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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


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On DRC, Ban Won't Join Uganda & Say Stop Fighting, As He Did in Syria

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 1 -- Some thought the UN, at least its Secretariat, was supposed to be about peace. But when it failed to even call for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka as tens of thousands of civilians were killed in a final government assault, that supposition was called into doubt.

  And now in 2013, with the government of Uganda calling on the Congolese Army and the M23 to cease fire and try to finalize a deal in Kampala, Inner City Press on Friday asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if Ban agreed with the call for a ceasefire, particularly by the Congolese Army to which the UN provides support, including with attack helicopters.

  Nesirky sure didn't say yes. Video here and embedded below. First he disputed that the Kampala talks had stopped and had to be re-started. He said they had never stopped. (A wire service said they "collapsed," and also reported looting in Bunagana by the UN's partners, the Congolese Army.)

   Then, as Inner City Press asked again for a UN view on a ceasefire, he said that would be up to the Kampala talks, then that Mary Robinson -- Ban's envoy -- would have to be checked with. Four hours later: nothing.

This stands in contrast, for example, with Syria where Ban did call for a cessation of fighting. But of course the politics of the Western Permanent Three of the Security Council differ on Syria, where they want the leader out, from DR Congo, where they support Joseph Kabila, giving their blessing to his "National Dialogue" which even the legal opposition boycotted.

On Syria, Saudi Arabia which Ban Ki-moon effusively praised recently when they said they'd reject the Security Council seat they without opposition won has reported declined to meet with Ban's envoy Lakhdar Brahimi -- Ban's Mary Robinson for the Levant so to speak.

But after Brahimi was asked, and didn't disagree, that the Saudi's declined his visit, when Inner City Press asked Nesirky to confirm it Friday, Nesirky would not. Politics, politics. But for whom? Watch this site.


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