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March 1, 2011: Libya

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On Libya, China Says NATO Should Stop, Russia Sees TNC As "Effective" Ruler

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 1 -- As at the "Friends of Libya" meeting in Paris, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his most special adviser Ian Martin try to put the UN and its views at the center, in New York Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong told Inner City Press China thinks "the conflict must be stopped, including NATO's bombing."

  Martin, in his August 22 report to Ban that Inner City Press exclusively obtained and published, said that the '''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."

  When Martin belatedly took questions on August 30 and Inner City Press asked him about this line, with which China and others disagree, Martin called it a "factual statement."

  The reason the UN won't get called out on this is that China, Russia and others now want the UN to play a central role, opposing it to NATO. But that is what makes Martin's "factual statement" about a continuing NATO role problematic -- and interesting.

  On the last evening of August a well-placed European diplomat at the UN posited to Inner City Press that the reason there has not yet been proposed in the Security Council a resolution to systematically unfreeze Libyan assets is that it would "give an opportunity for China and Russia to counter propose that NATO must stop bombing."

  Therefore the piecemeal notes verbales to the Council's Libya Sanctions Committee continue. German Permanent Representative Peter Wittig told Inner City Press on September 1 that his country's requests -- citing "relevant authorities" and not the Transitional National Council -- had the last "two holds" on them listed that morning. As Inner City Press reported on August 31, Norway on that day make its own unfreezing request.

Churkin & Li Baodong talk Libya, NATO continuing role not shown

  Named as a placer of holds was Russia, which is now reported to have recognized the TNC. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' English language web site on September 1 said "The Russian Federation recognizes the National Transitional Council of Libya as the ruling authority."

  Inner City Press asked Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin about this; he said "'effective' authority would be a better" translation -- as in "the effective authority."

  But focusing on one of the word's at least two meaning, will the TNC be effective? Watch this site.

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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.

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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