwyer on, the 135 rapes in Minova by the UN's partners in the Congolese Army, and even just last week on UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman's pre-planned trip to Egypt.

  On that, Inner City Press exclusively published audio on August 15 that Feltman would go to Cairo (and that it had been planned before the August 14 killing of hundreds of unarmed protesters). Another media asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office to confirm Inner City Press' story and was told it's just a rumor.

  Then three minutes before the noon briefing at which Inner City Press asked for and got confirmation Reuters ran a two paragraph type-up of "the United Nations" announcing the trip.

  This Reuters "report" did not mention that the trip had been planned before the killings (and therefore does NOT represent a UN response to the killings) or that Feltman represented the US State Department in the Middle East, before doing the same at the UN.

  This is how it works at the UN -- this spoon-feeding and then anonymous attacks and reverse spoon-feeding TO the UN (click here for that), and more generally, covering up wrong-doing including of the kind that puts UN staff at risk. This, and the UN's mis-direction with information, unacted on by the UN's Department of Information, is now also being opposed by the new Free UN Coalition for Access (click here for DPI's reaction.) We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

Footnote: Tellingly since the UN's spoon-feeding on Somalia, Inner City Press asked and written about the UN's "hands-off" approach to allegation of gang rape in Mogadishu by the forces the UN supports there. This too is how it works with the UN, as with the UN's denial of bringing cholera to Haiti. Attempts by the UN to cover up misdeeds make it silent and complicit in others.


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