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In Libya, UN Urges IDPs Not To Return, No Protection of Civilians, Chad's Borders

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 18 -- The UN talks a lot, in Libya and elsewhere, about protecting civilians, and about the right to return of internally displaced people.

  But when in Libya the Tawerghans set June 25, a week from now, as the date on which they aim to return to their homes, the UN through envoy Tarek Mitri urged against it, calling it " a move fraught with risks."

Inner City Press on June 18 asked Mitri what the UN is planning to do for the next seven days, to try to protect the Tawerghans from the blood bath the UN is predicting.

  Mitri said the UN can't protect the Tawerghans; he said the government can't either. The UN is trying to convince the government to offer some guarantees -- he mentioned "compensation" -- to convince the Tawerghans not to return for now.

  This seems like a strange form of protection of civilians, a Ladsous-ian one to use a phrase coined yesterday referring to UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous who wants to use in Mali an army that's on the UN list of child soldier recruiters, and who continues to partner with units of the Congolese Army implicated in 135 rapes in Minova. Video stonewall here and here.

  Mitri to his credit at least answers questions. He said that Libya has no intelligence service, and needs cooperation to secure its borders.

  Inner City Press asked June's Security Council president Mark Lyall Grant about the claim by Chad's president Idriss Deby that Islamists dislodged by France from northern Mali have gone into southern Libya.

  Lyall Grant said that hadn't come up as such in consultations, but that border security had, particularly between Libya and Chad, Niger and Algeria.

  Isn't this the type of Sahel issue that Romano Prodi has been getting paid since October to work on, or at least develop a report on? Watch this site.

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