Vote at 6 on Libya Text “Excluding Occupation Force,”
March 17 -- On Libya, the UN Security
Council is “firmly”
set to vote on a resolution at 6 pm on Thursday. A Western
told the Press that the text to be voted on includes “all necessary
by Inner City Press indicates that the text to be voted on
specifically mentions Benghazi, and “exclud[es] any occupation
force,” an attempt to prohibit so called “boots on the ground.” But
some are still arguing that with the passage of time, an
intervention force could be construed as not “occupying.”
spokesperson on Thursday afternoon told Inner City Press that "the text
may change before six pm."
Gerard Araud came out and predicted “one than one” abstention.
But would Russia (dare) veto?
Vitaly Churkin had emerged from the Council Wednesday night
complaining about being portrayed as obstructionist when he had made
a proposal for a resolution calling for a ceasefire, under Chapter 7
of the UN Charter.
Press on Wednesday night asked Susan Rice why, she said the previous
Council resolution 1970 had already made such a call, which Gadhafi
had ignored. On Thursday morning, Araud made the same critique of
the Russian proposal.
speculated that Araud's announcement Thursday morning that France was
calling for a vote at 6 pm was based on the travel schedule of new
French foreign minister Alain Juppe, who decided on Wednesday to fly
to New York.
Thursday afternoon said that it was Susan Rice who asked for the 6 pm
timing of the vote. Araud said “we are gentlemen;” when a
reported called Rice a gentle woman, Araud chimed in “and a
refused to make any predictions of the 6 pm vote, saying she is
superstitious. She was wearing a green jacket: it is, after all, St.
Patrick's Day. Watch this site.
* * *
France Asks for 6pm Vote, Says “Land” Is Not In Resolution, Spin
March 17 -- France has called for a vote at six pm Thursday
on a Libya resolution they finalized late Wednesday night, French
Permanent Representative to the UN Gerard Araud told the Press on
French draft includes reference to “air, sea and land” -- a
phrase being circulated by the US -- Araud said “No, not this
particular element.” Later he said the omission wouldn't “change
the substance.” But what does that mean?
non-US -- diplomats quickly clarified to their national press that
they are asking for everything short of “boots on the ground.”
to Council diplomats for a copy of the current draft, which France
continues to refer to as being “in blue,” that is, final, were
met with excuses that “one delegation” has been particularly
angry at leaks of drafts.
that since the Council hopes to show that elusive unity -- not on
display Wednesday night between Russia's
Ambassador Churkin and at
least Susan Rice of the US, who explained on the record why the
Russian proposed ceasefire did not go far enough -- making the
public would “only help Gadhafi.”
Gadhafi over Gillard & Rudd,
no fly zone and boots not shown, h/t AdelaideNow
result is that
Western capitals, including the US, are able to spin their press
corps with their own version of what the draft says, and what they
are seeking at the UN.
sending its new foreign minister Alain Juppe to the UN today, with a
stakeout scheduled for 3:30 pm. Nicolas Sarkozy is said to be
planning a trip to Japan. Will he singlehandedly cool the nuclear
rods? Vive la France! And watch this site.
Update of 11:20 am
-- Susan Rice and Vitaly Churkin hugged in front of the Press on the
stairways to the UN Security Council. One in entourage asked, where are
the cameras? Watch this site.
* * *
Rice Explains Rejection of Russian Ceasefire Proposal, Blame
March 16 -- On Libya, Russia offered a ceasefire resolution
and offered “Chapter Seven” of the UN Charter, Russian Ambassador
Vitaly Churkin told the Press on Wednesday evening when the UN
Security Council meeting ended.
Asked why other Council members did
not all agree to the ceasefire proposal, Churkin told the Press that
Russia does not describe other countries' positions, and to ask them.
asked US Ambassador Susan Rice to explain opposition to Russia's
ceasefire proposal. She said that there was a need for enforcement
action, and that a call to end violence was already in the Council's
previous Resolution 1970 on Libya.
spokesperson emerged and told the Press that since this earlier
Council call for a cessation of violence had no effect, the Russian
ceasefire resolution would have sent the wrong signal.
if the US
now supports a no fly zone, Rice said the US is looking at a package
that includes a no fly zone but goes beyond it.
did not list
Arab countries which have offered to enforce a no fly zone. Ibrahim
Dabbashi, the diplomat for Libya but not Gadhafi, said there are five
Press has heard of four: Jordan, Saudi
Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, whose Permanent Representative and
presumptive next President of the UN General Assembly came to visit
the Council consultations on Wednesday, accompanied by a bodyguard.
filibustering, Churkin denied it, saying this is not the US Senate or
House of Representatives.
asked if Churkin was filabustering to give Gadhafi more time
answered, “What do you think?”
proceedings have the aura of a blame game. Russia can now argue that
it is not obstructionist, it offered a ceasefire resolution which was
US can explain
what many saw as its indecisiveness about calling for a no fly zone
by saying that it wants MORE than a no fly zone.
somehow blocks such a proposal -- the deployment of a veto seems
unlikely -- the US could blame Russia for being obstructionist.
countries like India and even Germany have expressed reservations or
questions about a no fly zone.
members' experts will convene Thursday at 9 am, the Permanent
Representative at 11 am. But what will happen in the next 13 hours
in Libya? Watch this site.
* * *
UN Council Slows on Libya, Dabbashi Says “10 Hours, Treki in
March 16 -- While the UN Security
Council went through its
five page draft resolutions paragraph by paragraph, Libyan diplomat
Ibrahim Dabbashi came out to talk to the Press. He had prepared
talking about, about Gadhafi using mercenaries “who fought in
Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda,” from Niger, Mali (off camera)
and Chad (on camera).
Representative has told Inner City Press that while they may be
“individual Chadians” fighting with Gadhafi, the Deby government
does not choose between him and the rebels.
Dabbashi said a Council resolution authorizing air strikes is needed
“in ten hours.”
do you have?” Inner City Press asked Dabbashi. Enough, he said. He
said the rebels' use of these planes has driven Gadhafi crazy.
a series of
questions about timing -- Dabbashi backed off the ten hour figure,
ending up saying the revolutionaries are “not counting” on the
Council -- Inner City Press asked him if the UN Secretariat has
spoken to him about the letter from Gadhafi's government saying he
and Shalgam no longer represent Libya, or if he thought the UN
Secretariat now recognized the rebels as the government,as France
our work with credentials, Dabbashi said.
Where is Shalgam? He is here in New York, Dabbashi said.
asked, “Where is Treki?”
Dabbashi quickly answered.
Benghazi met with Ahmed Gebreel, who worked on Treki's transition
into the Presidency of the GA. There is talk of the UN of Ali Treki,
former President of the General Assembly, seeking to go into exile
rather than come to New York to represent Gadhafi at the UN. But his
family is still in Libya. Has there ever been an Ambassador at the
UN under duress?
Dabbashi earlier at UN: now, only 10 hours? Recognized by UN?
spokesperson emerged from the Council to say that the Council is
going through the resolution paragraph by paragraph, given the
Vitaly Churkin came out and told press he was angry at being
portrayed as an obstructionist. The buzz is that Russia by asking
questions is seeking to slow things down. “They don't dare veto
it,” a source said, “so they seek to slow it down.” But what
about the US? Watch this site.
* * *
Paused on Whether All or Only Military Flights Would be
15, update -- Which flights would a No Fly Zone
over Libya actually
ban? All or only military flights?
after Lebanon distributed a draft resolution that it said based based
on the Arab League's decision, German Permanent Representative Wittig
came out and told the Press that Germany questioned whether a no fly
zone would be inconsistent with the Arab League's opposition to
Council consultations ended, to be resumed on Wednesday,
Inner City Press at the stakeout asked Lebanon's Ambassador about
Germany's stated concern that a No Fly Zone could be foreign
said no, that
“the Libyan people” and the Arab League asked for it, and if the
UN Security Council authorized it, it could not be intervention.
the course of
further reporting, informed Council sources told Inner City Press
that issue in closed door consultations was that the Arab League, in
Arabic, referred to banning military flights, while the version
introduced at the UN in English would ban ALL flights. Lost in
translation? Watch this site.
Update of 5:20 pm --
French Ambassador Gerard Araud did not echo his foreign minister
Juppe's call to bomb Gadhafi's air fields in Libya, something that
Lebanon's Ambassador seemed to speak against at the stakeout, hoping
that approving a No Fly Zone would obviate the need to bomb. Hey:
Danish Foreign Affairs minister Lene Espersen has said Denmark
ready, with four jets and 90 staff....
Update of 5:44 pm:
India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Puri came out and told the
Press pointedly that the draft would ban ALL flights -- but as Inner
City Press first reported, is that what the Arab League has called for?
also said that India might not have the right kind of assets to enforce
a no fly zone.
Update of 5:59 pm --
when Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong, this month's Council
president, came to the stakeout, Inner City Press asked him to confirm
the closed door discussion of Arab League referring to military
flights, not the "all" in the draft resolution. "You're raised a good
question," he replies. So this is one of the issues Lebanon has
to check with the Arab League about overnight...
Update of 6:05 pm --
and now we have asked Lebanon's Mission to the UN, via their Twitter
account, to answer when they can. New era? We'll see.Click
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.