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With Guinea Protests Back On, UN Claims of Credit Revert to "Djinnit Tries"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 -- Guinea was not long ago portrayed as one of this UN's few success stories. Even a week ago, the UN announced that when its West Africa envoy Said Djinnit asked the opposition to not protest, they agreed.

  But on Tuesday, with this decision reversed but the UN saying nothing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: On Guinea, you’d announced some days ago that a protest had been called off and that Mr [Said] Djinnit was involved in that. It’s now said that the opposition have said that the protests are back on, that the talks with Alpha Condé led nowhere. So I am wondering, is the UN still involved and what does it say about this turn of events?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, as you know, what we said was that Mr. Djinnit was continuing as the international facilitator, along with local interlocutors. And so that process of engagement continues. If I can get any specific update on the latest, then I will let you know.

  Later on Tuesday -- before inserting it into the transcript, to the UN's credit -- they sent this to Inner City Press:

Subject: Re: Guinea
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, May 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question on Guinea, here is our answer:

Said Djinnit, the International Facilitator and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, is currently back in Conakry pursuing consultations with the Guinean parties in an attempt to restore the political dialogue in order to pave the way for the holding of free, fair and peaceful legislative elections.

  If the UN released this at the same time over its squawk system is not know: the squawk does not work at the (soon to be moved) Security Council stakeout where Inner City Press works (actually it was being banned from Ban's talk to ACABQ at just this time), nor in all areas of the new press floors. But it was sent, and so we publish it in full. Watch this site.

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