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Even on #Kony2012, UN is UNprepared, ICP Unanswered Amid Torture in Libya

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 -- In the past the UN despite corruption scandals and sitting inert during genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans was said to carry the torch for obscure or lost causes that few others cared about. But even this has been lost, in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon five years.

On March 7 as a worldwide social media push took off about a signature UN or Central Africa issue -- Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army -- Inner City Press went to ask about it at the UN's noon briefing, assuming that at least this the UN would notice.

  But no.

   When asked what the UN and its peacekeeping missions in the region are going to apprehend the International Criminal Court indictee Kony, Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said, "I have to check into that and get back to you on it, I don’t have any details with me right now." Video here.

  And ten hours later, no information was provided. Nothing. The UN has billion dollar peacekeeping missions, and a staffed up Department of Public Information. But there was no information: nothing.

  Whatever one thinks of the campaign, this is the type of issue on which the UN is supposed to have information, and even be taking action. But... no answer, even ten hours after the question was asked.

  On the same day, Inner City Press asked UN envoy to Libya Ian Martin to answer a single question, about a widely seen YouTube video of African Libyans being tortured in a cage, told to "eat" the new Libyan flag. Martin refused to answer the question, and refused to take any on screen questions as previously envoys have done.

  The UN now lives in its own world, cut off even from those issues on which it could take the lead, or at least play a role. The Emperor has no clothes but who will say it? Watch this site.

From the UN's March 7 noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press; There is a lot of discussion today of a campaign around Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. So, I wonder, I haven’t actually heard much from MONUSCO about this problem in some time and people are reporting that there were attacks near Dungu in February, can you say what is, given the increased global interest in the apprehension of Mr. Kony, who is indicted by the ICC, what has the UN been doing and what’s the status of the coordination of UN peacekeeping missions and what’s their role in… in what’s described as the hunt for Joseph Kony?

Deputy Spokesperson: Well, I have to check into that and get back to you on it, I don’t have any details with me right now.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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