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On W. Sahara, As Polisario Files Letter, Echoes of Congo, Kosovo, Palestine

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 26 -- In the run up to this week's closed door meeting on Western Sahara in the UN Security Council, two representatives of the Polisario Front entered the Council on Monday.

  They delivered a letter, a copy of which Inner City Press obtained and puts online here. They said that since Morocco is a member of the Council, at least for the next 13 months, they want to be sure their views are known. And their letter offers to address the Council.

  Largely, they blame Morocco for having tried to sideline UN envoy Christopher Ross, and for opposing, along with France, a human rights monitoring component in the MINURSO mission.

  This suddenly seems a bit ironic: the UN mission in the Congo MONUSCO has a human rights monitoring component, but under DPKO boss Herve Ladsous, the troops stood by and did nothing as the M23 mutineers took over Goma and Sake.

  Since then DPKO has delayed in answering basic questions about rapes and looting, and the UN's own Human Rights Due Diligence policy.

  Some might ask: under Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head DPKO, what would a human rights monitoring component be worth?

  Another irony is that this same week, Palestine is applying for Observer State status at the UN. And Kosovo has its representatives in town, for a debate that even they tell Inner City Press will be "boring."

 With the right friends, as Kosovo has, one can scoff at non membership in the UN. Still with a Permanent Five member in opposition, one cannot join the UN. Kosovo has its opponent, as does Palestine. And then you have Western Sahara. We'll be here for the closed door meeting. Watch this site.

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