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

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As US Doesn't Fund Slavery Memorial at UN, Tax Equalization Fund $100M Q-ed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 25 -- To build at the UN a memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a committee is seeking to raise $4.5 million. So far the big donors are India with $260,000 and Australia with $100,000.

  What about the United States, Inner City Press asked Ambassador Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica on Friday.

  Ambassador Wolfe said he discussed the matter with US Permanent Representative Susan Rice but that she said the US Mission does not have money to make such contributions, it would have to go through Congress.

  Inner City Press pointed out to Ambassador Wolfe that the US Mission and State Department recently allowed the UN to keep $100 million in US Tax Equalization Funds without any Congressional approval. Wolfe indicated he may look into that route.

Wolfe and Russell Simmons, Susan Rice and TEF not shown

Later in the Delegates' Entrance to the General Assembly, Wolfe and the Ambassador of Cameroon noshed on a sort of three bean salad and other Cameroonian specialties like dried bananas -- Inner City Press was told there's exploration of packaging for export. And so it goes at the UN.

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As UN Admits Shooting Dead a Haitian, Lack of Transparency in UN Caused Deaths

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 -- When the UN kills someone, shouldn't they announce it?

  After the elections in Haiti, Inner City Press on March 24 asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about ballot irregularities blamed on the UN system, and about reports of the shooting death of a Haiti by the UN mission MINUSTAH, specifically by a Blue Helmet from Argentina.

While Nesirky by that time had an “if-asked” sheet of paper with him, to be read out only if the question was asked, he left unanswered Inner City Press' follow up question: “How does the UN report where it has caused the death of a citizen of the country they are in”?

From the UN's March 24 transcript:

Inner City Press: There are some reports blaming UN or UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] for some missing of 200 and, 2,009 ballots in this most recent one. I am not sure if the UN has a response to that. And there is also, it seems that the Argentine part of the peacekeeping mission acknowledges a role in the shooting of this Haitian citizen. Is that something that MINUSTAH has confirmed and what brought that up?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: On the first question, I would need to check on the question about the ballots. I would need to check on that. On the second, what I can tell you is that in the morning of the election day, which was Sunday the twentieth, in Dessalines in Artibonite, a group of 50 to 60 unidentified armed men attempted to attack a polling centre. And the UN Peacekeepers who were guarding the centre had no choice but to use force in order to protect the centre and the Haitian civilians who were at threat at that point.

And according to the rules of engagement, the peacekeepers used all peaceful means to try to dissuade the group from progressing toward the centre. But the group continued to progress in a threatening way. The peacekeepers issued halt calls and fired several rounds of warning shots. And they were then engaged by the assailants, and had no choice but fire back in self defence, and this was to protect the centre and the civilians. The assailants then dispersed and fled, and the attack was repulsed. The voting process was able to start again. During the exchange of fire, one individual was hit by a bullet and wounded. The peacekeepers provided medical assistance and took the person to the closest hospital, but that person later died from his wounds. And, as it is the case when there is any loss of life, the Mission launches an investigation, and has launched an investigation, to determine the exact circumstances. And I can confirm that these were Argentine peacekeepers. There were four Argentine peacekeepers at this center.

Inner City Press: Is there some rule, I mean I, thanks a lot for that, it’s really helpful, is there some, I mean, how frequent is this? How does the UN report where it has had to engage and may have caused, in self-defense or otherwise the death of a citizen of the country they are in?

Spokesperson Nesirky: As I’ve said, whenever there is loss of life, then the mission, or any mission, any mission would investigate.

Even if the mission “would investigate,” what is the UN system to announce when it has killed someone? And why aren't the results of the investigations made public?

UN peacekeeper blocks cholera, reporting of deaths not shown

 After a Haitian teenagers died, allegedly strangled in a peacekeeping base in Cap Haitien manned by the Nepalese, the UN never released its report, and has apparently not waved the immunity of staff member Joelle Rozefort to allow or require testimony.

  From the January 11 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: there was a case some time ago of a boy that was found hung — a Haitian boy found hung in a Nepali base in Cap Haitien. Some say that Mr. Mulet has asked the Secretary-General to remove the immunity of a national staff member there, Joelle Rozefort, so she can testify to a court about this. Is that – one, has Mr. Mulet made the request? But whether he has or not, is the Secretary-General considering removing the immunity of this staff member to respond to a court subpoena?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: I’m aware of the incident you’re referring to in which someone was found to have been hanged. And I think we may be able to provide you with a little bit more information on the question that you’ve asked a little bit later.

  But more than two months later, no information has been provided. Watch this site.

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

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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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