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UN Walks Back from Eliasson's Estimate of 3000 AMISOM Deaths, Del Ponte Lite

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 -- Returning from the Somalia conference in London, UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson on May 9 told the press, "You would be shocked to learn that maybe it is up to 3,000 AMISOM soldiers that have been killed during these years that AMISOM has been there. Uganda, Burundi, have paid a tremendous price... the Kenyan troops are, of course, also a large part of AMISOM."

  The number seemed high. And lo and behold, on Friday afternoon the UN walked back, ever so gently, from Eliasson's estimate:

"we would like to clarify the following: The casualty figures used by the Deputy Secretary General were an estimate based on information from informal sources; dissemination of exact casualty statistics is solely the responsibility of the African Union and the individual troop contributing countries."

Compare that to what happened to Carla Del Ponte after she spoke of evidence leading to strong suspicions that sarin gas was used in Syria -- by the rebels, not the government.

   Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if Ban's prober Ake Sellstrom had got or sought Del Ponte's information. Video here.

  The UN pointed out that Del Ponte's co-paneled Paulo Pinheiro had immediately undercut Del Ponte, as did White House spokesman Jay Carney (who spun insider journalists off the record about Benghazi on Friday) and then the spokesperson from the UK's David Cameron.

  Will other jump in on Eliasson's statement? We doubt it. Watch this site.

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