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On Syria, French FM Said Asking UNSC Meeting on Afrin, PR Doesn't Say Afrin

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, January 22– French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on January 21 said he is requesting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council about the bombing by Turkey of Afrin, after he spoke with his Turkish "homologue," Mevlüt Çavusoglu. Le Drian also mentioned Idlib and Ghouta: "#Syrie : Ghouta, Idlib, Afrin - la France demande une réunion urgente du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies." But when French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre entered the Security Council on January 22 before the briefings by UN officials, his remarks did not include the word Afrin. Inner City Press Periscope video here. He said, "On behalf of France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, we have asked that the briefing Mark Lowcok back from Syria will make be enlarged and give us the opportunity for an emergency meeting on the wider situation in Syria, and the humanitarian situation in particular. In this context, Jeff Feltman will also brief us. In this respect our priority is about Eastern Goutha and Idlib, where there is a humanitarian tragedy happening before our eyes that is totally unacceptable. We will also have a discussion on the latest developments, that also require our attention. These emergency discussions requested by France are even more important before the heavy sequence of the coming days. I’m referring to the conference in Vienna in particular. The more we’ll be able to stabilize the situation on the ground, which is unacceptable and deteriorating as we speak, the better we will create the conditions for Vienna to give a boost to an inclusive political process in Syria, which is of course our ultimate goal. I’ll get back to you after the meeting but these are the few words I wanted to share with you before it." France grand-stands a lot about Syria and countries where it has no links or leverage, while actively protecting government killing in countries like Cameroon, where over the weekend their long time president Paul Biya entirely wiped out the town of Kwakwa. Vive la hypocrisie. We'll have more on this. The Syria chemical weapons Joint Investigative Mechanism expired at midnight on November 17, UN Security Council members repeatedly said on November 16 and 17. And on November 22 Russian Ambassador Nebenzia emerged from the Security Council and said, "JIM is dead." Periscope here. On December 7, before a short meeting on the topic, French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the press, "The truth is that the JIM has been killed, but its heritage is more important than ever. The death of the JIM cannot be the last word. We cannot simply look away. It would be irresponsible with respect to Syria and the use of chemical weapon in Syria and also with respect of the very future of the non-proliferation regime. For these two reasons, we cannot give up." After the meeting, December's Security Council president Koro Bessho of Japan read a short and vague statement; Inner City Press was asking a question as he left. We hope to have more more on this. Back on November 22, Italy's Ambassador Cardi, then the president of the Security Council, confirmed Inner City Press' November 19 scoop, that Italy had proposed an extension of JIM until the end of the budget cycle.  When Council consultations broke up back on the evening of November 17, as Inner City Press reported, a diplomat said, We've given ourselves a bit more time. Now Inner City Press is informed on background not only that elected members Sweden and Uruguay have a new compromise draft, but also that the Council Presidency for November, Italy, is presenting a proposal to keep the status quo, that is to say the JIM, until the end of the current budget cycle. This comes while the UN Secretariat of Antonio Guterres talks darkly about ending and emptying the JIM - a symptom of why delegating a new structure for the JIM, even in conjunction with the OPCW, triggered the most recent veto. We'll have more on this - watch this site.  After two drafts failed, o Japan which abstained on Russia's draft made a simple proposal, which Inner City Press summarizes below. But on November 17 at 6:25 pm, Russia vetoed, Bolivia also voted no; China abstained. Six minute video here. After a murky "stopping of the clock" - no precedent was given, nor exists - Inner City Press was informed by sources that two other non-permanent members, Uruguay and Sweden, proposed another compromise. Sweden's Skoog had said he would keep his grief brief. But this brief? On November 17, US Nikki Haley told the Press on her way out - presumably back to the US Mission across the street - that "It's not midnight yet." Exclusive video here. After an hour of consultations, the Ambassadors left, tight lipped. One said, We've bought ourselves a bit more time. But no one would explain it. Pretend JIM is alive: just one more alternative fact. Watch this site. This was Japan's draft: pp1 Recalls previous resolutions; op1 decides to renew JIM for 30 days; op2 asks SG and OPCW to submit plan in 20 days; op3 remains seized of the matter. Consultations began after 11 am. Russian deputy Safronkov, asked if Russia would support the Japanese draft, said enigmatically, "I love you all." After the UN noon briefing Ukraine's Permanent Representative said he didn't see much prospects for a vote on November 17, and that JIM is "already" dead. (Skeptics might note that Ukraine likes to put Russia in the most negative light, as having killed JIM even before the heart officially stops at midnight.) Uruguay's PR said that talks continue, and Sweden's Olof Skoog said he's optimistic, "I never give up." And mid afternoon a meeting, in the open chamber for a vote, was scheduled for 6:15 pm. Call it Night of the Living JIM - a horror film riff on all the talk of "keeping JIM alive" or Inner City Press' question, "Who killed JIM?" Hint: where was Edmond Mulet? Where did he go? And as he went in, Sweden Skoog gestured that his optimism is down. A diplomat close to Russia said, look at OP 2, why would Russia accept the recommendations of Guterres and OPCW? Why not just get it over with now? Watch this site.  On November 16, first Russia wanted its draft voted on second; it lost a procedural vote and withdrew its draft to have it voted on later. Then it vetoed the US draft. Bolivia also voted No; China abstained. After a 15 minute break during which Nikki Haley spoke with China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and others, Russia's and Bolivia's draft was voted down with four in favor, seven against and four abstaining, including Japan. Just after the vote, and a formal stakeout by Russia's Nebenzia and an informal one by Council President Sebastiano Cardi of Italy, Japan made a move to try to show its value as a Security Council member, six weeks before it loses membership again: it will seek a one month extension of the JIM. Watch this site. Nikki Haley on her way in told the press her Russian counterpart had not taken her calls. After the vote, she denounced Russia. When the JIM report's "advance copy" was distributed to Security Council members on October 26, it was quickly given by some members to "their" media, which wrote about it without putting it online.  It was spoken about at the UN Security Council stakeout on October 27, by France's Delattre who did not answer all questions, and UK Rycroft who did (see below). Now the JIM record is attached to this article on Patreon. The JIM resolution was put on the Security Council's agenda for a vote on October 24, first Russia asked to postpone the vote until November 7. (Bolivia also spoke in favor of postponement). Then after that proposal was voted down with four in favor, three abstentions and eight against. Just before French Ambassador Francois Delattre called the vote on the resolution, Russia's Ambassador Nebenzia said he would give an explanation of vote before the vote. Delattre chided him for not having said that in advance; Nebenzia said he had. Then the vote. Russia vetoed; China abstained. There followed speeches. It was UN Day. On October 27 amid speeches about the JIM's selectively leaked findings, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, from the UK transcript: Inner City Press: On Russia and Assad, what’s the UK’s view of the relationship between the Geneva talks and other processes, including in Astana and elsewhere?  There was some discussion of that yesterday. And how might this issue relate to the political process? Amb Rycroft: The British view is that there must be a political transition, and that the UN-led process in Geneva is the route that we have all agreed will deliver that transition. We set out in some detail in resolution 2254 what needs to happen, and we need to make sure the political process, which has taken quite a significant detour away from Geneva through Astana and various other places, now needs to come back to Geneva as Staffan De Mistura has now announced. We need to make sure the Syrian regime turns up to those talks and negotiates meaningfully to ensure that Syria finally will have an end to this brutal war." In other news, an Inner City Press exclusive: former International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo was getting leaked French Mission to the UN documents, including HRW's heads-up to Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, from his former intimate Beatrice Le Fraper du Hellen, documents obtained by Inner City Press show. She forwarded him, calling it hypocritical and funny, her government's "demarche" to Washington, London and Berlin against Ibrahim Gambari. See her. She forwarded Ocampo Human Rights Watch's Philippe Bolopion's message to Nambiar from Ken Roth, saying HRW would sit on the letter to the benefit of the UN (whose Herve Ladsous was also sent a copy). See Tweeted photos, here. She sent Ocampo more - but first, let's see how France deals with this, and how the ICC which they say they love so much deals with it. While there's (much) more to say about the International Criminal Court including as illuminated by the recent reporting on Luis Moreno Ocampo, the UN is trying to steer clear of the issues, both saying the ICC is separate and more specifically in Kenya. On October 9 Inner City Press asked the UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: I actually wanted to ask you about what seems to be a connection to the UN Secretariat or at least it's OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services).  You may have seen these leaked documents being analysed concerning former prosecutor Moreno… Luis Moreno Ocampo.  And the reason I want to ask you is they touch on Kenya and the decision to try to have… give Mr. [Uhuru] Kenyatta a way out, but Fatou Bensouda has said it's being investigated by something called the IOM, not the other IOM but the Internal Oversight Mechanism, which, in its bylaws, cooperates in some way with OIOS.  So, I wanted to know, is there any… it's always been said from here that there's no connection between the ICC and the UN Secretariat. OIOS -  do they work with IOM? Spokesman:  No, there is… listen…  You have read those bylaws.  I have not.  There is no operational link between the UN and the ICC.  Whether or not it… often the case that various internal oversight bodies have different parts of the system writ very large cooperate with each other, but OIOS does not have any jurisdictional oversight over the ICC. Inner City Press: I'm just wondering, I don't know if they'll answer if I ask them, so could you ask them whether OIOS is playing any role in the… in the… they've des… what's described as an investigation of these Moreno Ocampo…Spokesman:  What I'm telling you is OIOS does not have any jurisdiction over the International Criminal Court. Inner City Press: "Then why are they--" Then cut off. We'll have more on this. After the Kenya elections results the UN praised on August 12 were thrown out on September 1, Inner City Press immediately asked the three top spokespeople of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for comment. There was none then, and when Guterres took some media questions on September 5, Inner City Press loudly asked Guterres if he has any update to its praise of Kenay's now reversed election. Video here. On October 6, Inner City Press asked the President of the General Assembly's spokesman about Kenya(tta) foreign minister Amina Mohamed being now an advisor to the PGA, and some (mis) reporting in Kenya. Video here, from the PGA's summary: "Asked about media reports in Kenya that Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed now had a “UN job”, the Spokesperson clarified that membership on the Team of External Advisors did not mean that the advisors were United Nations employees or staff. They were serving in their own capacities without any salaries from the United Nations. Asked whether any team member would be lobbying the President on behalf of interests in their own countries, the Spokesperson stressed that the team members would only be advising on how to advance the President’s priorities and discussing global issues that were of concern to the President, the General Assembly and the United Nations in general." In Kenya the UN Development Program, run by Siddharth Chatterjee the son in law of Guterres' predecessor Ban Ki-moon, has quietly taken down the web page bragging about its role in the first round of elections, which Inner City Press cited on September 27. The next day, the webpage was gone. On October 5, after Sid as in his M.O. used a proxy to defend and promote himself, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric: UN Transcript here, Inner City Press: in Kenya, I did see…  I guess Farhan [Haq] sent a statement by the…  by the U…  the UN Information Centre there, but things…  I wanted to ask you about this, because we often hear from Gordon Brown in here about attacks on schools.  And there's been a widely reported teargassing of a nursery school in an attempt, I guess, to get the Raila Odinga NASA supporters a school…  a school was teargassed.  So, I'm wondering, does this…  is it only Gordon Brown's job in the UN system or is the UN… [cross talk] Spokesman:  "I have not seen that reported.  It is clear that we and the Secretary-General and others have spoken out whenever schools have been attacked, but I will look at that report." Seven hours later, nothing. Meanwhile, UNDP's head of governance Sheila Ngatia's twitter account, identifying her as UNDP, is "protected;" it is reported she is the daughter of Uhuru Kenyatta's lawyer. The UN is being exposed in Kenya, as being too close to the government as it is in Myanmar, Cameroon and elsewhere. And all the head of UN in Kenya Sid Chatterjee can do is issue threats to people's livelihoods; the UN in New York, rather than restricted Press for him, should fire or re-assign him. The New York City Bar Association has criticized Uhuru Kenyatta for his attacks on the judiciary, while the UN in New York and Nairobi, under Ban Ki-moon's son in law Sid, has remained tellingly silent. It was Chatterjee's UNDP which was still bragging online about its work on the election, including for "transparency." Like the transparency of Sid being promoted by his own father in law without recusal, then blocking and bad-mouthing the Press that reports on it? We'll have more on this. On September 25, Inner City Press asked Guterres's spokesman, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: In Kenya, the… the UN staff member on leave, Roselyn Akombe, has said she's facing death threats.  There's also reports of investigation of her role in the… in the Electoral Commission and the arrest of a… of a member of parliament for allegedly insulting the President, [Uhuru] Kenyatta.  I'm just wondering, what is the UN… the UN, since it has an office in Nairobi and is seeing these things take place, including the arrest of parliamentarians for verbal insults to the President, does the UN have any response to what's taking place…? Spokesman:  I don't have anything on that.  You're welcome to check also with the office in Nairobi." But the head of the UN office in Nairobi, Ban Ki-moon's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, blocks Inner City Press. Back on September 5 Guterres stopped - and then bragged that his official letter (a belated one on Myanmar) will be in Dujarric's office. Not a single question, or even sentence, was about Africa, where most of the UN's peacekeeping operations are. On September 11, Inner City Press asked Dujarric about Uhuru Kenyatta saying if Raila Odinga is elected president in the re-run election on October 17, his party will remove him from office: "even if he is elected, we have the opportunity in two months, three months to remove him." Dujarric wouldn't criticize even this, and refused Inner City Press' question on UN Roselyn Akombe, except to refer to some written request that has never been shown to the public. Then Dujarric walked off; see this. Back on September 5, three hours after Guterres refused its question, the UN sent Inner City Press this: "Regarding your question on the Kenyan election process, we have the following to say: The United Nations takes note of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 8 August 2017 presidential elections. The Secretary-General's position, as conferred in previous statements and calls, has been that parties should take their grievances to Court and respect the Court’s decisions, which both Jubilee and NASA have demonstrated today. He reiterates his call on all political leaders and their supporters to respect and abide by the ruling of the Court, as the legal and constitutionally mandated body with the highest authority to decide on this matter." On September 7, Inner City Press asked Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: on Kenya obviously, the drought readout.  But, as I'm sure you know, beyond what you emailed after the Secretary-General's stakeout, the election results were thrown out, and now, there's an enormous fight around the Electoral Commission.   Given that there's one on-hiatus UN DPA [Department of Political Affairs] staffer on the commission and given that person being now ousted from the commission was a former UNDP staffer, there are many people in Kenya wondering what the… if the UN is, in fact, impartial in this case.  What is the UN's view of the… of the Electoral Commission dispute?  And is Ms. Roslyn Akombe still on…? Spokesman:  She's still on special leave.  I think the ruling of the Supreme Court is something we've taken note of.  I think the Secretary-General, in an interview that he did yesterday, I think said it was a sign of democracy, of the democratic process.  From the beginning, I think we have been calling on parties who had grievances to follow the legal pathways.  That has happened.  It is now up to the Kenyans and the established procedures to be followed. Inner City Press: So, I mean, just because as you may have seen, the President [Uhuru] Kenyatta of Kenya has called the head of the Supreme Court a "crook" and said that if he wins on a second term he will "take care of the Court".  So, does that… I didn't see this interview, but is that within… within… in keeping with the Secretary-General's saying that everyone is following the legal procedure? Spokesman:  "That would not be." The dubious August 8 electoral results have been thrown out by the Supreme Court, because the "Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission" IEBC) “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution." At the UN, Secretary General Guterres had very quickly congratulated August 8 "winner" Uhuru Kenyatta; since then Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has dodged and then refused Inner City Press' questions. On the morning of September 1, Inner City Press asked Dujarric and his top two deputies: "On deadline, what are the comments of the Secretary General and, separately, of the UN's Resident Coordinator in Kenya, and the USG of DPA, on the throwing-out of the August 8 electoral “win” of Uhuru Kenyatta? Again, what is the status of Roselyn Akombe with the UN, especially now? Confirm or deny that the DPA post held by Taye Brook Zerihoun was offered to Monica Juma, and separately if, after August 8, she said she didn't (any longer?) want the position. Please now answer Inner City Press' August 28 questions about Kenya, and the entirely unanswered questions from August 29 and August 30. Please confirm receipt of this email." But Dujarric and his deputies didn't answer, didn't confirm receipt or even put out anything on Kenya. The UN is corrupt. Will Kenyatta still come speak at the UN General Assembly high level week on September 20, scheduled as put online by the Free UN Coalition for Access (also cracked down on by the UN), here? What of the cravenly pro-Kenyatta work of UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee, the son in law of former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon whom Ban gave the job without any recusal? When Inner City Press asked its questions, Chatterjee blocked Inner City Press on Twitter and UN Headquarters said that' fine. The UN has become a place of censorship for corruption. We'll have more on this. After the murder of Kenyan electoral official Chris Msando, Inner City Press on August 1 put the question at the UN to Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here and below.  Now on August 28, Inner City Press asked three UN spokespeople this: "In Kenya, it is reported that more than a dozen opposition supporters were killed in Kisumu. What is the Secretary General's, or UN Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee's, comment and action on this?" Hours after submission - the Spokesman canceled the noon briefing - while one line responses were offered to two other question, there was nothing on this, nothing at all. This is today's UN. After Kenya moved to de-register a second human rights group, Inner City Press asked lead UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on August 15, UN transcript here and below. Inner City Press has learned, and exclusively reports, that Kenya(tta) foreign ministry official Monica Juma has been offered a top job in Jeffrey Feltman's UN Department of Political Affairs, to replace Taye-Brook Zerihoun. She was granted six months to "sit" on the job, to help Kenya(tta), as one source put it to Inner City Press.  On August 24, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Jeffrey Feltman, being in Somalia... they’re tweeting pictures of him with Farmajo.  But what I wanted to know is, given that he’s so close to Kenya and… is he… where else has he gone on this trip?  I was unaware that he was there.  And can we get some kind of a readout of this trip and whether or not it will include Kenya and… Kenya, if you have any update as more and more people are saying that the results that were put online don’t line up with what was announced and what the Secretary-General congratulated.  Is there any updated statement by the UN? Spokesman:  "Not, not from us here.  There’s a calendar which is playing itself out and there are institutions that are at work on this. And I’ll see what I can get you on Mr. Feltman." Which was, seven hour later, nothing. On August 21 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here. Five hours later, nothing. Now the dismissive or vague position of today's UN to press freedom is further exemplified by silence on the reported detention at gunpoint of blogger Robert Alai, here. The UN's resident coordinator in Kenya has for example blocked the critical Press on Twitter; UN Spokesman Farhan Haq on August 19 had no specific comment when Inner City Press asked about detentions by Morocco of citizen journalists reporting on the crackdown in Rif. (Lead UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric evicted Inner City Press and still restricts it, for its coverage in the Press Briefing Room of the UN bribery case against now-conficted Ng Lap Seng.) The UN is losing its way, including in Kenya. On August 18, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here. On August 17, amid lack of transparency about the detention and itinerary of a UN official on leave, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: as you may know in Kenya, the former or future DPA (Department of Political Affairs) employee Roselyn Akombe, who has given a leave of absence to work on the Electoral Commission there, attempted to leave the country and was detained at the airport. It’s now said that she’s come to New York for meetings.  So, I wanted to know two things.  Number one, is she having any meeting with the UN, since you said she’s coming to New York on official business?  Number two, when she was given this leave of absence — it’s become quite controversial.  As you know, the commission is getting sued for being not less than impartial — did the Ethics Office look at this granting of a leave of absence?  What’s her current status with the UN?  And, also, it’s come up because she appealed to the US embassy there.  For purposes of UN, is she from Kenya or from the United States?

Deputy Spokesman:  I wouldn’t have any comment on her nationality.  I don’t comment on the nationality of staff members. But… [inaudible]

Question:  Given that the person was detained and… okay.

Deputy Spokesman:  But I am aware that she was on a leave of absence.  At some point, I believe, fairly soon, it will be expiring and then she will return to her duties in the Department of Political Affairs.Question:  So she has no contacts in the UN during this week?  Because it’s a big story in Kenya that she’s come to New York and she says she coming to New York for work related to the election.  So, I guess my question to you is, does this New York visit have any UN connection?

Deputy Spokesman:  I wouldn’t comment on her work until she’s re-joined the United Nations.  She’s not… at the time that she’s on leave, she is a separate individual.  Ms. Akombe, at some point, will re-join the Department of Political Affairs, and then she’ll be a UN staffer.

  We'll have more on this - and on Juma. From August 15: Inner City Press: there've now been more than one NGO shut down at this period of time in which they could be filing petitions.  And there's many more… there are doubts whether… whether substantive or not, about how the results were transmitted.  So, beyond this Kenya National Human Rights Commission, something called Africog [phonetic] has also been suddenly deregistered by the… by the authorities.  That would be the winning candidate or the said to be winning candidate.  So, I just wanted to know, what… the country team there, what do they think of the closing down of the NGOs in the country during…

Spokesman:  I don't have enough information on these particular NGOs.  You can contact the country team directly.  I know you're been in contact with them.  What is clear for us is that there are constitutional means that need to be respected as part of the election for any appeals and, obviously, echo the High Commissioner's call for restraint and for peaceful… for supporting the right of people to demonstrate peacefully but a call for calm and restraint.

On August 14, Inner City Press asked Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: there were these two different statements, one about provisional results, then final results, but, in the country, one, how many people does the UN believe have been killed in post-election violence?  What's the UN's reaction to Raila Odinga asking for the UN to play some role in looking into fraud he says he's going to announce tomorrow, Tuesday?   And there's a group called the Kenya Human Rights Commission, which has been deregistered just before filing a petition concerning the election.  Does the UN believe that the current legal structures, especially if you have petitioners deregistered moments before filing, is a credible one?  What does the UN, given its presence in Nairobi, think about the deaths and this deregistration?

Deputy Spokesman:  Obviously, we're concerned about any violence.  As I just mentioned, what we've been doing, including through the Secretary-General, is calling on all political leaders to send clear messages to their supporters urging them to refrain from violence, and that's a key part of this process.  You're aware of our concerns in other previous elections, presidential elections in Kenya, and those concerns continue to apply.  Regarding Mr. Odinga's request, obviously, we'll wait to see what he has to say tomorrow and monitor that, but I would point out, as I just said, that the Secretary-General called on political leaders disputing the election results to address election-related disputes through the relevant constitutionally mandated institutions, and that is where we stand on that.

   On August 7, Inner City Press asked Dujarric about the deportation of two of Raila Odinga's consultants, American John Phillips, chief executive of political consultancy Aristotle, and Canadian Andreas Katsouris. Dujarric replied with generalities; Inner City Press asked, so the deportations are bad? There was no clear answer. Now this: on August 10 Inner City Press asked Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  In Kenya, Raila Odinga, the candidate, has said that there's been hacking of the system, but the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, has offered his congratulations.  What's the UN's view? One, do they think that the rule-of-law process to review is being conducted, is that process over?

Spokesman:  No, I, as far as I know, the, the official election results have yet to be announced.  We're, obviously, watching the situation unfold.  We're watching it closely.  As you know, the UN did not observe, did not have a role in observing the, the elections.  I think what's important is that all stakeholders, all people in Kenya, allow the process to follow its course and, if they have any grievances, that they channel those through legal and peaceful means.  We reiterate the call of the Secretary-General for maintaining calm and ensuring strict respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in this time while people await, and understandably await eagerly, the official results. From the August 1 transcript: Inner City Press: in the run up to the elections in Kenya, the head of the electronic voting, Chris Msando, has been murdered and I wanted to know, what is the UN… various countries have expressed concern, offered to send investigators, has the resident coordinator or anyone in the UN system, what do they think of this murder?

Spokesman:  Obviously, I think it’s, the fact that a member of the electoral commission was murdered, in what appears to be such a gruesome way, is shocking and can only be condemned.  We hope that the perpetrators are found and brought to justice.  I think Kenya is entering a very, obviously a very delicate period with the upcoming elections, and we would not want to see any increase or violence or disturbance.

Inner City Press: Can you say what the UN's role, does it have any role?  I know that there was somebody who used to work at DPA [Department of Political Affairs] who is now working on the elections as a Kenyan national, but is there a UN role?

Spokesman:  I can check.  I'm not aware of any role, but I'm happy to check.

  Twenty three hours later, nothing. But UN Department of Public Information's Nairobi "UNIC" has responded online that the UN did speak out, attaching a statement referring to the "sudden demise" of Msango. He was tortured and murdered. That is NOT speaking out, and is consistent with UN Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee's strikingly pro-government blatherings in the country, of the kind the many say got the Resident Coordinator in Myanmar removed from the job - or "promoted," in UN-speak. Chatterjee was named Resident Correspondent by his father in law Ban, without recusal. On August 2, with Dujarric not having provided any answer on the UN's electoral role, Inner City Press asked him again, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the UN statement, apparently the most recent one, still calls it a sudden demise and given that the autopsy has shown that he was both tortured and murdered and the EU has called for an investigation, is the UN wanting there to be an investigation?

Spokesman:  Of course, of course, there should be an investigation.  I think anyone who is found murdered deserves to have an investigation into the killings.  I think in this particular instance, given the political climate in Kenya and given the upcoming elections, it's obviously extremely important that, following what has clearly been the murder of a senior member of the electoral commission, that that be investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice.

Inner City Press:  When they called it a sudden demise, they didn't yet know it was a murder?

Spokesman:  Listen, I think, you’re, as I said, the UNIC is obviously in contact with you.  You are free to call.

Inner City Press:  They tweeted.

Spokesman:  No, you know their numbers are public.  You can go and ask them directly.  You don't need me to be sandwiched between you and them.  And I did, I think you had asked about the UN's role, and… and UNDP is, through an electoral cycle, based 2015-2018 project called Supporting Electoral Processes in Kenya, supporting various Kenyan institutions to prepare for credible and peaceful general elections in August.  The project focuses on strengthening institutional and legal framework for the electoral process; increasing the participation of voters, parties and candidates in the electoral process with an emphasis of women, youth and people living with disabilities; promoting efficient and transparent and peaceful elections; and strengthening electoral justice.  The UN has also engaged the importance of peaceful and credible elections, both for the country and the region, by working consultation with regional organizations and the wider international community.

Back on February 17 as the UN discussed enforced disappearances with restricting the Press' ability to cover them, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq why the UN's Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee, Ban Ki-moon's son in law promoted by him without recusal, was silent on at least two cases. UN Transcript here and below.

   Siddharth Chatterjee has two days later reached out to seek an agreement, in advance, to publish whatever he chooses to send in. Inner City Press in turn requested, as it did in person in New York in September, an on camera interview which it would publish live and in its entirety.

  Along with the above, and what Chatterjee was doing recently in Addis Ababa lobbying in connection with the race for top African Union post, Inner City Press has conveyed in advance questions ranging from whether or not Chatterjee previously got an article about one of his promotions taken off the Internet after making an illegal offer of a job in his father in law's Secretariat to his role in the Jaffna Hospital Massacre and other specific war crimes in Sri Lanka. We hope to get answers to these questions and to publish them. Watch this site.

From the UN's February 17 transcript:

Inner City Press: it's the tenth anniversary of this Convention on enforced disappearances.  So, I'd asked you, I think, on Monday about this… these case of two South Sudanese who have disappeared in Kenya.  You said you're aware of the reports so, two things.  One, I'm wondering, who in the UN system is engaging with the Kenyan Government or the South Sudan Government about that?  Why hasn't the Resident Coordinator in Kenya? I mean the Nigeria one is speaking about when Boko Haram will be done.  Has anything been said by the UN in-country about these people that have been disappeared presumably by the Government and returned to South Sudan?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, first of all, I believe that there are Special Rapporteurs dealing with this particular situation.  There's… one of our human rights instruments deals with the question of disappearances.  And so they're looking into this matter, and we'll try to get information from them first and foremost.  And then other parts of the system can work on that as needed.

Inner City Press:  Sure.  And then can I, there's  a high-profile case in France of a 22-year-old person that was arrested on video and has said to have been raped or sodomized during the arrest.  His name is Theo.  And there have been riots in France for several days on it.  I've checked at least everything that's been sent out by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  I haven't seen anything.  Is the UN aware of this case?  And what do they think of… of both police treatment of people in France and of how the protests are being dealt with?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, regarding protests, of course, we want to make sure that the freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly are upheld.  Beyond that, this is a case that, ultimately, the judicial system would need to look into, and we'll have to see where they go with that.

  Back on January 25 with at least these two South Sudanese threatened with deportation by Kenya, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric for the UN's response. From the UN transcript:

Inner City Press: extradition questions, not South Korea extradition but are you aware of the impending extradition of South Sudanese human rights lawyer Samuel Luak, who defended Pagan Amum?  Basically, a number of highly respected groups are saying that, if he’s deported, he will face unjust treatment.  So I’m wondering, has the UN…

Spokesman Dujarric:  I, I have, don’t have an update here, but, again, you can check locally with the mission.

Inner City Press:  So that would be the resident coordinator?  I’m talking about in Kenya.

Spokesman:  In Kenya, you can check with the UN Information Centre in Nairobi.

  Dujarric was until December 31 the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, who before he left the UN promoted his own son in law Siddharth Chatterjee to the top UN post in Kenya, as Resident Coordinator.

 In December as Kenya detained journalist Jerome Starkey, Ban Ki-moon's son in law Chatterjee was entirely silent. Like his father in law has proved to be with the Press in New York, he is at heart a censor. But it makes a mockery of Ban Ki-moon's post Sri Lanka claims of "Rights Up Front," even as Ban angles to run for President on South Korea.

 In fact, in Sri Lanka Ban's son in law is implicated in presumptive war crimes, the Jaffna Hospital massacre and the crushing of civilians with tanks. And it's from him that Ban took his advice on Sri Lanka, where Ban oversaw the killing of more than 40,000 civilians.

 Ban is allowing those scribes who ignore this and praise him to sell access to him on December 16 for $1200 on Wall Street. We'll have more on this.

Tellingly, as the UN's Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Ban's son in law Chatterjee has remained silent not only on the targeting of South Sudanese, but on the protests profiled in a study released by Article 19, here.

Ban's son in law ignores Ban's supposed “Rights Up Front,” given his action in Sri Lanka (see below) and because he is entirely unaccountable: he could only be fired by Ban Ki-moon, his father in law. Nepotism is harmful.

On December 3 Inner City Press reported the ever-increasingly likelihood that Ban Ki-moon's son in law Chatterjee was involved in crimes of war in Sri Lanka, which neither Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric nor Chatterjee himself when asked in the UN lobby was willing to answer.

   For some time Inner City Press has heard that Chatterjee, as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, was a war criminal. Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Dujarric if Chatterjee was involved in the Jaffna University raid, or the Jaffna hospital massacre, without answer.

   In the UN lobby, Chatterjee said he would answer at an “opportune time.” He has not answered. Chatterjee had his commander, Dalvir Singh, write a defense on Huffington Post and elsewhere, identifying himself as the commander of Chatterjee and of the 10th Para commandos.

And that's the problem. More here and here.


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