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On Darfur, Libya Vows Opposition to UK Draft As ICC Is Celebrated with Warm Beer, Backwash of Good Intentions

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 10 -- The United Kingdom circulated a draft Darfur statement Tuesday afternoon in the Security Council. Libya immediately denounced it, for failing to include a suggested paragraph noting the African Union's call on the Council to suspend the International Criminal Court's proceedings against Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. A Libya delegate told Inner City Press that Uganda and Burkina Faso are solidly behind the paragraph, but that Russia and China had been surprisingly quiet in the consultations.

  Hours later, just across First Avenue from the UN, a celebration of the ICC features a jazz trio, cold Heineken beer and Philippe Kirsch, the retiring ICC president. Kirsch had without explanation cancelled his scheduled media availability on Tuesday afternoon. A human rights watcher in the half-light explained that as a judge, Kirsch felt it better not to speak. But why then was it scheduled?  The watcher, told that the controversy around the impending indictment of Bashir was already gumming up the Council's day to day work of issuing statements of outrage many days after military actions, blamed it on the Libyans.

  But they are only asking for recognition of the position of the African Union, which they now head up.  The watcher said, not all AU countries feel the same. But while not all European Union countries totally agree with that Union's position, once it is adopted, the members follow it. But when Africans follow suit, they are called irresponsible.

ICC's Kirsch, blog description of Moreno-Ocampo's controversies not shown

  Distributed at the Coalition for the ICC's event -- an annual celebration, the watcher pointed out -- was a flyer for a new pseudo-grassroots blog, "In Situ," described as an "endeavor to help bridge the gap between populations affected by the crimes under the Court's investigation and the ICC's daily activities at its headquarters in The Hague... opening blog discussion on the Court's first trial in the case of The Prosecutor vs. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo."

  But will the blog describe how the attempt to screen the Lubanga trial in the DR Congo results in rioting, and push back from Lubanga's group?  Will the activities in the Hague include the controversies surrounding Luis Moreno Ocampo, the prosecutor? In the half-light, with soft jazz, there was only the backwash of good intentions.

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

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

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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