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ICP Asks UN of Eritrea - Ethiopia & Tsorona, Weak Response from Ban's UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 13 -- Amid new war reports between Eritrea and Ethiopia, on which the UN has previously failed, Inner City Press on June 13 asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Tsorona.

Dujarric had read many statements to begin the day's briefing, including on Ban's "brief" visit with glider pilots at JFK airport, but nothing on this. In response to this Inner City Press question, Dujarric said the UN is aware of the reports and calls for adherence to 2000 agreements, which he didn't specify and which the UN never enforced.

Then Dujarric cut off an Inner City Press question about, well, why the UN has dissembled on its reasons to try to disallow future Inner City Press questions. To this has Ban's UN sunk.

This too: last week Ban Ki-moon agreed to drop Saudi Arabia from its Children and Armed Conflict annex, for killings in Yemen, after what Ban called financial pressures. So Ban has created a situation in which UN human rights shaming lists are only for countries too poor to be able to get themselves off the list. To this, then, has Ban's UN sunk.

  Eritrea is on the Security Council's agenda, so one would expect a less lackadaisical response. But despite being on the agenda, as Inner City Press exclusively reported in April, a Council visit was Banned.

  While the Security Council discussed Somalia, behind the scene the next president of the Council for May, Egypt, has proposed a Council trip to Somalia, Egypt, and at least initially Eritrea, Inner City Press was exclusively told.

But the US balked at the inclusion of Eritrea and it was dropped.

In the Council chamber, UN envoy to Somalia Michael Keating said   “Last week, Somali leaders from all federal member states and interim regional administrations reach agreement on the electoral model to be used later this year. Voting will take place not just in Mogadishu, but in each of the capitals or seats of government of the exiting and emerging federal member states. And thirty percent of the seats in Parliament are being reserved for women.
  “This progress is taking place amid great insecurity - another reason why progress is reversible. Al Shabab remains a potent threat. Although facing significant casualties, Al Shabab continues to carry out repeated asymmetic and conventional attacks. They will try to disrupt an electoral process that they see rightly as threatening their agenda.”

  The trip would have included Eritrea not only because it is on the Council's sanctions list, even amid admissions of no proof of support to Al Shabab, but also because of Yemen and regional peace and security. But the US, the sources tell Inner City Press, did not want a Council trip to include Eritrea. We hope to have more on this.


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