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March 1, 2011: Libya

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On Libya, UN Trio Set, Rushing to Electoral Role, Desperate After Martin Plan Leaked, Sources Say

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED* NATIONS, September 14 -- On Libya the UN Secretariat's motives and methods continue to draw fire, from within the UN to the shores of Tripoli.

  From both there was surprise then anger that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon let Ian "the Brit" Martin sit in New York writing a plan that included 200 military observers and a continuing role for NATO presented as simply "a factual statement."

Click here for the Martin Report, exclusively obtained by Inner City Press.

  Following the publication of the Martin Report by Inner City Press, the National Transitional Council rejected it, and Ban quickly scrambled to come up with a non-military rationale for immediate UN involvement in an NTC-run Libya. He fastened on elections, and said he would quickly send the UN's experts.

But, well placed UN sources tell Inner City Press, many in the UN Department of Political Affairs including in the Electoral Assistance Unit headed by the Canadian Craig Jenness who now must "go for show" to Libya feel it is way too early for meaningful visits and talks about elections. They are going "just because Ban said so," and "for show."

  Meanwhile anger continues to grow among African DPA staff, who met again this week to vent their frustration. They say that Libya was in their shop until it got high profile; then it was taken away and "given to a Brit," Ian Martin.

  Then, as Inner City Press exclusively reported, the Deputy and Humanitarian job was slated for not an African or Arab but a Finn, Georg Charpentier, whose work in Sudan had been widely criticized.

  Now they say even the number three UN job on Libya is going to another European, the German Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, chief of the Policy Development and Studies branch with the UN Office for the Coordination of Political Affairs. Three top UN jobs on Libya -- four if you count Jenness -- and no Africans or Arabs, after all the planning was done in New York by a Brit.

(Ex) "Mediator" Khatib, Ban & Martin on Aug 26,
Strohmeyer not shown

 While countries on the Security Council dubious of NATO's role now push for greater UN involvement,  the way Ban's UN through Martin did planning for or on a country from afar had led some in the TNC to conclude that the UN and NATO are "similar," and now to be kept out or kept a close eye on.

  Inner City Press put this question to DPA chief Lynn Pascoe, widely seen in DPA as a lame duck, but Pascoe ducked, refusing to explain or justify the Martin Report's line about a continuing role for NATO or to respond to charges that the UN is no longer viewed as impartial.

  "They are bumbling forward," a well placed DPA source told Inner City Press on September 13, "and it is not going to end well." Watch this site.

* - with reporting from the UN.

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

* * *

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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