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As Khartoum Denies Visa to Ban's Speechwriter, UN Silent, Says Ask Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 29 -- For many weeks Inner City Press has known that Sudan refused to grant a visa request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's former director of communication Michael Ryder Meyer. But it was said it might be granted, to hold off reporting it.

  Then the spokesperson for the mission in Darfur quit, saying she was not getting UN support.

  Inner City Press asked, and Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky “confirmed that Ms. Elbasri resigned from her position as Spokesperson there. That was effective from 22 April. As with any staff member departing the United Nations, we can’t comment on the specific details surrounding her departure.”

  It's one thing to choose not to respond to a departing or former spokesperson's critique (this has been the case since April 26). But to remain silent when UN officials are denied visas?

  After Sudan's Permanent Representative in the Security Council Monday morning said that there is a smooth process to get visas to Sudan, Inner City Press went to the UN's noon briefing and asked if that is true.

  Ban's spokesman Nesirky said to “ask Sudan.”

  Inner City Press then asked, isn't it true that Ban's former director of communications Michael Meyer is being denied entry? Video here, from Minute 22:40.

  Nesirky said Meyer is “waiting” for a visa. For how long? Why so silent? Now that UNAMID has no spokesperson? What is happened to the UN and UN Peacekeeping, under Herve Ladsous? Video here, for Ladsous' most recent denials on April 25. Watch this site.

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