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As Closed Meeting on Serbia Set at UN, Russian Argument Lost in Translation?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- Serbia's letter asking for a emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Kosovo's “seizure” of a border crossing in which at least one policeman was killed caused controversy in the Council Wednesday morning.

  Several pro-Kosovo Western Council members said they didn't have enough information, and opposed an open meeting at which, they said, Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic could “use” the incident.

  The compromise, which Portuguese Permanent Representative Cabral described to Inner City Press, is to hold a closed door consultation on Thursday morning, with a briefing by UN Peacekeeping, probably by outgoing chief Alain Le Roy. (Former UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier has left to head the OECD and has not been replaced.)

  While Cabral said the closed door session might lead to an open meeting, another Western delegation said that an open meeting, at least on Thursday, was “highly unlikely,” expressing concern that the buzz about Jeremic flying to New York was an attempt to “force” an open meeting. “He can talk to you, the Press, out here if he want to,” the Western Council member said.

Western sources in the Security Council went further, saying that in Wednesday's consultations about whether to have a meeting the Russian representative “made two mistakes -- first calling it a 'minor incident' then referring to two states.”

Inner City Press asked the Russian delegation about this; they say that the UN mistranslated part of the statement from Russian. “Of course we wouldn't call it two states.” Neither Serbia nor Russia nor the UN recognizes Kosovo as a state.

Vuk Jeremic previously in UNSC, Western SC snarks not shown

The Deputy Permanent Representative of a country in the middle -- let's called them Non Aligned -- told Inner City Press that Russia at first called it a “small” incident, then corrected that and that nearly all other delegations agreed it was serious.

  The “two states” reference was apparently, according to the non aligned source, an argument that as with the Thailand Cambodia border dispute, any dispute between two states can trigger a Security Council meeting.

 Since the Western members consider Kosovo a state, how can they oppose a meeting on this issue? And isn't their argument that an open meeting could inflame things precisely the argument others make, cynically they say, about places like Southern Kordofan in Sudan? Watch this site.

* * *

India, Brazil & S. Africa Move Toward Joint Communique on Syria, European Members Grumble at UN

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- As the crackdown has intensified in Syria, the so-called IBSA countries -- India, Brazil and South Africa -- have been under increasing pressure to “do something about Assad.”

  France's UN Ambassador Gerard Araud, for example, wrote an opinion piece in the Brazilian press urging Brazil to support the long pending draft Security Council resolution on Syria circulated by the European members of the Council.

  UN sources have for some time been telling Inner City Press that IBSA has been moving toward taking action.

 Now on July 26 several European members complained to Inner City Press that the action the IBSA countries are moving toward is not through the Council but rather a communication, or demarche, directly to Syria.

  This new development is not unexpected. As the Council's two resolutions on Libya have been cited after the fact as authorizing not only airstrikes but even the parachuting of weapons into the Nafusa mountains by France, opposition to a Syria Council resolution has grown.

  But India, Brazil and South Africa, each for its own reasons, wants to take some action on Syria. Internally, each of the three government faces pressures from some groups to do more about human rights in Syria, and from others not to allow “another Libya.”

  As to Brazil, on a recent Council on Foreign Relations conference call Inner City Press asked, “what do you make of Brazil's position on Syria being portrayed as... obstructionist?”

  Former US Ambassador to Brazil Donna Hrinak responded that the

Brazilian congress certainly is playing more of a role. Itamaraty at one time had, you know, virtual monopoly on foreign policy making. Civil society is a lot more vibrant in Brazil in also speaking out on foreign policy. You could do quite well by looking at what players are active in U.S. foreign policy and seeing those same groups reflected in Brazil.”

   How would an op-ed by a French diplomat seeking to impact US foreign policy play out?

Brazil's PR Viotti, India's (3d from left), Araud behind Susan Rice in shades, IBSA letter not shown

  CFR's Latin America director Julia Sweig also replied:

with respect to Syria, there was a great deal of conflict with France over that, but there were a couple of resolutions, I believe, that passed in the Brazilian congress, which is becoming more and more active in weighing in on foreign policy, condemning 1973, that resolution [on Libya], and also a great deal of resistance on the Syria front that I believe Itamaraty is increasingly sensitive to, as our foreign-policy operatives are themselves when they conduct foreign policy. So in foreign policy, domestic politics and voices will impinge.”

Things are not so different in India and South Africa. So for the three to act together is not unexpected, despite the grumbling from European members of the Security Council. Watch this site.

* * *

As in S. Kordofan Indicted Governor Spins Press, UNSC to Get Simonovic July 28

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 -- As Southern Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun, already indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, claims that the goal of his war is peace, in New York the requests for a Security Council briefing by top human rights official Navi Pillay will result Thursday afternoon session, but only with her deputy Ivan Simonovic, Inner City Press has learned.

  Several Security Council members specifically asked that Pillay be the briefer, on the topic of a report jointly by her Office and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which is criticized in the report.

  Already Simonovic reportedly stopped short of supporting the recommendation that the actions and failures to act detailed in the report be referred to the International Criminal Court.

  Meanwhile ICC indictee Harun in a Khartoum press conference claimed that “we are doing our best to keep the length of this conflict as short as possible, because we believe that military operations are not a goal, but are a tool to push the other side to the negotiating table.”

  Look how well that worked in Darfur...

Ban, Nesirky, Nambiar & Orr, action on UN inaction not shown

  Here's in Harun's history in S. Kordofan, summarized by a source:

Ahmed Haroun was Deputy Head of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) during the late 80s and early 90s in Kadugli. He played a large role in a genocidal campaign to eliminate the Nuba tribe from southern Kordofan, where he was stationed then. There are numerous mass graves that he is personally responsible for; one of them is underneath the UN airport built there five years ago.

When he left for Darfur, he immediately re-organized the PDF (aka Janjaweed, government militias) ; in 1994 he established a long relationship with the Lord's Resistance Army from Uganda, a relationship that has continued to recently provide these criminals with weapons and refuge in South Darfur. While there, he organized a personal paramilitary group made up of the cream of the Central Reserve Police (paramilitary organization created by Bashir), the Border Security Gurads (another paramilitary organization also created by Bashir) and led by the PDF commanders which he chose. They all came to Southern Kordofan with him after his appointment as Governor of that unfortunate state in 2009.

He meets with his good friend Ali Kushaib every weekend planning the coming genocide of the Nubas, part of who stupidly voted for him helping him to "win" the recent elections there, thanks also in part to pre-filled ballot boxes. Ali Kushaib lives in Debeibat in the northern part of the Southern Kordofan and is currently re-organizing the PDF (whom he led in Darfur) in order to accelerate their participation in the Nuban genocide.

  So can Ahmed Harun (or Haroun) be subject to a rare second referral to the International Criminal Court? And what could Navi Pillay be doing this week that is more important? Watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

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

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.

* * *

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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