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March 1, 2011: Libya

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As Cote d'Ivoire Kept Out of UN Libya Meeting, UN Discloses Deaths at Briefing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 -- Outside the UN's high level meeting on Libya on Tuesday, the Permanent Representative of Cote d'Ivoire Yousoufou Bamba paced around. He asked Inner City Press, how can I get my delegation into the meeting room?

Cote d'Ivoire along with Libya is claimed by France and others are a major UN good news story of the year. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, apparently to take another pressure off, urged that the controversy around Palestine seeking UN membership not overshadow what had been accomplished -- by his government, he meant -- in Libya. He also mentioned Cote d'Ivoire.

But Cote d'Ivoire's Permanent Representative and delegation weren't even allowed into the room.

Similarly, only after Inner City Press ran to the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium and asked did Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky offer UN confirmation that 18 people were killed in Cote d'Ivoire in a cross border incursion from Liberia. (Nesirky called it Libya -- perhaps there's Libya on the brain.)

Inner City Press asked if the killers are, in fact, staying in UN refugee camps in Liberia, as happened for example on Rwanda's border with the DR Congo. Nesirky said of his if-asked statement, This is all I have.

Nesirky said that there will be no noon briefing on Wednesday "for obvious reasons." Inner City Press asked what the reasons were. Nesirky said he anticipated the question, but others feel that all the news tomorrow will be the speeches in the General Assembly.

Ban and Bamba, access to Libya meeting and info not shown

But if Ban's UN only discloses certain deaths when asked, they shouldn't cancel their one a day briefings, as they have been trying for some time. They have a new full time Deputy Spokesman. Is a ten minute briefing to day, to take if not answer questions, too much to ask? Watch this site.

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At UN, Deby On TNC's "Hypocrisy, " 400,000 Chadians "Blocked" in Libya, "No Prisoners in Chad"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- Chad's President Idriss Deby told Inner City Press on Monday that there remain 400,000 Chadian's "blocked" inside Libya.

 He said the vast majority had gone to Libya to work. Some had been recruited to fight but by both sides, he insisted, Gaddafi and the National Transitional Council.

   He said that going forward the international community should help reconcile all Libyans, "including those who worked with Gaddafi." Video here, 1st part of interview.

  Deby accused the leaders of the "New Libya," the National Transitional Council, of hypocrisy as many of them previously worked with Gaddafi. He said there should be greater African Union involvement in the New Libya, and chafed at Inner City Press' statement that South Africa has led on that issue, and on that of African migrants.

  "There are other African countries on the Security Council," he said, naming Gabon and then Nigeria.

  Inner City Press asked Deby for his view of developments in Sudan. Deby spoke of Southern Kordofan and "Nil Bleu," Blue Nile, then said that much remains to be solved between North and South Sudan.

  On this, Inner City Press asked Deby to respond to reports that the publication N'Djamena Bi-Hebdo was told not to compare South Sudan to Southern Chad:

"In the October 14 to 17 edition of the local newspaper N'Djamena Bi-Hebdo, the publishers included an article comparing southern Sudan with southern Chad. The prime minister called the article 'dangerous' and asked the HCC to act on the matter. On October 19, the HCC met with journalists and warned N'Djamena Bi-Hebdo in particular and all media houses in general to "observe ethics rules" by not printing articles that risked inciting hatred, violence, or separatist sentiment."

  Deby said he didn't know about the case. He said "come to Chad" to see the freedom of the press, and also said that "there are no political prisons in Chad." Inner City Press began to ask of one example -- Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh -- but Deby didn't answer on it.

Deby and the author, smiles on Libya, other answers not show

  The interview was over, and Inner City Press left the Plaza Hotel. Deby will speak before the General Assembly on Friday, after meeting with Ban Ki-moon the day before. "Mais vous savez de tout," Deby said. Not as much as we'd like to. Watch this site.

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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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