Stalls As Even Russia & China Disagree on Ban
-- Three hours into the UN
emergency meeting about the Korean peninsula, diplomats emerged to
describe the split between the positions of US, Japan, South Korea
and other Western countries and that of Russia and China.
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin put it on December 18, when the US Mission
to the UN rebuffed his request for a Saturday meeting of the Council,
both sides should be told to show restraint -- implying that South
Korea should not go forward with its military exercises now scheduled
for Monday or Tuesday.
that South Korea's exercises are only self defense, and that any
Council statement should lay the blame on the DPRK.
China do not fully agree. Inner City Press is told that
while Russia wants to refer “relevant statements” of Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon, China says it doesn't agree with some of these
Churkin & S-G Ban (and Kim Won-soo), statements not shown
consultations could go on well into the day. The television
at the media stakeout was turned to NFL football, Giants versus
Eagles. A lunch break was taken, with a US Mission staffer returning
with two bags of food. Susan Rice, unlike Churkin, never emerged from
the Chamber. Watch this site.
1st update: during
the lunch break, several UN officials came out of the Council chamber:
Lynn Pascoe, Fink Heysom and Kim Won-soo. Some wondered, where IS Ban K-moon?
Update of 2:45 pm: a
Western diplomat emerges and tells the Press that now there are two
texts, the Russian one (which the Westerner says "doesn't put any blame
on the DPRK") and another text, which blames DPRK for "the incidents of
November" shelling and even the Cheonan sinking. Big gap...
-- Now meeting takes 2d break, 3:40 to 4, to “get
instructions,” Uganda Perm Rep says. It's hard to see this gap
being bridged. Araud of France says it could be a half hour, “They
are waking up Beijing.” One wags calls after him: it's a 40 year
process, I'm told.
pm -- Churkin comes out and says we had a good discussion, we
put forward a compromise, we'll see. A Western journalist asks why NOT
assign blame? Churkin says, you don't know what the statement's going
* * *
Crisis, After US Rebuffs Russia, a Sunday Meeting
-- With tensions escalating on the Korean
Peninsula, in New York on Saturday Russia's Permanent Representative
to the UN Vitaly Churkin asked this month's Security Council
President, the United States, to call an emergency meeting. According
to Churkin, the US refused to convene the meeting.
4:50 pm on
Saturday afternoon, the Russian Mission to the UN told the Press that
Churkin would be making a statement at the Mission, on 67th Street in
Manhattan, in less than an hour. The statement criticized the US for
failing to call the meeting, and announced one for Sunday at 11 am.
told some reporters about the meeting. It was not clear if US
Permanent Representative to the UN Susan Rice was or will be in town.
On Friday afternoon, Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo
chaired the Council. She emerged at 6 pm and read a press statement,
but walked away as Inner City Press began asking a question.
in Cote d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo has ordered the UN
peacekeeping mission in that country to leave. This too seems like an
emergency, though neither the US nor Russia nor France has called for
a meeting. Might it be discussed on Sunday? Watch this site.
* * *
Called on DPR, TFG
Says Controls 55%
Days after a fight in the
Somali Mission to
the UN in New York, reported exclusively by Inner City Press, the
Somali Minister of Information, Post and Telecommunications
Abdulkareem Jama came to the UN to describe the new government he is
a part of.
many of the 18 new ministers are from the
Somali diaspora. Of former Deputy Permanent Representative Idd Beddel
Mohamed, who showed up at the Somali Mission saying that the new
foreign minister gave him authorization to return, only to have the
police called to throw him out, Abdulkareem Jama said that wasn't yet
then, is echoed in Manhattan.
upbeat spin on Somalia, saying that Mogadishu is
55% controlled by the Transitional Federal Government. Inner City
Press asked about reports of the TFG and Puntland using private
military contractors or mercenaries.
contractor's work involves training for “VIP
protection” and for a coast guard. He did not address whether the
arrangement, which is shielded in secrecy, may violate the UN's
Somalia sanctions regime.
the memorandum of understanding between the World Food
Program and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to deliver
food in areas controlled by Al Shabab, which has barred WFP.
Abdulkareem Jama spoke favorably of the deal. But WFP still refuses
to provide a copy of the MOU -- Inner City Press has asked -- and
even the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says
it has not seen the MOU.
the TFG as a user of child soldiers, Inner City
Press asked Abdulkareem Jama for the update. He said that child
soldiers have been identified and are being kept in a camp until they
reach the age they can decide what they want to do. Video here.
Abdulkareem Jama at
UN, 55% control & OIC MOU not shown
perhaps future UN official Charles Petrie, whom the UN claimed would
be working for the UN in Mogadishu, Abdulkareem Jama said Petrie
will be working for the EU or someone else, not the UN.
deputy minister for water barring work by UNICEF and others and then
rescinding the order, Abdulkareem Jama said that the deputy minister
had been frustrated but had taken the order back. Again, the chaos of
Mogadishu, reflected in Manhattan. We wait to hear from Idd Beddel
Mohamed. Watch this site.
that on December 22, the
Security Council “will” pass a resolution authorizing 4000 more
troops for AMISOM. While technically the resolution is not yet agreed
to (or “in blue”) Council sources tell Inner City Press that is
the number: 4000. We'll be here.