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UN Court Rules Egyptian Official "Not Concerned With Truth," May Pay $20,000

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 2 -- In a little noticed proceeding in the basement of the UN's near empty headquarters building, the Under Secretary General in charge of General Assembly and Conference Management, Egypt's Shaaban Shaaban, is being lambasted by a UN Dispute Tribunal Judge.

  At a hearing last week at which Inner City Press was the only media present, UN Judge Adams demanded to know which UN lawyer was communicating with Shaaban Shaaban. A new hearing was set for this coming week.

  Later in the hallway, Inner City Press asked Shaaban Shaaban about the case. He smiled and said, as his chief of staff earlier had, that it is still in the UN court, still "sub judice."

But the findings and statements in Judge Adams written decision -- which Inner City Press is putting online here -- are scathing, including for example that

I do not go so far, I should say in fairness, as to conclude that he [USG Shaaban] was actively dishonest...I am left with the powerful impression that he was not concerned to tell the the truth…”, “…the proper performance by Mr. Shaaban of his duties was adversely affected by affronted self-importance”, or “Incompetence is an alternative explanation, but I saw no evidence of this”

  The decision, which should have been but was not as of late January put on the UN's website, contemplates a referral to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for discipline.

UN's Ban and Shaaban Shaaban, accountability not yet shown

  It orders a review on whether Shaaban should be held personally accountable for the financial damages: whether Shaaban's paycheck gets docked for the $20,000 being awarded. Shaaban Shaaban is the highest ranking Egyptian in the UN system. A cynic asked Inner City Press, how will they make this one go away? Watch this site.

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As Menkerios Sent to Juba from UN's Shallow Bench, Sudan's Acceptance Assessed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 31 -- Speaking at a meeting on Sudan in Addis Ababa on January 31, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that "Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari has started his intensive work. And I have the intention to appoint Haile Menkerios as head of UNMIS as of the end of February with a view to facilitate the political process."

As Inner City Press reported in June 2009 with sourcing inside Sudan's Mission to the UN, Khartoum was less than enthused by Ban's proposal of Menkerios (and Said Djinnit) to replace Rodolphe Adada in Darfur. Finally, after extensive delay, Ibrahim Gambari was given the job, with Khartoum's support.

 The UN's "shallow bench" is reflected by its continuing recycling of a small number of UN insiders to job after job -- the list would have to include Staffan de Mistura, recently given the UN's top Afghanistan post despite being called a faceless bureaucrat by the New York Times but having given a job while he was in Iraq to Ban's son in law Siddarth Chatterjee.

 Why would the Al Bashir government accept Menkerios at this time? For one thing, he resists speaking to the press. For example, when confronted with a pattern of his underling Mr. Buo hiring his relatives in the UN's Central African Republic mission, Menkerios told Inner City Press this was a management issue only.

UN's Ban and Menkerios, action on BONUCA irrregularities not shown

 "It will be responded to in a management way," Menkerios said. But in the six months since, nothing has been done. How does this relate to Ban's confidence that Sudan would accept Menkerios? Watch this site.

 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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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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