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In Darfur, UN Proposes Gambari and then Djinit and Menkerios, Ambassadors Say, Sudan Prefers Kumalo

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, June 19 -- The politics of Darfur and the UN's Missions has devolved into proposals and counter-proposal, a range of Ambassadors told Inner City Press on June 19. To replace current African Union - UN envoy Rodolphe Adada, the UN initially proposed current Myanmar envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

   The UN's rationale was that Gambari, a Nigerian, would political replace current UN Darfur force command and fellow Nigerian Martin Luther Agwai, to be replaced by a Rwandan.

   But according to diplomats, Western powers led by the UK have opposed Gambari, arguing that as a Muslim he would favor Sudan as they perceive Adada did. The UN then has proposed Said Djinnit. But Sudan is vehemently opposed to Djinnit. They say the next proposal is Haile Menkerios, regarding whom Sudan is also non-plussed. They prefer and would accept Dumisani Kumalo, former South African Ambassador to the UN.

UN's Ban and Menkerios, Gambari, Djinnit and Kumalo not shown

   A range of Ambassadors said Kumalo would be an ideal choice. One, on the Council, urged Inner City Press not to float the idea, saying that would doom it. But as Abe Lincoln said, an idea whose time has come cannot be denied. Watch this site.

Footnote: the departure of Martin Luther Agwai as UNAMID force commander in Darfur would take place as questions have been raised about the UN's employment of his wife Ruth Agwai in the UN Medical Service, and her moonlighting for an NGO for the wives of Nigerian generals. Rwanda lost the deputy post when Karake Karenzi fell under accusation of war crimes by a Spanish court. Another Rwandan, though, could not only return to the The Sudan, but talk over UNAMID lock, stock and barrel.

Footnote: the UN's proffer of Gambari as envoy to Darfur implies to some that his Myanmar envoy post is not a serious endeavor. He is a genial and non untransparent fellow, so we'd anticipate having more on this.

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As De Mistura Leaves UN in Iraq, Melkert Called Sole Candidate, Baghdad Given Only One Choice

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, June 18 -- What does the UN do with a candidate twice passed over for the top job at one of its funds and programs? Send him to Iraq, apparently. On June 11 Inner City Press exclusively reported that Ad Melkert, who lost out to Kemal Dervis and then Helen Clark for the job as Administrator of the UN Development Program, was angling to finally head up a part of the UN: its mission in Iraq.

   On June 17 it was confirmed that the current occupant of the position, Stefan de Mistura, is shifting over to become deputy director of the World Food Program. At the UN noon briefing of June 18, Inner City Press asked spokesperson Michele Montas to confirm or deny that Melkert is the Secretary General's nominee to replace de Mistura. Ms. Montas declined to confirm, but said that an announcement would be made shortly.

   Inner City Press asked Iraq's Ambassador to the UN Hamid Al Bayati to comment on Ad Melkert. "It hasn't been decided," Ambassador Al Bayati said. "But it looks as if it is going to be." A well-placed Security Council source told Inner City Press that Melkert is the only candidate. So it looks like the fix is in.

UN's Ban and Melkert, agreement on public financial disclosure not shown

   Who then would replace Melkert at UNDP? Some are saying that post will be used for the lateral move of a current Under Secretary General in Headquarters who many want out of the slot. If Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was got ratings from the Economist of three out of ten, and even two out of ten, and Ban has just been hit with more than 200 staff members at Headquarters casting votes of "No Confidence" in him on Capital Master Plan and management issues, those responsible may have to be shaken up, is the word from upstairs. Watch this site.

Footnote: Melkert, it must be said, openly disagreed with Ban's request that top UN officials make some public financial disclosure, and was central in UNDP's break-away from the UN's Ethics system, including on whistleblower protection. Are these among his qualifications for the UN in Iraq?

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UN Mulls Sending Melkert to Iraq, Local Staff in Pakistan Shortchanged, Owondo's Service

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Muse

UNITED NATIONS, June 11 -- Inside the UN system, staff were angry Thursday night. First came indications that beyond the international staff killed in the bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, at least three national staff were killed as well. Not only where they barely spoken of, but the benefits package for them is slated to be a fraction of that offered to the internationals. Also barely mentioned was the UN's evacuation of some but not all staff from Peshawar to Islamabad.

  The UN Mission in Iraq, the staffers said, is slated to receive a new manager from New York. Ad Melkert, the Associate Administrator of UNDP who twice lost out in races for the top job, is reportedly being sent to Baghdad. As such, he would be rewarded for publicly disagreeing with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's call for public financial disclosure, and for breaking away from the UN Secretariat's Ethics Office and what whistleblower protections exist.

UN staffer Solecki returns home, local staff and red flag not shown

   UNDP's staff union head Dmitry Samaras was present Thursday in the Church Center across from the UN, at the funeral for former staff member Joseph Owondo, who died in the crash of the Air France flight from Brazil to Paris. Owondo's death is a loss: if the UN had more whistleblowers like him, it would be a better place. Click here for Inner City Press' previously story on Owondo.

   Speaking at his funeral were Emmanuel Goued, Regis Onanga Ndiaye and Raphael Mbadinga. Samaras knows where many UNDP skeletons are buried, but what is the interest in exposing them? From now on, do it for Owondo. The UN is full of conflicts.

  Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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