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

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IMF Ready On Yemen “Once Situation Allows,” Saleh Test Unclear, Watching Syria

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 28 -- With Ali Abdullah Saleh still in power in Yemen, the International Monetary Fund has said it “would be ready to work with the Yemeni authorities including by looking at the means of financial assistance once the situation allows.”

On April 28, Inner City Press asked the IMF's David Hawley to “describe the IMF's interface with Syria and Yemen, and how the crackdowns there may impact that, and how they are viewed by the IMF.”

Hawley said that the IMF's program with Yemen are “on hold in the current situation,” and then referred to comments by IMF Middle East and Central Asia director Masood Ahmed -- who is the one who said, the previous day in Dubai, that the IMF is “ready to work with the Yemeni authorities... once the situation allows.”

Does that mean a reduction in violence -- which could be brought about, at least theoretically, by MORE repression rather than less -- or the exit of Saleh? The IMF didn't say.

  The World Bank has pulled staff out of Yemen, Robert Zoellick said in response to Inner City Press' question at the IMF & World Bank Spring Meetings two weeks ago, click here for that.

Saleh with UN S-G Ban, World Bank exit and IMF readiness not shown

  On Inner City Press' Syria question on April 28, Hawley said that the IMF “like other observers is following the situation closely” and “deplores the loss of life associated with unrest.”

In other answers, Hawley said Egypt has not yet made a proposal for money, despite reports of a $4 billion request. He declined to say if the IMF would consider “going it alone” and arranging its own bailout for Portugal if European participation were blocked by a veto.

Hawley dismissed the possibility of Greek debt restructuring and denied that Dominique Strauss-Kahn is going to Athens for meetings. We'll see.

Foonote: Inner City Press timely submitted another question on April 28 which Hawley neither answered nor even mentioned, and will be writing about it, but is first waiting to see how and if the IMF responds. Watch this site.

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In DC, Session on Corruption Hunting Is World Bank Ad, ICC Tales, Gaddafi

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON DC, April 13 -- A World Bank session on “Corruption Hunting” Wednesday at the International Monetary Fund's & World Bank's Spring Meetings devolved into little more than an advertisement for the Bank's work, from Indonesia to tigers, and for its lack of planning and coordination.

  Robert Zoellick spoke at the beginning and the end of the session, starting by bragging of forcing restitution payments to Indonesia and ending with the World Bank's work to preserve tigers, along with ASEAN.

 At the beginning he invited those in attendance, including the press, to later ask questions. But after each of the six other speakers went over-time, the public and press were excluded.

  International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo brushed off the moderator, Bill Connor, saying “don't ruin my last story.” Connor backed off, as he'd do later for Giovanni Kessler of Olaf and Boon Hui Khoo of Interpol.

  Ocampo's story began with the “Ukraine mafia” doing business in Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and ended with “Ronald Desmet,” whose aircraft “9QCMC” flew the DRC's Bemba as well as Viktor Bout, and who according to Ocampo had Gaddafi's private number.

  Libya was mentioned, as not being included in the World Bank report, but Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia did not come up at all.

Zoellick & Ocampo nearly fall asleep on April 13, interaction not shown (c) MRLee

 Rather, Giovanni Kessler of Olaf bemoaned not being able to better share information, and Singaporean Boon Hui Khoo of Interpol complained of lack of resources.

  Khoo predicted that the UN Security Council will never deem corruption a threat to international peace and security, and therefore the ICC won't have jurisdiction.

  Not mentioned, or able to be questioned about, was Ocampo's Wikileaked briefing to Susan Rice and Alejandro Wolff at the US Mission to the UN, urging them to speaking publicly about Bashir of Sudan having $9 billion dollars, and naming Lloyds Bank. There has been no follow through on this. Watch this site.

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

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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