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At UN on Yemen, After 15-0 Vote, Nobel Winner At Stakeout Calls It Weak

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 21, updated with video -- As the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Yemen calling for a deal on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative which provides immunity for President Ali Saleh and his family, Nobel Prize winner Karman waited in the General Assembly lobby to get into the UN on Friday afternoon.

  Since Tuesday, Karman has called for accountability for Saleh, in protests across from the UN and in meetings with, among others, the Permanent Representatives of the UK and Germany.

  Friday before the Council vote Karman told Inner City Press she had not yet met with India but would try to. To speak to the media, she and four others were signed in as guest and accompanied to the the area in front of the Security Council.

  Once the vote was taken inside, 15-0, Karman and her translator went to the UN Television stakeout. Inner City Press asked her about the resolution, and about immunity. Video here and below.

  She said the resolution was too weak; later she said she would stay in New York until Saleh is referred to the International Criminal Court. She said she did not want to see Saleh killed like Gaddafi: we never call for violence, she said.

Karman & translator at stakeout, accountability not yet shown (c) MRLee

   Once Karman finished, UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant came to the microphone. Inner City Press asked him to respond to Karman's critique. He said the Council resolution spoke of accountability. But the GCC initiative offers immunity -- some Council members tell Inner City Press they have asked to see the GCC deal or agreement, without results.

Lyall Grant said the GCC initiative dates from May has been widely circulated. We'll see.

German Ambassador Wittig spoke. Inner City Press asked him about immunity. He acknowledged that it is in the GCC initiative, but call it "the only game in town." Who made this game?

US Permanent Representative Susan Rice was not present for Friday's proceedings, neither the votes in the General Assembly for new Security Council members, the Yemen vote, nor for Russia's circulation of a resolution which would end the NATO mandate in Libya.

Earlier in the week, when Ambassador Rice tweeted about the human rapporteur on Iran, Inner City Press replied with a public question, for the US and Obama Administration's response to the critique of immunity in the GCC initiative, given the US' role on it. Still there has been no answer from the host country. Karman says she'll stay in New York until Saleh is referred to the ICC and has his assets frozen. Some speak of another, more literal form of freezing. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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