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  Amid Iraq Carnage, UN's Website of Casualties Remains Unavailable As In Sri Lanka & Darfur

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 9 – In Iraq there is a dispute about how many people were killed in the Katyusha rocket attack on Camp Liberty.

  The residents say six were killed, and have provided Inner City Press with names: Mehdi Abed, Mostafa Khosravi, Akbar Azizi, Yaha Nazari, Hadi Shafiee and Ms. Pouran Najafi.

  Iraqi authorities counter that only one person was killed, and that they cannot stop and are not responsible to stop the rocket attacks.

  As to how many were killed, in this and the many other attacks and suicide bombings throughout Iraq, one would expect the UN to have something to say. They have a mission in Iraq, UNAMI, and they have a website.

  But as pointed out this morning to Inner City Press by an intrepid reporter, the UN's “Attacks and Casualties in Iraq” website has for months been blank except for one line: “This website is temporarily unavailable.”

  That the UN is technologically incompetent and ham-handed is clear. In New York during Hurricane Sandy, the UN could not even send an e-mail to its member states.

  Yesterday February 8, the UN cut off its UNTV webcast just as Inner City Press pursued a question about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's lack of fairness and transparency in favoring the UN Correspondents Association, which has tried to get the investigative Press thown out of the UN, and now mocks an alleged victim of sexual harassment through an anonymous social media account.

  The UN's non-reporting of casualties in Iraq, however, is part of a larger pattern. In Darfur, its UNAMID mission costing over $1 billion a year stopped many forms of reporting. UN partisans blame this on the African Union, the UN's partner in UNAMID.

   But in Sri Lanka in 2009, as exposed by Inner City Press, the UN actively concealed the death figures, nearly entirely of Tamils, compiled by its own Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

  When Inner City Press, holding up a leaked copy of the OCHA report, asked why it had been buried, Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson replied that the UN doesn't count killings, it tries to stop them.

  The UN is not going a good job at either. It's time for the UN to end the “temporary unavailability” of its “Attacks and Casualties in Iraq” website. Where is envoy Martin Kobler on this? Watch this site.

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