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UN Afghan Envoy Says Taliban Misunderstood, No Maxwell or LOTFA Update

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 20 -- When UN envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis came to take Press questions on Wednesday evening, only Inner City Press was there. And so updates were asked for: any reforms or results of the investigation into the UN Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, which Inner City Press exposed this summer by publishing a series of internal audits?

  Kubis replied that "there was an interim information provided by the investigation, under guidance of UNDP." Now, he said, he is "waiting for the final report."

  He said, "Already the interim information delivered the right messages." But what messages are those?

  Inner City Press asked if there has been any progress on the case of UN staff member Louis Maxwell, killed by Afghan national forces as he defended his colleagues in Kabul?

  Kubis replied, "I am aware of this, I need to re-check, I don't think we have any additional information on this very sad case."

  It appears that the UN has stopped pushing. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon could call Hamid Karzai and say, this is an outrage, if you want UN support, you need to take action.

  But he hasn't - instead, Ban calls Louis Maxwell a hero, with obvious feeling, and says Hollywood should profile him.

  Yes, but what about accountability from a government the UN assists?

  Inner City Press asked about the UN's role in voter registration. Kubis' reply veered from new ID cards, "issue as many as possible before Presidential election," to voter registration and "cleaning the register." Peter Galbraith, where are you now?

  Since the Taliban recently said they will NOT participate in a UNAMI intra-Afghan process in Kabul, Inner City Press asked Kubis about it.

  He replied, "I believe there is some sort of confusion about convening something immediately in Kabul. They would have problems to go to Kabul... We invited parties representing the insurgency, inlcuding the Taliban... first outside, in Turkmenistan, in February." We'll see. Watch this site.

Footnote: Kubis has been mentioned as a possibility to be the next Secretary General, along with Irina Bokova, Srjan Kerim and Danilo Turk. By their deeds ye shall know them.

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