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At UN, Kutesa Says Was Uganda FM Whole Year, Troops in S. Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 14 -- When Inner City Press put two South Sudan question to outgoing UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, it prefaced the first by saying it learned halfway through his PGA term that Kutesa was still Uganda's foreign minister. Not halfway through, Kutesa says, "I am still the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda." Video here.

 So Inner City Press asked Kutesa of his country - the country of which he is still foreign minister - and its role(s) in South Sudan. Will Ugandan troops leave South Sudan? Does Entebbe Handling Services, ENHAS, in which he has or had a financial stake, run the airport in Juba?

  Kutesa said he transferred his shares in ENHAS and that he didn't know if it operates in South Sudan. Each should be easy to check - though the UN has refused to say with whom it deals in the Juba airport, which closes on weekends, see below.

  On Ugandan troops in South Sudan, Kutesa said Uganda is not supporting Salva Kiir "as such," citing operations with the US to pursue the Lord's Resistance Army.  The questioning moved on, but these, previously asked,  remain UNanswered:

  The UN is often a patronage mill, which undermines not only its credibility but also its attempted political work.

  The most recent example is what multiple sources exclusively tell Inner City Press is the attempt by outgoing UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa to place his chief of staff, Arthur Kafeero, in a high UN Department of Political Affairs Africa post vacated by another's retirement.

   Sources initially told Inner City Press that Kutesa was lobbying Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Susana Malcorra to get Kafero the job.  Now, other sources say that Malcorra has put pressure on DPA chief Jeffrey Feltman to, in fact, employ Kafeero.

  Kafeero is a perfectly nice guy, but this is not the way things are supposed to work in the UN. Nor is having a relative working in the PGA's office, but that's another story for another time. Inner City Press has been closely covering Burundi, including as Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni was named as mediator for the term limits dispute there. This has, in an understatement, not been going well.

  So why at this time in particular would the UN be considering placing the nominee of Sam Kutesa, still operating as the foreign minister of Uganda, in this high UN DPA post on Africa? Watch this site.

  Inner City Press posed questions to Kutesa back in June 2014 when he got the post, video here.

   More than one source noted to Inner City Press that Malcorra is said to be angling to succeed Ban, if the post slips from the grasp of the Eastern European group.  Would this move help or harm those chances?

Malcorra is also in the midst of the still unresolved scandal of the cover up of alleged child rapes in the Central African Republic by the French Sangaris peacekeepers, on which Department of Peacekeeping Operations chief Herve Ladsous, even less qualified than Kafero, is said in UN Dispute Tribunal rulings to have pressured to get the whistleblower fired.

 It is in this climate of retaliation at the UN that Inner City Press publishes this story -- unlike the insider UN Correspondents Association, part of the problem at the UN and to which Ban's spokesperson's office limited information about Ban's Washington questionless photo-op this week, the new Free UN Coalition for Access aims for transparency.

  Inner City Press and FUNCA previously asked for disclosure of which of PGA Kutesa's staffers were being paid by the UN, and which seconded by member states. The list has yet to be provided, while some say a relative is paid by Uganda - so disclosure might have helped.

  The incoming PGA, Inner City Press is exclusively told, is mulling as spokesperson either a national of his own Denmark, or from Iceland. The criterion should be transparency. He is also said to be mulling a (deputy) chief of staff from Africa. We'll have more on this.


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