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As UN Won't Answer on Monitor Banned from Kenya, Ban's Son in Law Banned?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 3 -- How are the relations between Kenya and the UN, not only the Abstaining Eight members of its Security Council but also its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, following the lobbying and decision against deferring for one year the International Criminal Court's proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto?

Last week Inner City Press exclusively reported that at least one member of the UN's Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group was removed from Kenya. See short form here, and updated longer form on Beacon Reader site, here.

  On November 29 after hearing more, Inner City Press put in a question to Ban's spokespeople, in writing because there was no UN noon briefing that day: "Please confirm or deny that one or more members of the UN's Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group was / were removed or expelled from Kenya and explain why, and the impact on the SMEG's work."

  Four days later there is still no answer to this question, nor for example to another about corruption in the UN's UMOJA program alleged to Inner City Press by whistleblowers.

  Today the Kenya Star ha has a story referencing Inner City Press' earlier reporting on the UN's lack of protections against nepotism including regarding the Secretary General son in law, hired successively by Staffan de Mistura then UNOPS in Denmark, then the International Federation of the Red Cross - and now back to the UN system. The links above are Inner City Press' reporting: there's nothing personal, just the question of if it's good for the UN.

  Now the Star says the the UN Population Fund UNFPA wants to send Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee to Nairobi as its Kenya representative -- but that the government has not given in right away.

 The Star cites not only the ICC -- regarding which Ban made calls to African Union heads of state -- but also Ban not confirming an appearance at the December 12 50th Jamhuri Day celebration.

  While we'll have more on this, having the UN chief's son in law in such positions -- not only how they are obtained, but how it then works -- may show another reason for rules on the hiring of relatives of high officials in the UN system.


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