Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

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.

* * *

In Haiti, UN of Two Minds on China, No Guidance on Bullets, Florida Football Games Blocking Medical Flights

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 29 -- Two days after the UN's spokesman in Haiti David Wimhurst denied knowing about UN Peacekeepers shooting even rubber bullets to control crowds of aid seekers, detailed reports emerged of "UN troops" shooting 50 caliber guns over crowds.

  Inner City Press asked the UN's humanitarian coordinator John Holmes about these reports, and what the UN considers the best practice in crowd control while aid is distributed. "There is no set standard in the humanitarian lexicon," Holmes said, adding that the main focus is that nobody gets hurt. Video here, from Minute 26:03.

  So are tasers okay? Tear gas? Electrified fences? Are these decision left up to each country's contingent adopting the UN's blue helmets in Haiti, including a battalion from Sri Lanka, accused of war crimes?

  A stark different in the statements of David Wimhurst and Holmes was also raised but not resolved. On January 27, Wimhurst confirmed to the press that the Chinese search and rescue team, once it dug out the Chinese diplomats from the wreckage of the UN's rented Hotel Christopher, left the country.

  But on January 28, Chinese diplomats told Inner City Press to check with John Holmes, who they cited as on record about additional Chinese work in Haiti -- a country with whose government China has no diplomatic relations, since Haiti recognized Taiwan.

  Inner City Press asked Holmes to square this with what Mr. Wimhurt said. "I don't know what to add," Holmes said. "That's my understanding, the Chinese information as well." But was he a witness? Video here, from Minute 15:34.

UN's Holmes, UNDP's Helen Clark behind: paying $5 or just $3 a day in Haiti?

  Media in Florida reports that the flights evacuated injured Haitians to Florida have stopped, due to the upcoming Super Bowl and Pro Bowl of the National Football League. Inner City Press asked Holmes about this. "I have no idea," he said. "Ask the Americans."

  A reporter whispered, "Touchdown!" -- referring also to Holmes "touchdown" space in the UN compound, now that others in his office have been moved full time to Madison Avenue. Football is only simulated war. But the UN in Haiti is shooting with real bullets. 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.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

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

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

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

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

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -