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March 1, 2011: Libya

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Turks Broke UN Officer's Ribs But UN Guards Suspended, "Sold Out" by Ban

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 26, updated -- The fight on September 23 between UN Security and the Turkish delegation, on which Inner City Press exclusively reported that afternoon including the hospitalization of a UN Security officer with broken ribs, has now resulted in the suspension of nine UN Security officers.

They feel they were not to blame, that too many ID passes were given to the Turkish delegation, and that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did not back them up.

Ban met with the Turks, and with UN Security at 7:15 am on Saturday. Nine officers were suspended, and all were told not to talk with the press. Some analogize it to the UN's cover up of the killing of UN Security officer Louis Maxwell in Afghanistan by Afghan National Forces, for which no one has ever been held accountable.

"We're just pawns to Ban Ki-moon," one officer complained to Inner City Press. "He sells us out. Ban will do anything to avoid a confrontation with the Turks, even after they broke [officer] Matt Sullivan's ribs, and beat up that Jamaican officer."

Greg Starr and Ban Ki-moon, Nambiar and dust-up not shown

On September 23 alongside publishing its exclusive story, Inner City Press asked Ban's Office of the Spokesperson for a comment and was told that a "line" was forthcoming. More than sixty hours later nothing has been said, although the Ban Administration through channels indicates a statement is forthcoming. Watch this site.

Update of 10:27 am -- outside the Security Council (further outside than usual as the press is banned from the regular stakeout) a Permanent Five member diplomat told Inner City Press that the incident, learned about from Inner City Press' Friday report, was causing ripples: "We need to beef up the capabilities of UN Security." Or of the S-G?

  As several Security officers complained to Inner City Press, they are now not allowed to use or even carry their non-lethal security equipment. "We've been defanged by Ban," one said. Echoes of Southern Kordofan, even of Rwanda, another said. This not be seriousness but structure: UN Secretariat leaving peacekeepers or security officers immobile due to politics.

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Dust-Up of UN Security With Turkish Delegation Leads to Hospitalization

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 23, updated -- While Mahmoud Abbas and Benyamin Netanyahu traded speeches about Palestinian statehood on Friday, a diplomatic incident occurred on the fourth floor of the General Assembly Hall.

  Sources tell Inner City Press that the Turkish delegation literally had a run-in with security in the UN, in which the Turkish prime minister Erdogan was touched. Then, a male security official was injured and taken to the hospital, another officer also assaulted and injured. Several sources spoke of a door broken in the UN earlier in the week, attributing it to Turkey.

  Inner City Press observed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar break in to a rare run, accompanied by UN Safety and Security chief Gregory Starr, out of the North Lawn building and on to First Avenue in the rain, crossing it toward Turkey's Mission to the UN.

  Later a senior UN official told Inner City Press bitterly that "Turkey is throwing its weight around," linking the incident to Turkey's anger, including at the UN, about the Palmer (and Uribe) report about the Gaza flotilla incident in which eight Turkish citizens were killed.

  The source asked, "A new muscular foreign policy -- even inside the UN building?"

   By the same token, why lay hands even inadvertently on a country's prime minister?

  After multiple Inner City Press sources told it about the incident early Friday afternoon, Inner City Press asked  the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General for its version and was told they were waiting for their "line" on it.

Update: Inner City Press, having Friday afternoon published far and away the first story about the incident, was told that it would be given the UN "line" as soon as it was available - but even sixty hours later has received nothing from the UN spokespeople or senior spinning officials. Watch this site.

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Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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