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UN Hypes Liberians to Mali Then Won't Explain Delay, UNsocial Media

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 -- As the UN prepares its peacekeeping mission in Mali, slated to include listed child soldier recruiter Chad, the UN Mission in Liberia on Thursday morning tweeted, "Today! #UN's @AeneasChuma joins Pres. #Sirleaf in sending off new #AFL platoon to support #ECOWAS mission in #Mali. Big step for #Liberia!"

  At the UN in New York, a diplomat from another larger West African state told Inner City Press, this is strange, you should look into it.

  An hour after the first tweet, UNMIL followed up: "Update: #AFL departure to mission in #Mali pushed back from today. Stay tuned for updates! #Liberia."

  But despite staying tuned, there were no updates, much less an explanation. Inner City Press asked UNMIL, by the same "social" media they used, why the departure was pushed back, and "what diligence is #DPKO doing, unlike for recruiter #Chad?"

  UNMIL did not reply or explain. So much for the UN and social media, at least for DPKO run by Herve Ladsous who openly refuses to answer Press questions at press conferences and stakeouts. Video compilation here.

  So Inner City Press went to Thursday's UN noon briefing and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey to explain the push-back of the hyped Liberian deployment to Mali. He had no answer, even told Inner City Press to "ask DPKO."

  First, UNMIL was asked and did not reply. Second, DPKO's chief Ladsous refuses to answer, and his spokesman Kieran Dwyer has tried to justify it, at end of video here.

There are a number of other UNsocial media accounts of UN Peacekeeping missions, and of the UN Information Centers run by the UN Department of Public Information -- some of them are even "locked," by invitation only.

  So much for social media, so much for access.

  The Free UN Coalition for Access, which some in DPI are trying to essentially outlaw by ordering the take-down of a mere sign while allowing two for its UN Censorship Alliance, will be working on this. Watch this site -- and this new Twitter feed, @FUNCA_info, click here

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