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As Brahimi Plays Nobel Lotto, Questions of Algeria Bombing, Annan Holdovers

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 17 -- With 78 year told Lakhdar Brahimi gearing up to replace Kofi Annan as Syria envoy or Representative on September 1, there are obvious questions about whether he will keep in place the team of "Seven Million Dollar Man" Annan.

  As Inner City Press exclusively reported, Annan brought on people associated with his Kofi Annan Foundation such as Alan Doss, who was then described by Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi as being in his "toolbox" of consultants, and Martin Griffiths, under whose leadership the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva suffered a financial scandal.

  As well placed UN sources pointed out to Inner City Press, Griffiths could not have been hired by the UN, but received a UN-funded six month contract for Kofi Annan's term. And now?

  Brahimi on Friday gave what was described as his first interview as Joint Special Representative (designate) to French state media France 24, seemingly not calculated to bridge the gap with Russia and China on a day that another French (largely) state media characterized the Western P3 members of the Security Council and at least three of our Arab invitees as "boycotting" Russia's hastily scheduled Action Group meeting at the UN.

  Another lens through which to view or review Lakhdar Brahimi was his 2008 mandate to investigate the killing of UN staff in Algiers.  On February 28, 2008 Brahimi told Inner City Press, "the UN doesn't have to be in every single place."

  Inner City Press had asked UN Development Program's Administrator Kemal Dervis about UNDP's Mark de Bernis' failure to get action on security threats that mounts throughout 2007. Dervis defended UNDP by saying that it asked Algeria for help in blocking off the street, but that there was no response. So Inner City Press asked Brahimi, former Algerian foreign minister, about this. "I have heard that," he said. "We will look into that... whether Algerians were over-confident, or UNDP."

   But the question was never answered. Now Brahimi plays Nobel Peace Prize lotto with Syria. Will there be more follow through this time? Timing is everything. Watch this site.

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