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Media for UN DRC Trip Picked "In Consultation" With France, US Leads on Rwanda

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 30 -- That the UN under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is or can be a colonial project was confirmed on Monday when Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky told Inner City Press the decision on what journalist can go and cover the Security Council's Great Lakes trip was made "in consultation with the lead mission from the Security Council for the entire trip." Video here, and embedded below.

  That "lead mission" is France, which supported the genocidaire government in Rwanda and their post-genocide escape into Eastern Congo.

  Even in the past for similar Security Council trips, Inner City Press went after it was explained that France tried to block or "veto" it (for noting France's history in the region), but then co-leader of the trip South Africa said it was not for France to censor the Press.

  What happened this time? Actually, there are separate leaders for each leg of the trip, Inner City Press has learned and now, after Nesirky's answer, reports.

The final leg of the trip, to the African Union in Addis Ababa, is not led by France in any way, involving October's Council president Azerbaijan.

The UK is given a piece of the Uganda leg, and the US is said to "lead" the Rwanda leg. So did the US State Department, unlike South Africa in 2010, allow France to ban the participation of Inner City Press?

  And, why does the UN -- and US -- allow a former colonial power to choose which media get to accompany a UNSC trip on a UN plane? Some may be asleep at the switch, but for others, they have even less excuse. Watch this site.

Subject: Re: Security Council trip to Africa
From: Jerome Bernard <bernardj [at]>
Date: Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 6:46 PM
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at] InnerCityPress [dot] com
cc: Free UN Coalition for Access [at]

Hi Matthew,  I am sorry but because of the very limited number of seats in the UN plane it won't be possible for you to travel with the Security Council for this trip to the Great Lakes Region of Africa. I am sure there will be other opportunities for travel in the future. Best regards,

Jerome Bernard, Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General


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