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At the UN, Children and Armed Conflict, From Karim in Congo to UNICEF in Zimbabwe

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 -- Forty two of the 170 soldiers demobilized from Peter Karim's militia in Eastern Congo this week are children, according to UNICEF. What now will happen to Peter Karim, who recruited these child soldiers? In Bunia, UN Political Affairs officer Jacob Mogeni said that the "issue of Peter Karim's demands for amnesty as a condition of surrender is critical, but it's the responsibility of the DRC Government to decide."

            In mid-2006, Peter Karim's militia killed two UN peacekeepers and held seven others hostage for a month. On the issues of amnesty and the child soldier Peter Karim recruited, Inner City Press on Wednesday sought comment from the heads of the UN human rights office, Louise Arbour, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy. Thursday a spokeswoman for Ms. Coomaraswamy, Laurence Gerard, wrote that "this is a concern for the Office and the SRSG will address it during her visit in DRC." This seems true of Ms. Arbour as well. The UN's head of peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, told Inner City Press that he is concerned about disarmed child soldiers becoming integrated into the Congolese Army, and that he has raised this issue to Ms. Arbour.

            To drill deeper, on Thursday Inner City Press interviewed UNICEF's Senior Advisor for Children in Armed Conflict, Manuel Fontaine. Mr. Fontaine said that "knowing the situation in the Eastern DRC," it's quite likely that some of the 42 were recruited at the age of 15 or below. This means that "the leader who recruited them would eventually be liable for war crimes," Mr. Fontaine added.

Disarmed in Ituri

            Both Mr. Fontaine and Ms. Gerard made reference to the recent conference in Paris where, according to Mr. Fontaine, a commitment was made that "there should be no amnesty for war crimes on children," especially not for the crime of recruitment. Ms. Gerard acknowledged that Inner City Press was barred from her Office's briefing about the Paris conference, but she provided a copy of the Office's last report to the UN Security Council, which in Annexes lists "situations of concern," divided into countries which are within the current jurisdiction of the Security Council, and those that are not, Sri Lanka and Nepal. (The latter was recently added to the Council's agenda.)

            The question arises, what about children and weapons in countries where fighting is characterized as merely criminal, like Brazil and Haiti and, sometimes, Uganda? UNICEF's Mr. Fontaine acknowledged that there is no definition of armed conflict, but distinguished fights with parties with "military structures" and "political agendas," with the "ability to enter dialogue." Thus, UNICEF negotiates with the LTTE in Sri Lanka, providing them with list of children suspected of having been recruited, and seeking proof that they have been released. Ms. Gerard later added that the break-away Karuna faction in Sri Lanka has reached out to her Office, wanting to be removed from the list of child soldier recruiters. This, Ms. Gerard said, is a benefit of name-and-shame.   

            But what then of Nepal? Earlier this week, UN envoy Ian Martin told Inner City Press that many of the rebels "look quite young." But no one has released a number, much less a list, of under-aged fighters. It appears that with the peace process still fragile, the issue of child soldier recruitment is being put off. While this may be wise and pragmatic, how does it relate the commitments recently made at the Paris Conference?

  One possible solution for countries with civil strife involving children which is not acknowledged as "armed conflict" is the move afoot, from the Geneva-based secretariat for the recent study on children and violence, to try to create a new office with broader jurisdiction. We aim to have more on this.

            Repeatedly in the course of these interviews, the balancing of justice and peace came up. Mr. Fontaine said that "peace cannot be achieved without justice." Ms. Gerard emphasized a sequence, peace and then justice. On Wednesday, in response to Inner City Press' question about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, Louise Armour came down squarely on the side of justice, and justice first. (Click here for that story.)

            A related debate is how humanitarian and development aid can be delivered in dictatorial countries without simply building the power of a regime that may be the source of many of the problems.  Regarding Unicef, Inner City Press has recently analyzed this issues with respect to Turkmenistan (click here) and Zimbabwe (click here.) In that article, Inner City Press promised to run UNICEF's response to questions posed the day for their joint press release, with the German government. Now a response has been received, attributable to the Head of UNICEF in Zimbabwe, Dr Festo Kavishe, see below. On Thursday, UNICEF's Media Chief Jehane Sedky-Lavandero graciously had this to say on the issue:

"Working in countries led by dictators and others is obviously not an ideal situation. But do you abandon these kids? Or do you work in a situation that is less than ideal?  Would we quote a government official that's corrupt? Frankly, I wouldn't. Do we have to work with them? Absolutely. Would we give them money? No. At the end of the day, we have to stay for the kids."

   A more formal response, from the Head of UNICEF in Zimbabwe, Dr Festo Kavishe, was also received:

"Your article misses the critical fact that existing donor aid conditionalities in Zimbabwe mean that almost all aid has to be channeled through the United Nations to communities, bypassing government. UNICEF, being an honest broker, was entrusted by both the Government of Zimbabwe and donors with the responsibility of managing and disbursing donor funds to orphans and vulnerable children. We continue to discharge this trust with alacrity on behalf of children in Zimbabwe.

We are pleased that the Government has shown good leadership and judgment in framing the strategic elements of the orphans support program. Likewise, donors and our NGO partners continue to demonstrate their resolve to better the lives of orphans and other vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. We believe the present arrangement where funds are channeled through third parties is a pragmatic approach to ensuring that children continue to receive much-needed aid.

Your article assumes that by denying children education, vaccines, protection and life-saving support, and in effect by abandoning the country's 1.6million orphans, Zimbabweans - already reeling from a difficult socio-economic crisis - will somehow be better for it. In UNICEF, we believe that rifts between countries should not negatively impact children. We therefore make every effort to mitigate their suffering by making optimum use of our resources and those made available to us by donors and other partners. UNICEF would never leave a country where children are in need. We work to reach all children everywhere. We will continue to do so for the children of Zimbabwe."

            There is a disagreement as to whether the underlying article urges abandonment of orphans or rather that UNICEF not issue joint press release with the government, quoting a Mugabe minister (Lancaster Museka) who is the one responsible for justifying the beating of peaceful protesters in the streets of Harare, and for the closing down of non-governmental and human rights organizations, the type of NGOs that UNICEF says it wants to work with. But UNICEF's response is appreciated, as is the interview Thursday with Manuel Fontaine, on which we will continue to report.

            A response was also belated received from the German mission to the United Nations, which is set forth in full below:

Subj: Zimbabwe / UNICEF / German contribution 

Date: 3/1/2007 5:06:55 PM Eastern Standard Time

From: [at]

To: Inner City Press

Dear Mr. Lee, concerning your question what steps were taken to ensure that the German contribution to the UNICEF fund does not support Zimbabwe's government:

Germany is very concerned by the grave political situation in Zimbabwe. The German government condemns the human rights violations, the politically motivated violence and the disregard for the rule of law by the Zimbabwean government. In reaction to the human rights violations, Germany and its partners in the European Union in 2002 imposed sanctions against those bearing the main responsibility in the government of Zimbabwe. These targeted sanctions include a refusal to grant visas, the freezing of foreign accounts etc. These sanctions are re-evaluated every year; they were recently (in February of 2007) prolonged for another year.

Also, official German bilateral development cooperation with Zimbabwe was reduced in 2000 and then suspended in June 2002.The German government calls upon Zimbabwe's government to return to principles of democratic governance and respect for human rights. For us, those form the prerequisites for considering improving relations to Zimbabwe's government and take up development cooperation again.

At the same time, Germany acknowledges that due to a misguided government policy, Zimbabwe is in the midst of a serious economic crisis. Zimbabwe is ranked 151st on the Human Development Index (out of 171). By providing humanitarian aid (food, medicine etc.) to Zimbabwe’s population, the German government is seeking to alleviate the effects of an economic crisis caused by inappropriate policy. In economic crisis situations like that, the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, especially the children, suffer most. Zimbabwe’s children suffer from a severe orphan crisis. Providing money to the UNICEF fund for Zimbabwe’s orphaned and vulnerable children is an attempt to alleviate their grave situation.

German funds go into a UNICEF fund and from there directly to 150 community-based NGOs in Zimbabwe. The money does not pass through the hands of the government. Against the background of German policy towards Zimbabwe, ensuring this before funds were approved, was of utmost importance to the German government. Germany’s contribution will add to funds provided by other donors, such as the British and Swedish government who, as members of the European Union, took part in the EU's decision to impose sanctions on the country.

Concerning your question whether Germany would support the Security Council to deal with Zimbabwe under Chapter 7?

I could speculate together with you about that, but cannot answer this hypothetical question. We are not a member of the Security Council and thus do not take part in drawing up the Security Council’s agenda. As I described above, the European Union has imposed several measures of the nature that the Security Council has utilized in the past under Chapter 7.

I hope this is of help to you - please get back to me if you require additional information.

Best regards, Katharina Ahrendts, Press & Public Affairs

Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations

            Inner City Press didn't limit its question about Germany's position on whether Zimbabwe should be put on the Security Council's agenda to Chapter 7, to the exclusion of Chapter 6.  Other than that, the statement appears to speak for itself. These issues will continue to develop.

Because a number of Inner City Press' UN sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor, and while it should be unnecessary, Inner City Press is compelled to conclude this installment in a necessarily-ongoing series by saluting the goals and many accomplishment of UNICEF and the vast majority of its staff. Keep those cards, letters and emails coming, and phone calls too, we apologize for any phone tag, but please continue trying, and keep the information flowing.

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

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In Turkmenistan, UNICEF's Praise of Leader and Deference on Staff Leads to Salt Ionization

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, February 27 -- In Turkmenistan under the just-ended rule of President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov, no political opposition was allowed. In September 2006, journalist Ogulsapar Muradova was tortured to death while in state detention. Children were allowed to read only one book in school, Niyazov's own tome, Ruhnama.

            Nevertheless, in December 2006 just before Niyazov unexpectedly died, the country representative of the UN Children's Fund, Mahboob Sharif, was quoted that "Turkmenistan, being the active and consistent partner of UNICEF, has made significant progress in such important sphere as ensuring the rights and defending the interests of children."

            In light of the government of Turkmenistan's denial to children of the most basic educational and other rights and interests, Inner City Press inquired last month with UNICEF regarding its programs and policies in the country, including the role of the government in selecting UNICEF's staff. 

Childhood in Turkmenistan per UNICEF (Ruhnama not shown)

            Four weeks after the request, UNICEF stated that it has been active in the country since 1992, and now has 18 staff members, three of whom are "internationally recruited professionals."

            Since unlike UNICEF's response about Zimbabwe, this did not describe the governmental role, Inner City Press followed-up. UNICEF responded that no, it accepts no "seconded" staff (staff dictated or suggested by the government).

            But Inner City Press' sources, who have worked at UNICEF in Turkmenistan, disagree. They describe a situation in which the resumes of prospective UNICEF hires are reviewed by the government, including the Ministry of Health -- not for the quantity or quality of health-related experience, but to check for any involvement in politics, human rights or journalism. Thereafter, the government is involved in selecting local hires as well.

            Last month new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for audits of UN funds and programs in countries where independence of hiring, and payment in hard currency, might be issues. UNICEF was named by the Secretariat as one of the relevant UN funds. It now appears that North Korea is not the only (human rights-challenged) country in which there is a lack of independence in hiring.

            On the other side of the ledger, UNICEF praises Turkmenistan, even under Niyazov, for being among other things "the first country in Central Asia to achieve universal salt iodization." (According to UNICEF, a law for universal salt iodization is now pending in Islam Karimov's Uzbekistan.)

Shelves full of iodized salt, per Unicef

            While still at an early stage, this inquiry into UNICEF's close relations with regimes widely described as despotic raises questions about where UNICEF would draw the line. In Zimbabwe, in the laudable name of helping orphans, UNICEF has partnered with the teetering Robert Mugabe government. Click here for that Inner City Press story.

            Earlier this month, UNICEF issued a joint press release with the government, quoting Lancaster Museka, a Mugabe minister who is the one responsible for justifying the beating of peaceful protesters in the streets of Harare, and for the closing down of non-governmental and human rights organizations. Is this particular partnership, this joint press release, necessary? While UNICEF may think it is unreasonable to expect a response from a person listed on an agency press release in less than 10 or even three days, such are deadlines. Whatever explanation of due diligence done before the joint press release is received will be reported on this site.

            In the case of Turkmenistan, was public praise of the dictator Turkmenbashi necessary in order to have any access to the country? Incoming president Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, elected with a whopping 89% of the vote, took his oath of office with his hand on Ruhnama.

            Sources who have worked at UNICEF in Turkmenistan indicate that country officer Mahboob Sharif has been there long, "probably too long," one said. On the other hand, inquiries have begun into previous UNICEF country officers in Azerbaijan -- a question is pending, regarding Akif Saatcioglu -- and the Maldives. Ultimately, however, leadership and answers must come from the top.

            On February 26, UNICEF's Ann Veneman gave a speech at the opening session of a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women. While the head of the UN Population Fund, and the Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs both appeared in person, Ms. Veneman's speech was delivered virtually, by video. The UN's website seems to indicate that Ms. Veneman has not taken questions in the UN's Briefing Room 226 since October 2006. It is time...

In Zimbabwe, UNICEF Partners with Enemies of Human Rights in Name of Orphans

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, February 26 -- When does foreign aid serve to prop up a dictatorship? This question was raised earlier this year at the Executive Board meetings of the UN Development Program, concerning UN aid in North Korea. But the question appears to similarly arise in the wake of an announcements Friday and earlier this month concerning expanded programs in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe by the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF.

            Mugabe's long descent from participant in the Zimbabwean independence struggle to dictator is widely known, certainly to the senior leadership of UNICEF. The UN commissioned a report by Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, head of the UN's Nairobi hub, on Mugabe's mass eviction in 2005 of 700,000 perceived political opponents, called Operation Muarambatsvina / Take Out the Trash (or, "Drive Out the Filth"). Virtually none of the families evicted were re-housed, according to follow-up reports.

            Earlier this month, Mugabe's government announced a ban on all protests for at least the next three months. Also earlier this month, on February 15, UNICEF and Mugabe's Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare issued a joint press release about a "historic national partnership" in which 21 Mugabe-approved "non-governmental organizations signed agreements with the Zimbabwean Government and UNICEF to advance a National Action Plan."   The UNICEF press release included a quote from the Mugabe regime agency's permanent secretary, identified as " Mr. L Museka" --

“Let me say congratulations to the 21 organizations whose proposals were approved,” said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Mr. L Museka. “OVC programming is a collective responsibility, which is achieved when we work with all stakeholders, as displayed today.”

            When the Mugabe government controlled newspaper The Herald wrote its story on the partnership with UNICEF, it used the Minister's full first name, Lancaster Museka, and quoted him that "My ministry, with the support from the monitoring and evaluation sub-committee of the Working Party of Officials, is finalizing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system."

            As UNICEF knew or should have known, Mr. Lancaster Museka has previous been involved in shutting down any foreign or independent, not-Mugabe-supporting NGOs, and in justifying the beating of union activists who oppose Robert Mugabe. The Financial Gazette of November 2, 2006, reported that the Mugabe

government has justified its brutal suppression of the planned September 13 protest marches by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) by declaring that the motive of the trade unionists -- who were allegedly tortured while in police custody -- was to unseat President Robert Mugabe through violent demonstrations. In a three-page response to the International Labour Organization, the Secretary for Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Lancaster Museka, said the ZCTU leaders had no right to engage in an illegal demonstration. The ILO had sought the government's response to the torture allegations. Museka, however, did not say anything about the torture of the unionists, who included ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo, secretary-general Wellington Chibhebhe, first vice president Lucia Matibenga and others. They were all seriously injured when they were arrested as they prepared to lead a march into the streets of Harare to protest against the harsh economic environment and other issues affecting workers...

"A few politically inclined individuals in the ZCTU leadership called for the said demonstration in collaboration with the oppositional political party (MDC) and other quasi-political organizations such as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the National Constitutional Assembly. This demonstration was indeed meant to provide a litmus test to the proclaimed MDC policy of unleashing a "wave of demonstrations" in their bid to unconstitutionally remove the democratically elected Government of Zimbabwe. It is in this respect that the demonstration ceased to be a workers' activity and thus was subject to the laws of the land governing political demonstrations," said Museka.

   UNICEF's partner Lancaster Museka is not only the author of this crackdown justification submitted to the UN-affiliated ILO, he is also responsible for shutting down NGOs, leaving only Mugabe supporters for UNICEF to now work with. As reported by the Daily Telegraph of July 19, 2004, under the headline "Zimbabwe charities face being outlawed" --

Zimbabwe's human rights groups and aid organizations are in increasing danger after the government threatened yesterday to use banning orders and arrests to force them to register with the state. The threat appeared in the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper, a week before laws controlling non-governmental organizations are due to be presented by President Robert Mugabe to the last session of parliament before a general election next March. All NGOs have had to be registered since 2002. But the Sunday Mail quoted Lancaster Museka, the permanent secretary in the welfare ministry, as saying: "Any organization found operating without registration will be closed and employees arrested." His statement followed threats from Paul Mangwana, the welfare minister, that there was "too much room for NGOs to engage in politics". The proposed law will make it illegal for hundreds of human rights groups and community organizations to continue to operate.

            So not only is this UNICEF "partnership with NGOs" limited to those NGOs which pledge support to Robert Mugabe and / or ZANU-PF -- also, UNICEF's main partner, quoted in UNICEF's own press release, is a Mugabe operative involved in shutting down monitors of human rights, including presumably of children's rights. Rights first?

Ann Veneman overseas (in Afghanistan, not Zimbabwe)

   The comments about NGOs of UNICEF's partner Lancester Museka were not idle threats. As reported by the expatriate Zimbabwe Independent of December 3, 2004 --

"A Swiss charity, Medair, on Tuesday said it was pulling out of the country after government refused to renew work permits for its expatriate staff. Medair communications officer Severine Flores told the Zimbabwe Independent: "We were a WFP implementing partner. We are disappointed at having to leave Zimbabwe at such a critical time. Medair provided up to 90,000 children in 150 schools with at least one daily meal. Very often it was the only meal they would get that day." Medair was banned from distributing World Food Program (WFP)-supplied food aid in August. The non-governmental organization (NGO) had applied for the renewal of work permits for its expatriate staff, but the applications were refused. Flores said they had received no explanation from the authorities. "We were just not desired to be there, regrettably," she said. It was not possible to obtain comment from the Ministry of Social Welfare, as the permanent secretary, Lancaster Museka, had not responded to written questions he requested from the Independent.

            Mr. Museka is not the only one not answering questions. On February 23, UNICEF and the German government announced a new $27 million program to assist orphans in Zimbabwe. Inner City Press that day approached Germany's permanent representative to the UN and asked about the press release and grant. "I haven't read the press release yet," he answered. A staffer from the German mission later called Inner City Press, but has not provided any substantive answer yet, 60 hours after the German Ambassador was asked.

  Inner City Press had in January asked UNICEF to describe its programs in Zimbabwe and five other dictatorial countries. Last week, a month after the questions were posed, a one-page description of Zimbabwe programs was provided, including, as is pertinent here:

UNICEF employs 67 staff in Zimbabwe, comprised of 54 national and 13 international staff... UNICEF is the lead agency in Zimbabwe's response to an orphan crisis, reaching 100,000 OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) in 2006. In order to scale up the response for OVC and implement the National Action Plan (NAP) for OVC, a Programme of Support (PoS) for the NAP for OVC was developed. This PoS establishes a mechanism for donors to finance OVC interventions, with UNICEF serving as the manager for pooled donor funds and CSOs as the implementing partners. The PoS is based on a pooled fund mechanism, where donors contribute to a common basket where funds are directed straight to NGOs, in support of the NAP for OVC.

   Questions emailed on Friday to UNICEF's contact on the press release were returned on Monday, with a request to wait another 10 days for comments. Here were the questions:

Subj: Q from reporter at UNHQ re Zimbabwe, German gov't contribution, Mugabe gov't, thanks 

Date: 2/23/2007


To: jelder [at]

Mr. Elder --

  ...Interested in your press release about the German government's contribution to assist UNICEF's work with orphans in Zimbabwe. That the work, and the contribution, are laudable goes without saying. But I wonder if you could comment on what steps UNICEF takes to ensure that its work does not prop up or help maintain the Robert Mugabe government, particularly at this time. What is behind the timing of this particular contribution? Also, any detail on the pooled fund mechanism, and the NGOs funded by it (and these NGOs, or some of these NGOs, relations with and/or opinion on the Mugabe government).  How could you characterize relations between the Mugabe government and UNICEF in Zimbabwe? Is UNICEF concerned about the human rights and now ban-on-protest issues, and if so, does that concern lead to any actions? Any response you can send will be appreciated, as you're the contact listed on the press release.

            This was responded to 60 hours later, on January 26, with a request to wait an additional 10 days for responses. (The reason given is also laudable -- Mozambique -- but still, an agency's contact on a press release ought to be able to bring about a response to a release-triggered question in less than 60 hours, it would seem.) Inner City Press will run the responses when received. Certainly there are always balancing acts and trade-offs to be made. But they should not be swept under the carpet, they should be discussed, debated, explained. Developing.

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

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Senegal's President Claims Peace in Casamance and Habre Trial to Come, A Tale of Two Lamines

A Tale of Two Americans Vying to Head the World Food Program, Banbury and Sheeran Shiner

At the UN, the Unrepentant Blogger Pronk, a Wink on 14 North Korean Days and Silence on Somalia

At the UN, Literacy Losses in Chad, Blogless Pronk and Toothless Iran Resolution, How Our World Turns

Sudan Pans Pronk While Praising Natsios, UN Silent on Haiti and WFP, Ivorian Fingers Crossed

UN Shy on North Korea, Effusive on Bird Flu and Torture, UNDP Cyprus Runaround, Pronk is Summoned Home

At the UN, Silence from UNDP on Cyprus, from France on the Chad-Bomb, Jan Pronk's Sudan Blog

Russia's Vostok Battalion in Lebanon Despite Resolution 1701, Assembly Stays Deadlocked and UNDP Stays Missing

As Turkmenistan Cracks Down on Journalists, Hospitals and Romance, UNDP Works With the Niyazov Regime

At the UN, Darfur Discussed, Annan Eulogized and Oil For Food Confined to a Documentary Footnote

With All Eyes on Council Seat, UN is Distracted from Myanmar Absolution and Congo Conflagration

As Venezuela and Guatemala Square Off, Dominicans In Default and F.C. Barcelona De-Listed

At the UN, North Korea Sanctions Agreed On, Naval Searches and Murky Weapons Sales

At the UN, Georgia Speaks of Ethnic Cleansing While Russia Complains of Visas Denied by the U.S.

At the UN, Deference to the Congo's Kabila and Tank-Sales to North Korea, of Slippery Eels and Sun Microsystems

At the UN, Annan's Africa Advisor Welcome Chinese Investment, Dodges Zimbabwe, Nods to Darfur

At the UN, Richard Goldstone Presses Enforcement on Joseph Kony, Reflecting Back on Karadzic

UN Defers on Anti-Terror Safeguards to Member States, Even in Pakistan and Somalia

Afghanistan as Black Hole for Info and Torture Tales, Photos and Talk Mogadishu, the UN Afterhours

Amid UN's Korean Uproar, Russia Silent on Murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Chechnya Exposer

UN Envoy Makes Excuses for Gambian Strongman, Whitewashing Fraud- and Threat-Filled Election

Sudan's UN Envoy Admits Right to Intervene in Rwanda, UNICEF Response on Terrorist Groups in Pakistan

At the UN, As Next S-G is Chosen, Annan Claims Power to Make 5-Year Appointments, Quiet Filing and Ivory Coast Concessions

Chaos in UN's Somalia Policy, Working With Islamists Under Sanctions While Meeting with Private Military Contractors

U.S. Candidate for UN's World Food Program May Get Lame Duck Appointment, Despite Korean Issues

At the UN, U.S. Versus Axis of Airport, While Serge Brammertz Measures Non-Lebanese Teeth

Exclusion from Water Is Called Progress, of Straw Polls and WFP Succession

William Swing Sings Songs of Congo's Crisis, No Safeguards on Coltan Says Chairman of Intel

Warlord in the Waldorf and Other Congo Questions Dodged by the UN in the Time Between Elections

In Some New Orleans, Questions Echo from the South Bronx and South Lebanon

In New Orleans, While Bone Is Thrown in Superdome, Parishes Still In Distress

At the UN, Tales of Media Muzzled in Yemen, Penned in at the Waldorf on Darfur, While Copters Grounded

US's Frazer Accuses Al-Bashir of Sabotage, Arab League of Stinginess, Chavez of Buying Leaders - Click here for video file by Inner City Press.

Third Day of UN General Debate Gets Surreal, Canapes and Killings, Questions on Iran and Montenegro and Still Somalia

On Darfur, Hugo Chavez Asks for More Time to Study, While Planning West Africa Oil Refinery

At the UN, Ivory Coast Discussed Without Decision on Toxic Politics, the Silence of Somalia

Evo Morales Blames Strike on Mobbed-Up Parasites, Sings Praise of Coca Leaf and Jabs at Coca-Cola

Musharraf Says Unrest in Baluchistan Is Waning, While Dodging Question on Restoring Civilian Rule

At the UN, Cyprus Confirms 'Paramilitary' Investigation, Denies Connection to Def Min Resignation, CBTB Update

A Tale of Three Leaders, Liberia Comes to Praise and Iran and Sudan to Bury the UN

UN Round-up: Poland's President Says Iraq Is Ever-More Tense While Amb. Bolton Talks Burmese Drugs, Spin on Ivory Coast

As UN's Annan Now Says He Will Disclose, When and Whether It Will Be to the Public and Why It Took So Long Go Unasked

At the UN, Stonewalling Continues on Financial Disclosure and Letter(s) U.S. Mission Has, While Zimbabwe Goes Ignored

At the UN, Financial Disclosure Are Withheld While Freedom of Information Is Promised, Of Hollywood and Dictators' Gift Shops

UN's Annan Says Dig Into Toxic Dumping, While Declining to Discuss Financial Disclosure

A Still-Unnamed Senior UN Official in NY Takes Free Housing from His Government, Contrary to UN Staff Regulations

UN Admits To Errors in its Report on Destruction of Congolese Village of Kazana, Safeguards Not In Place

As UN Checks Toxins in Abidjan, the Dumper Trafigura Figured in Oil for Food Scandal, Funded by RBS and BNP Paribas

Targeting of African Americans For High Cost Mortgages Grew Worse in 2005, While Fed Downplays Its Own Findings

The UN and Nagorno-Karabakh: Flurries of Activity Leave Frozen Conflicts Unchanged; Updates on Gaza, Gavels and Gbagbo

The UN Cries Poor on Lawless Somalia, While Its Ex-Security Chief Does Business Through Ruleless Revolving Door

At the UN, Micro-States Simmer Under the Assembly's Surface, While Incoming Council President Dodges Most Questions

"Horror Struck" is How UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments Would Leave U.S., Referral on Burma But Not Uzbekistan

Security Council President Condemns UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments, While UK "Doesn't Do It Any More"

At the UN, Incomplete Reforms Allow for Gifts of Free Housing to UN Officials by Member States

Rare UN Sunshine From If Not In Chad While Blind on Somalia and Zimbabwe, UNDP With Shell in its Ear on Nigeria

Annan Family Ties With Purchaser from Compass, Embroiled in UN Scandal, Raise Unanswered Ethical Questions

At the UN, from Casamance to Transdniestria, Kosovars to Lezgines, Micro-States as Powerful's Playthings

Inquiry Into Housing Subsidies Contrary to UN Charter Goes Ignored for 8 Weeks, As Head UN Peacekeeper Does Not Respond

On the UN - Corporate Beat, Dow Chemical Luncheon Chickens Come Home to Roost

Stop Bank Branch Closings and Monopolies in the Katrina Zone, Group Says, Challenging Regions- AmSouth Merger

Ship-Breakers Missed by UN's Budget for Travel and Consultants in Bangladesh, Largest UNIFIL Troop Donor

With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

UN Decries Uzbekistan's Use of Torture, While Helping It To Tax and Rule; Updates on UNIFIL and UNMIS Off-Message

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Africa Can Solve Its Own Problems, Ghanaian Minister Tells Inner City Press, On LRA Peace Talks and Kofi Annan's Views

At the UN, Jay-Z Floats Past Questions on Water Privatization and Sweatshops, Q'Orianka Kilcher in the Basement

In the UN Security Council, Speeches and Stasis as Haiti is Forgotten, for a Shebaa Farms Solution?

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

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