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Syria Tells ICP of Another Peacekeeper Detained, Banning Erakat & Press?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 22 -- Another UN peacekeeper was detained in the Golan, Syria Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari told Inner City Press on Wednesday morning.

  Last time this happened, the UN and its Department of Peacekeeping Operations did not announce the detention. Rather it came out in a "conversation" by DPKO chief Herve Ladsous to friendly reporters, and was only announced to others hours later.

  This time, Inner City Press has asked Ladsous three -- now four -- spokespeople, as well as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon office "for confirmation or denial that another UNDOF peacekeeper was detained; Syria Perm Rep just told Inner City Press that he informed DPKO of it. UN Peacekeeping says it answers question: so here's the question, for answer asap."

  Ban's envoy Robert Serry in his briefing to the Security Council talking about chemical weapons but did not mention that UN system panelist Carla Del Ponte spoke of strong suspicions of use by the rebels, not the government.

  Serry also said that the UN is focused on Israel - Palestine. But as Inner City Press has reported since Monday, UNTV cut off during the speech by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat. UN official Stephane Dujarric, hours after Inner City Press asked (and the Free UN Coalition for Access protested) blamed it on a "clerical error" but said the video would go online on May 21.

It did not, and still has not. The Observer Mission of the State of Palestine has asked the relevant Committee, and others.

  Meanwhile the Security Council itself, Inner City Press has learned again, will be moving to its new / old spot this coming long weekend starting May 24.

  This makes the Media Access Guidelines shown to FUNCA, which for the first time would ban the use of the UNSC stakeout as a workspace, so problematic. Dujarric is also, apparently, in charge of these rules, with his partners. We'll have more on this.

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