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Mandela Praised at UN, By Rwanda Then Ban, Q of Colonialism and Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 -- When news of Nelson Mandela's death reached the UN, inside the Security Council Argentina was giving a speech about the International Criminal Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Proceedings stopped for a moment of silence.

  Rwandan Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana came out to the stakeout and told Inner City Press of Mandela, "He was a great man." On November 15, Gasana gave a moving speech in the Council about the dignity of Africa.

  As to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at first the idea was that he would speak on UN Television without taking questions. But then reporters were told he'd speak in the Press Briefing Room. Inner City Press went there, inevitably wondering if the UN of today is fighting or perpetuating colonialism.

  Just that morning, France was given a mandate to re-enter its former colony the Central African Republic, as it re-entered Mali less than a year ago.

 When Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud about this colonial history and "FrancAfrique," he denied his country has economic interests in the CAR. Recently the wire service Reuters, at and for the UN the Western go-to for leaks both ways, declared that FrancAfrique is over. Really?

In the UN Briefing Room, Ban Ki-moon arrived and recounted meeting Mandela, who told him there were many, many other fighters for liberation, "known and unknown."

Ban is headed to Paris for a conference on Africa. Some might wonder, FrancAfrique and ask, What Would Mandela Say? Or remember, why aren't leaders like Thomas Sankara still alive?

Footnote: after that Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky said there was time for two questions. Correctly, he called on South Africa Broadcasting Corporation first.

  But then, further propping up what has become the UN's Censorship Alliance, he called on the Reuters reporter who moved up to sit in what is, absurdly, UNCA's "Holy Seat." The Reuters reporter, who as shown here has spied for the UN, made sure to brand his softball question "on behalf of the United Nations Correspondents Association."

Given his and this group's leadership's involvement in censorship, for example ordering down articles about Sri Lanka and conflicts of interest, and French domination of UN Peacekeeping for colonial purposes, this said it all about today's UN and how it's covered. What Would Mandela Say? Watch this site.


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