Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


ICP on YouTube

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Officials Blame France for Ban's Whitewash of Restrictions in Western Sahara, Threats of Retaliation

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 17 -- When the Western Sahara report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was watered down this year, from an April 6 to an April 11 "final" version, the first questions were directed at Morocco.

  But on April 16 senior Ban administration official told Inner City Press the larger hypocrisy is France's, and sell-out of the UN is by Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to run the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

  "French diplomats here are lying when they preach so publicly about human rights and accountability," one official put it on condition of anonymity because Ban has retaliated, apparently at France's request, against UN staff who have questioned the Elysee and Quai d'Orsay. "France has blocked human rights in Western Sahara, and used DPKO to continue its colonial project."

  Click here for an investigative piece one year ago which the French mission asked be censored, calling it a "hostile act."

  On April 14, 2012 after Morocco's Permanent Representative Loulichki spoke about the new advance observer mission to Syria needing to have freedom of movement, which is certainly true, Inner City Press asked Loulichki to square this with even the April 11 UN report's Paragraph 46 that in Western Sahara, the MINURSO peacekeepers do not have freedom of movement, are monitored and their communications with people impaired.

  Loulichki said this was entirely different, that he would address it after Syria questions. But he left the stakeout without answering the question. Video here.

   French Ambassador Gerard Araud despite a speech in the Security Council chamber that day about accountability did not come to the stakeout to take questions, unlike his fellow Permanent Representatives from the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States. During France's last presidency of the Security Council, its Ambassador Araud gave the fewest Q&A stakeouts on record: three.

 In this year's Western Sahara report, Inner City Press was referring to deletions from Paragraph 46, which its in April 6 version stated that

"MINURSO civilian personnel movements there are closely monitored with the consequent chilling effect on interaction with the full spectrum of local interlocutors. In parallel, the Moroccan police surveillance outside the compound discourages visitors from approaching MINURSO in an independent capacity; Mission staff who have received such visitors have been taken to task by Moroccan authorities."

  In the April 11 version this is air-brushed to

"access to external contacts is controlled [monitored (the word is crossed out)] which has an effect on interaction with the full spectrum of local interlocutors. In parallel, Moroccan police presence outside the compound discourages visitors from approaching MINURSO in an independent capacity. There were also indications that the confidentiality of communications between MINURSO headquarters and New York was, at least on occasion, compromised."

  Compare April 6 version, here, especially Paragraph 46, with April 11 changed version, here.

  So at the April 16 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey to explain:

Inner City Press: I have seen the Secretary-General say that there needs to be full freedom of movement, for the observers in Syria, and that it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that... This Secretary-General’s report on MINURSO in Western Sahara, paragraph 46 of it says very clearly that the MINURSO peacekeepers are monitored by the Moroccan authorities, that individuals cannot approach them and speak, and so I just wanted to know, in putting forward this report, is there something that the Secretary-General is complaining about the freedom of movement, or is it somehow okay in one mission and not in another?

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Well, I’ll have to check on that Matthew, I think Martin answered a question on MINURSO last week, if I am not mistaken.

Inner City Press: He said he wouldn’t comment on a change in the report, but I am saying even as changed, it just describes factually without complaining about a lack of [freedom of movement]…if you don’t have something now, maybe by later this afternoon you can…

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Well, let’s see what we can get for you, let’s see what we can get for you.

  But for the rest of the day, on the eve of the Western Sahara session of the Security Council, no information was provided. Behind the scenes, the French mission has been taking other moves to try to stamp out criticism of its activities and officials. Watch this site.

Share |

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

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]