Corruption Extends to UN and USAID, Fulgham Conflict, Ghani in Media
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, September 13 -- While the U.S. causes
and suffers deaths in
Afghanistan, it asserts control not only over politics but also on
corruption. USAID was defrauded of at least $7 million by the UN
Development Program and UN Office of Project Services. But the
scandal has been quietly put to bed. Alonzo Fulgham, the current head
of UNAID, you see, was in charge of the agency in Afghanistan at the
time that the money was lost. Click here for
report, and here
for Inner City Press' April
14, 2009 story. Click here
for Alonzo L. Fulgham's USAID bio, that he was "Mission
Director in Afghanistan from June 2005 to July 2006." Does
he or can he investigate himself?
Inner City Press that USAID made a deal with UNDP to quash the
investigation. And beyond UNDP's conflict of interest, given its
negligence is overseeing UNOPS despite taking a seven percent fee,
since Inner City Press' April report, UNOPS
has hired the son in law
of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The sources in UNOPS who told
Inner City Press about the hiring also predict that the move
effectively put UNOPS above the (UN) law.
weeks after Richard Holbrooke urged Hamid Karzai to accept a run-off
against challenger Abdullah Abdullah, now he says a run-off is out of
the question, would only help the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Afghan elections on August 20, fraud and UN
and USAID conflicts not shown
The U.S. is
said to be pushing Karzai to accept as his prime minister the
candidate who came in a distant fourth, Ashraf Ghani. A television
appearance scheduled this weekend for Ghani was converted into a
web-onl "exclusive," in light of his weak showing.
this same show,
noted Afghan walker and Iraq colonialist Rory Stewart urged a light
but ongoing footprint in the country. Stewart, alongside his other
up on a list of Conservative political candidates in the
UK. Go figure.
* * *
on Somali Pirates, Based On Letter to UN by Ex-Prez Yussuf,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, September 10 -- Somali pirates have been the topic at the UN
for the past two days. Thursday outside the Fourth Meeting of the
Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Japanese diplomat
Masafumi Ishii, who chaired the meeting, told the Press that money
will be raised to fight the pirates, and to implement a
"comprehensive" strategy against them, including on land.
Inner City Press asked if the underlying issues of toxic waste
dumping and illegal fishing had been discussed at all in the meeting.
No, Ambassador Ishii said, that did not come up. Inner City Press
asked about a recent incident
in which Germany shot and killed a
pirate, seemingly in violation of rules procedures as in
No, that incident was not discussed, Ishii said.
Council resolution under which pirates are being hunted, Resolution
1851, is based on the purportedly still valid consent of Somalia, on
a December 9, 2008 letter to the Council from then-President
Abdullahi Yussuf, who was out of power soon after signing the letter.
People and even parliamentarians in Somalia have told Inner City
Press they have not found it easy to get and see a copy of this
letter, which is referred to in Paragraph 10 of Resolution 1851:
Affirms that the authorization provided in this resolution apply only
with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the
rights or obligations or responsibilities of Member States under
international law, including any rights or obligations under UNCLOS,
with respect to any other situation, and underscores in particular
that this resolution shall not be considered as establishing
customary international law, and affirms further that such
authorizations have been provided only following the receipt of the 9
December 2008 letter conveying the consent of the TFG."
Inner City Press asked U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Thomas Countryman about the letter. He said he was not aware of it.
Also on September 9, Inner City Press asked UN Security Council
Affairs staff how to get a copy of the letter. You'd have to ask the
Somali mission, was the answer.
On the beach in Somalia, Yussuf's letter not shown
And so on
September 10, while
Ambassador Ishii spoke, Inner City Press asked an omnipresent Somali
deputy ambassador for a copy of the letter. No, he said. You have to
ask the Council. This is called the run around.
potential of being similar to the Somali
parliament's rejection of
the Law of the Sea Continental Shelf filing done in the name of the
Somali people by UN envoy Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, using Norwegian
money, co-written and filed by Kenya. Watch this site.
* * *
Continental Shelf Filing Rejected by Parliament Has Norway
"Embarrassed," UN Admits
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 31 -- The Somali parliament recently voted over 90%
against a deal cut by UN envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, using Norwegian
assistance, to make a joint Kenya - Somali filing about the Somali
people's rights to the continental shelf and its natural resources.
Even before the vote, Inner City Press had repeatedly
asked the UN by
what right Ould Abdallah had coordinated the filing, without
a straight answer.
Now, with meetings about the Continental Shelf
and the Law of the Sea taking place in the basement of the UN's
headquarters in New York, Inner City Press finally got at least some
a meeting on "The Regular Process of Marine Assessments"
held by the UN's Office of Legal Affairs, Inner City Press asked a
group of UN experts how they deal with a now-contested filing like
the one about Somalia. At first, an expert tried to evade the
question, saying it could only be asked and answered at another
meeting down the hall about the Limits of the Continental Shelf. But
those meetings are all closed.
master of ceremonies Peter Gilruth, director of the UN Environment
Program's Division of Early Warning and Assessment, said he would try
to answer, although he felt it might put his "head in a
difficult spot." He said that Norway paid for the filings of
some 10 African countries but that in Somalia, some "other
elements.... may have tried to take the information in a different
direction, causing the difficulty you refer to." Gilruth that
moved the proceedings forward, asking if there were "any
questions easier than that one."
Inner City Press approached Mr. Gilruth, who said that the whole
Somali filing snafu "involved embarrassment to the government of
to him Patricio Bernal, UNESCO Assistant
Director-General and Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission, said that he had been working on this for
ten years, he had coordinated with the Somali "government in
exile" in Nairobi, and he could not understand the stink made in
Somalia itself. He emphasized that the decisions in Continental Shelf
meetings -- behind closed doors, mind you -- are "unappealable."
UN's Ban, Jean Ping and Ould Abdallah, Somali
Parliament's rejection not shown
the ongoing snafu reflects that to deal with the Somali government in
exile, or the TFG, or Ould Abdallah, is not to deal with the Somali
people, and is no guarantee of support or legitimacy. Ould Abdallah,
meanwhile, is reported trying to invite into the TFG process a
notorious war lord. Inner City Press asked about this last week at
the UN's noon briefing, and the Spokesperson said an answer would be
sought from Ould Abdallah. But still none has been received. Watch
reported by Inner
City Press, the filing states
that Ould Abdallah
the preparation of preliminary information indicative of the outer
limits of the continental shelf of Somalia beyond 200 nautical
miles... In the preparation of this material the SRSG accepted an
offer of assistance from the Government of Norway... Both the Royal
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Petroleum
Directorate have been involved in the preparation...
City Press wrote about this and asked the UN and
Ould's spokesperson Suzie Price, but never received an answer.
On May, the question was put to Ould Abdallah and he said he is "no
specialist," that he was unfamiliar with the filing that states
that he prepared it. "Ask Norway," he said. Video here,
from Minute 12:30.
from Sri Lanka, UN's Holmes Admits NGO Killings and Restrictions Not
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, May 26 -- Just back to the United Nations from Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's surreal tour of Sri Lanka, Inner City Press
asked UK Ambassador John Sawers if the UN paying for interment camps
for Tamils rounded up from throughout northern Sri Lanka compiles
with international humanitarian law.
Ambassador Sawers, rather than
answer, said that there has been a "high level of attention"
to the issue by the UN, by envoy Vijay Nambiar, humanitarian chief
John Holmes and the visit of the Secretary General over the weekend.
There's been not report to the Security Council yet, Sawers said, we
look forward to that and "we'll have to consider steps after
that." Video here,
from Minute 6:15.
Ki-moon is still out of New York. John Holmes took questions by
phone, since he was outside of the UN (some said in Upstate New
York). Inner City Press asked Holmes about the people looked up in
the camps who were not in the final conflict zone. "I was not
aware of that," Holmes said, arguing that "the whole Vanni"
or jungle area was under Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam control "so
in a sense was the conflict zone." Video here,
in the camps, even under the watchful eyes of Sri Lankan soldiers and
seemingly pro-government UN personnel nevertheless revealed that
people were swept into the camps. The goal, if not to move members of
the Sinhala majority into the now-vacated areas, is to screen anyone
who lived under the LTTE for whether they support Tamil separatism or
autonomy. Should the UN be assisting in such ideological if not
insisted that "there is no question of the UN funding the
sweeping up," the UN is "only providing emergency relief in
the camps." But if the camps are being used, not as a temporary
fix to a natural disaster but to ethnic and ideological screening,
providing food and money -- and in the case of UNOPS, planning the
camps and helping build them -- makes the UN's role more direct, and
City Press asked Holmes if Ban Ki-moon, in his meeting with President
Mahinda Rajapaka, has raised the issue of press freedom, including of
the editor will last year, and other reports who have been harassed,
arrested and disappeared, and of the aid workers, including from Action Contre la Faim,
who have been killed, allegedly by
pro-government militias. No, Holmes said, neither issue was raised
by Ban in his meetings. He did not say, why not?
government's proposed Memorandum of Understanding it wants NGOs to
sign would require them to provide information on all their clients,
which these NGOs don't do anywhere in the world. Since a number of NGOs
Inner City Press that they are not in the best position to fight the
proposed MOU, as they are working in Sri Lanka; they would like to see
John Holmes and OCHA take the lead in fighting back the intrusive
NGO. Holmes admitted that the "MOU was not raise by the
Secretary-General," and said that the issue had been set on the
side. He did not say, by whom?
Tamil IDPs in Manik Farm await UN's Ban with baited
breathe, May 23 (c) M.Lee
some NGOs have expressed concern about the publication statements
about what they expect from Holmes' OCHA -- to fight back against the
MOU, for example -- and in light of major NGOs' summary from last
week that John Holmes "had objected to the trip, as many of you
know," Inner City Press asked Holmes about this position, and to
explain it. Holmes replied that "I did not say to the NGOs that
I was against the visit, I simply said that there were some tricky
presentational aspect about which we were very well aware and that we
would be dealing with while there, and which I think we did
Holmes was comfortable with the "presentational aspects" of
children in the camps being forced to sing "Ban Ki-moon" to
the Secretary General, and of Ban acceding to Rajapaksa's demand that
they meet not in the capital but in the Buddhist shrine town of
Kandy, which many say was a message to Tamils, we win, you lose. In
fact, there are reports of Tamil shopkeepers in Colombo being
besieged by Sinhala mobs and told to pay money, since "you
lost." The UN should be countering such trends, not covering
them up or, worse, stoking them.
Pascoe was also at the briefing, but said less. When Inner City Press
asked about reports that Tamil MPs were barred by the government from
entering the Colombo airport's VIP lounge for the meeting they had
been promised with Bank Ki-moon, Pascoe said he is investigating
those reports and will "pass on to Maria" [Okabe, the
Deputy Spokesperson] what he learns. Inner City Press asked about the
symbolism of the visit to Kandy. Pascoe said it was a misperception
and that "when a government says where, it's their decision."
City Press asked both Pascoe and Holmes if they thought the forcing
children in the camps to sing to Ban Ki-moon was appropriate. Pascoe
said that he's seen children waiting in the sun for longer than he
could put up with, and not only in camps. Video here,
34:34. Holmes did not answer about the appropriateness of the forced
signing and flag waving in the UN-funded camps. Watch this site.
as the Human Rights Council in Geneva takes up the question of Sri
Lanka, not only is there a pro-Rajapaksa resolution, now there is a
Swiss proposed compromise, which would ask the Rajapaksa
administration to investigate itself...
4 in the UK with allegations of rape and
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
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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
Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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