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UN Has Nothing on Darfur, Haiti or DRC, Zip on CAR, Arrests of Poet & Tweeter

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 24 -- Christmas Eve was a workday at the UN. In the North Lawn building then General Assembly, hundreds of diplomats milled around before votes on the budget, the Responsibility to Protect and the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

  Covering those, Inner City Press e-mailed some questions to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's top three spokespeople. The most pressing involved the Central African Republic, where rebels have taken three more towns. Inner City Press asked

In Central African Republic, what is the UN system presence if any in the rebel-taken towns of Bambari, Ippy and Ndassima? In light of the Secretary General's recent speech to the Security Council about the Peacebuilding Commission, what is his comment on the CAR Peacebuilding Configuration being without a chair?

D24-2 Does the Secretary General have any comment on the jailing in Bahrain of Said Yousif al-Muhafda for his Tweets? Also, on the poet sentenced by Qatar that I asked about (and was told to ask UNESCO), I got nothing back from UNESCO. Is the S-G still following that case? Does he have any comment?

D24-3 Please provide all available information on the killing of the four peacekeepers in Darfur, and the long-delayed update on the shooting of the Rwandan UN police officer in Haiti. Also, the now-2 reports from Cote d'Ivoire about UN action and inaction in Niambly IDP camp killings.

Also -- it should go without saying -- any and all information on which Congolese units were in Minova during the 126+ rapes, which FARDC units MONUSCO supports, and any suspensions of support in the last year. And anything on the budget, including salary freeze proposal. I am in North Lawn covering this. Happy holiday(s).

   The budget session ended badly, including for Ban's mobility proposal. And these were the only answers provided by the end of the work day:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Mon, Dec 24, 2012
Subject: Your questions
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

With respect to your questions on Haiti, the DRC and Darfur, we have nothing to add at the present time. With respect to you questions on Cote d'Ivoire, we attach two articles that are currently appearing in the latest edition of Fraternite Matin, which covers the issue you raised.

   So, NOTHING on Haiti, Darfur and DRC? And what about the Central African Republic, and the EU "scandal"? No reaction to the arrest of a tweeter, life sentence for a poet? We will keep asking. Watch this site.

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