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Murky UN NGO World Sports Alliance To Be At Davos With Guterres, Who's Yet To Audit CEFC After Indictment

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, January 12 – While UN Human Rights chides Burundi for threatening its experts and the UN Security Council stays quiet, the Pierre Nkurunziza government on November 20 announced a nickel and other minerals deal with a Canadian firm, CVMR Energy Minerals Inc.: "for exploring mineral concessions in Waga-Nyabikere and Mukanda areas. The latter have proven and estimated reserves of Nickel, Cobalt, Iron, copper, PGMs, Vanadium and titanium." CVMR's "in" for this project with Nkurunziza, according to the company's own 2014 press release, is the World Sports Alliance, which bills itself as an inter-governmental organization affiliated with the UN, as for example Ng Lap Seng's South South News was (and is), or the NGOs exposed in the November 20 indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York involving Patrick Ho, Cheikh Gadio, Idriss Deby, Yoweri Museveni and former UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, click here for that, and here for WSA. Now the World Sports Alliance's treasurer Asa Saint Clair is announced to speak at the the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, not on sports but rather on "cryptocurrency and blockchain as a financial equality tool." Guterres, it's said, will be at Davos too, even as he has yet to even start an audit of China Energy Fund Committee and its beneficiary CEFC China Energy. Watch this site. The day after the situation in Burundi was relegated by the UN Security Council to the informal reading-out to Inner City Press of what would have been said if a UNTV stakeout had been given, UN Human Rights spokesman in Geneva Rupert Colville belatedly criticized the country's ambassador Albert Shingiro for comments against UN expert(s), below. Colville did not note Shingiro's reference to "presumed genocide" in Rwanda in the same meeting, just as Secretary General Antonio Guterres, when Inner City Press asked his spokesman, had no comment. Here however is what Prince Zeid's spokesman Colville, who never answered Press questions on the Internet cut-off by Cameroon, said on November 21 about Burundi: "Most recently, in New York, during the interactive dialogue on the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Burundi at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Ambassador of Burundi stated that the Government categorically rejected the report of the Commission of Inquiry, declaring it to be biased and politically motivated. He also threatened to “bring to justice” to the authors of the Commission’s report for defamation and attempted destabilization of Burundian institutions. The High Commissioner has informed the Government that he finds it unacceptable that the members of a Commission mandated by the Human Rights Council are threatened with prosecution for performing the task set for them by the Council. This threat by the Government of Burundi constitutes a clear violation of article VI of the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, which applies to experts performing missions for the UN. He has urged the Government of Burundi to review its policy of refusing to cooperate with the independent International Commission of Inquiry and to cease threatening its members." We agree - and urge the UN Security Council and Secretary General to review any role for Uganda's President Museveni in the Burundi "process," given the statement by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on November 20 that bribes were paid to him, through his relative (and UN PGA) Sam Kutesa, click here for that and watch this site. As the UN increasingly turns away from the crisis in Burundi, Inner City Press on October 26 put Burundi questions to the UN Commission of Inquiry, then to the Ambassador to the UN of France, the Security Council's "penholder" on Burundi. Video here. On November 20, after reclusive envoy Michel Kafando briefed the Security Council in the open chamber then in closed consultation, there was still no read-out given at the stakeout. Inner City Press returned at 3 pm, and then at 4 after the India's Bhandari won the International Court of Justice election after the UK's Greenwood withdrew, still seeking a readout. And here, Inner City Press was told, is what the President of the Security Council for November had prepared to say: that the members of the Security Council support the EAC-led dialogue, William Mkapa and Michael Kafando (who left without doing a stakeout); that the remain concerned at the lack of progress and underline the importance of adhering to the letter and spirit of the Arusha agreement. But, Inner City Press would have asked the president if he had delivered these remarks, the Nkurunziza government is revising the Constitution inconsistent with Arusha. But, it seems, the Security Council and the penholder, France, don't care. On November 9 the ICC announced its judges' "decision authorizing the ICC Prosecutor to open an investigation regarding crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed in Burundi or by nationals of Burundi outside Burundi since 26 April 2015 until 26 October 2017." Later on November 9, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you, on Burundi, as I'm sure you've seen, the ICC (International Criminal Court) judges have voted to open an inquiry into events between 2015 and '17 until recently.  Given that the Secretary-General has an envoy and is involved in it, do you have any comment on it?  And I'd sort of expect you to actually read it out.  I've seen you bef… in the past, although the ICC is a separate entity, you know, say…Spokesman:  The… as you say, the ICC is a separate entity.  What is important for us is that we welcome any steps that will bring some accountability for the crimes done against civilians. Inner City Press: Has the Secretary-General or Mr. [Michel] Kafando seen the statements by, I don't know which Nyamitwe it was, but calling this the last [d]ance for the West and really denouncing the decision to open an investigation. Spokesman:  It's… the decision was the ICC's and I say… and, as I said, we welcome any steps that would help us bring closer to accountability.  " Really? There is certainly a lot of evidence. Here is Inner City Press' exclusive on French Mission lawyer Beatrice Le Frapeur du Hellen leaking a Security Council draft resolution on Burundi, including mocking accountability provisions, to Luis Moreno Ocampo. We'll have more on this. On November 8 the UN Peacebuilding configuration on Burundi met, and heard Ambassador Albert Shingiro brag that everything is going well, no mention of the move to keep Pierre Nkurunziza in power through 2034. These constitutional changes, when subsequently raised ever so gently by other Ambassadors, were questions only with regard to Arusha, not Nkurunziza's attempt to stay on and on in power. What was that again, about the UN looking at underlying causes of conflicts? Secretary General Antonio Guterres said this would be his focus, so far UNseen in places like Yemen and Cameroon. He said he was for transparency, but keeps the Press restricted and even threatens again. We'll have more on this. On November 6, Inner City Press asked Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the fifth French chief of UN Peacekeeping in a row, why none of the 228 police the Council mandated for Burundi more than a year ago has in fact been deployed. Lacroix, who should speak more at the stakeout, to his credit answered, saying that this was due to the lack of responsiveness of Burundi but that efforts to deploy continued. How? Earlier on November 6, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about Burundi.  The President, Pierre Nkurunziza, had solicited a proposal for a constitutional amendment.  And, under this amendment, basically [he] would be able to now remain in power until 2034.  It would involve two seven-year terms, but it's not retroactive, so it would basically start the clock again for 14 years.  I know Mr. [Michel] Kafando… I've seen at least a photograph of him there with Mr. Foreign Minister [Alain Aimé] Nyamitwe.  Does he have any view given that a lot of the bloodshed has been about this contested current term, what about until 2034?  What'shis view on that? Deputy Spokesman:  "Well, Mr. Kafando was, in fact, in Burundi, I believe, last week.  We'll try to get an update about his activities there." Six hours later, nothing. The CoI's press conference at first had only one media: Inner City Press, whose accreditation is again being threatened by the UN of Antonio Guterres and Alison Smale, as the former mishandles Cameroon as well, and the latter runs interference. The UN called and emailed upstairs to those whom they haven't, as they did with Inner City Press, evicted from their offices. Finally a lone media, French, joined Inner City Press - and was called on first by the UN. When it was Inner City Press' turn - there was no one else to call on - Inner City Press asked about the failure to deploy the 228 police the UNSC mandated, about the "disappeared" journalist Jean Bigirimana, and about Pierre Nkurunziza staying in power back 2030, as the UN is also blessing in Togo. Commisioner Françoise Hampson said she was surprised by the failure to follow through; she said Bigirimana's disappearance is before the relevant UN Working Group. Reine Alapini-Gansou said the African Union human rights observers should be deployed. Fatsah Ouguergouz acknowledged that Guterres' part time envoy Michel Kafando hasn't even met with the Commission. Inner City Press ran to the Security Council and asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre about Burundi- he didn't answer, despite answering on four or five other issues. Video here. We'll have more on this.

Former UN General Assembly President John Ashe, of whom Inner City Press asked the head of UNDP on November 20, died while under indictment for corruption. Video here. Later on November 20, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York issued an indictment that Ashe's successor Sam Kutesa took bribes for oil concessions in Uganda. The scam began in long meetings in the UN PGA's office on the UN's second floor - where the UN now requires investigative Inner City Press to have a minder, unlike other correspondents - between Kutesa and China-based NGO China Energy Fund Committee led by Patrick C.P. Ho. The scheme involved Kutesa naming Ho a "Special Adviser to the PGA," and hosting an NGO meeting in the UN in April 2015. Kutesa traveled as PGA to China as part of the scheme. Ho's approach was through Kutesa's chief of staff Arthur Kafeero, whom as Inner City Press exclusively reported in August 2015 Kutesa tried to plant in the UN's Department of Political Affairs. See Inner City Press scoop here; note that the UN evicted Inner City Press for its corruption coverage in early 2016 and has kept it restricted since, even as UN corruption continues, even grows. From the US Attorney: "HO caused a $500,000 bribe to be paid, via wires transmitted through New York, New York, to an account designated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, who had recently completed his term as the President of the UN General Assembly (the “Ugandan Foreign Minister”).  HO also provided the Ugandan Foreign Minister, as well as the President of Uganda, with gifts and promises of future benefits, including offering to share the profits of a potential joint venture in Uganda involving the Energy Company and businesses owned by the families of the Ugandan Foreign Minister and the President of Uganda.  These payments and promises were made in exchange for assistance from the Ugandan Foreign Minister in obtaining business advantages for the Energy Company, including the potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank." We'll have more on this. Sam Kutesa had offshore accounts in the Seychelles, to receive funds from Enhas, a company of which despite the UN denying it to Inner City Press is listed as doing business with the UN's mission in the Congo, MONUSCO. The accounts, but not the UN / MONUSCO connection, have been revealed the leaked Appleby / Paradise Papers. Inner City Press on November 7 asked the spokesman for the President of the General Assembly about it, yielding only an answer that the current PGA is striving to make public his disclosure form but will not speak to former (or clearly, past) PGAs. Video here. But how then can the UN be said to have cleaned up after PGA John Ashe, RIP, was indicted for bribery? We'll have more on this. Here's how the PGA's spokesman summarized the exchange: "Asked about business dealings that were conducted by a previous President of the General Assembly, the Spokesperson said he only spoke for the current President. Regarding the current President, he had been holding himself and his office to the highest possible levels of ethics and transparency. The President had submitted his financial disclosure form ahead of the required deadline to the United Nations Ethics Office, which had sent it to an external reviewer. The Spokesperson said that, as far as he knew, the form was still with the reviewer. Asked why it was taking so long to review the form, the Spokesperson said that was a question for the reviewer. For his part, the President had done everything that had been asked of him." It is telling that the new pro-UN book "A Worldly Affair," though copyrighted 2017, does not even mention the 2016 UN bribery scandal of former President of the General Assembly John Ashe, much less now convicted briber Ng Lap Seng. It does however praise Antonio Guterres, who came in as Secretary General in 2017, and acknowledge Maher Nasser, who moderated an event promoting the book, and shouting down the Press which asked about Ashe and Ng. Haiti is mentioned in connection with Brooklyn - diplomats living there, and "Albanians in The Bronx." It is an essentially elitist book, with a sidebar o the UN's mansion at 3 Sutton Place, bought in 1972 for Kurt Waldheim and renovated at a cost of $4.5 million for Ban Ki-moon. It derides the cheap construction of Uganda House, and laughs at the penthouse in Libya House shown by Ali "Treiki." For weeks the UN promoted its book event featuring author Pamela Hanlon.

But when Inner City Press went and asked about the UN having brought cholera to Haiti and paid nothing, and whether Haitians in Brooklyn had been able to get any accountability from the UN, there was no answer.

A heckler in the audience said loudly that the question was not appropriate. Video here. So Inner City Press followed up on Ms. Hanlon's statement that the land under the UN is still US territory. If so, what of John Ashe selling diplomatic posts from inside his UN General Assembly President's office, and Inner City Press for covering the scandal being thrown out onto First Avenue by eight UN Security officers? Audio here. (NYPD told Inner City Press it has no jurisdiction to take criminal complaints, even for assault, for anything east of the First Avenue curb.)

That question wasn't answered, either, including by Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office for International Affairs.

Instead Maher Nasser, in charge of the UN Department of Public Information for months this year said “it's always about you” and ended the event, encouraging those present to buy books for signing. Then on October 20, Nasser brought about a Kafka-esque threeat to Inner City Press' accreditation. And so it goes at the UN.


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