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


Subscribe to RSS feed

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

Video (new)

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

At UN on Libya, France Dodges on Arming Rebels, Tales of Susan Rice in Her Absence, Bland Ban Ki-moon

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 -- After the UN Security Council's two hour meeting about its Resolution 1973 on Libya, among Council members only France's Gerard Araud came out to speak to the press. France alone has recognized the rebels based in Benghazi as Libya's government.

  Inner City Press asked Araud if France believes it is legal under Resolutions 1973 and 1970 to provide weapons to the Benghazi based forces. Araud replied, “We implement the resolution to the letter.”

  Of course that doesn't answer the question. Is France arming the rebels? Does it believe that it would be legal? If so, just say it.

  Informed Council sources on Thursday described to Inner City Press what Susan Rice of the US said in the run up to adoption, with five abstentions, of Resolution 1973.

  Rice said the US needed the “notwithstanding” exemption to the arms embargo if it needed to go into Libya with weapons if, for example, an American pilot were shot down.

But, the Council member told Inner City Press, it was not argued that the language permitted the arming of the rebels. Now France won't answer the question, and Rice is not at the UN.

Araud & Ban: 1 takes Qs & dodges, the other doesn't take them

   Several journalists and other observers at the Council on Thursday wondered where Susan Rice was for this important meeting. An Obama administration critic told reporters Rice is “on vacation.”

  Inner City Press notes, as for example Andrea Mitchell publicly has, a recent death in Rice's family. But other journalists pointed to a “blizzard” of press statements e-mailed out ostensibly from Rice about human rights in Iran, accompanied by Tweets. Inner City Press replied via Twitter asking for an explanation. If and when one is received, it will be reported -- and re-Tweeted.

Footnote: Ban Ki-moon spoke only briefly in the Council chamber, and held a highly controlled stakeout afterwards. No question were taken or allowed on whether and why Ban recognized Gaddafi as head of state while granting UN passes to Dabbashi and Shalgam, nor about his envoy Al Khatib being a current Jordanian senator, in presumptive violation of UN Charter and rules. Even so controlled, Ban said very little. There is grumbling. Watch this site.

* * *

UN's 12 on Libya Officially Dips to 11, Ukraine Is Out, Turkish Ships & NATO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 24, updated -- On Libya, Ukraine was quietly dropped on Thursday from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's list of countries which have notified the UN under Security Council resolution 1973, two days after Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky told the Press that Ukraine was correctly on the list.

On March 23, Inner City Press asked Nesirky if there were not really 11 instead of the listed 12 notifiers, having been told by Council sources that Ukraine should no longer be included on the list of notifiers:

Inner City Press: I noticed you didn’t have any new update of these notifications under resolution 1973, but this morning I was told by a diplomat there that in fact the Ukraine one, listed yesterday, may not be an actual notification. That they’ve written to the Council saying that they might want to extract their nationals from Libya, but with no indication that they were indeed supporting militarily. Is that your understanding? Have you seen the letters?

Spokesperson Nesirky: If you listened to what I said yesterday, Matthew, I said that the notifications do not necessarily mean that they are taking part in any military action. They are notifying, under the terms of the resolution. And notifying under the terms of the resolution would include precisely the kind of message that you’re referring to.

Inner City Press: So we shouldn’t take this list to be people that are in any way in support of the no-fly zone?...

Spokesperson Nesirky: I can’t be responsible for what people write. I’m trying to make it clear from here, which I did yesterday.

But obviously something changed, because when Ban read out a list of notifiers to the Security Council on Thursday, Ukraine was suddenly gone. Belated transparency -- but is there a system in place?

Earlier on Thursday, Inner City Press learned and reported that Turkey has asked the UN for a communication to NATO. After further reporting from multiple sources, Inner City Press has learned Turkey is concerned about, and wants to use, its civilians ships still in Libya near Benghazi. More on this to follow --- watch this site.

Update of 4:05 pm -- a Libyan (anti Gaddafi) diplomat tells Inner City Press that "with NATO's agreement, the Turkish request is no longer important." We'll see.

* * *

UN Envoy Al Khatib Is On Board of Jordan Ahli Bank, Links With Libya Central Bank

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- In selecting Abdul Ilah al Khatib as the UN's envoy on Libya, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon moved quickly -- maybe too quickly.

 Since serving as the foreign minister of Jordan, describe even some close to Ban as an autocracy, al Khatib has served on the boards of director not only of Lafarge Jordan Cement Company but also of Jordan Ahli Bank.

Jordan Ahli Bank is active beyond that country's borders. A sample connection: along with Libyan Foreign Bank, a fully owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of Libya, Jordan Ahli Bank is a top 20 shareholder of Union de Banques Arabes et Francaises.

   Could there be conflicts of interest? Did the UN's Ban administration even consider these?

   Ban previously claimed that 99% of his officials have made public financial disclosure. But when Inner City Press showed this is not true -- even Ban's close ally Choi Young-jin, his envoy in Cote d'Ivoire, declined to make public financial disclosure -- Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban's statement had been “metaphorical.”

Now Ban names and injects al Khatib into a struggle about democracy and free press, when as Inner City Press noted yesterday

"Foreign Minister Abd al-Ilah al-Khatib in January initiated a criminal defamation suit against weekly newspaper al-Hilal's editor-in-chief Nasir Qamash and journalist Ahmad Salama. He [al-Khatib] objected to the content of a January article, and said his tribe had threatened to beat up Salama if he failed to take action. The case remains in the courts at this writing."

  By what process was al-Khatib vetted and selected? Watch this site.

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

 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] -