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In Somalia, UN Witch Hunt on Mine Action's Bax Giving Info to US Intelligence

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 24 – What happens when a detailed complaint that a UN official is improperly supplying information to US intelligence agencies is received and asked about in UN Headquarters?

  Stonewalling of the Press' request for confirmation or denial, and a witch hunt to find the source.

  Two days ago Inner City Press asked the director of the UN Mine Action Service Agnes Marcaillou about a complaint from a whistleblower in UNMAS in Somalia. First exclusive here.

  The allegation is that country director David Bax has been passing along genetic information from bombings to US intelligence agencies, in a move the UNMAS whistleblower says has endangered the lives of UN personnel.

  But instead of responding, a dragnet along the wider world of UN personnel working in and on Somalia began.

   Who was it that “outed” Bax, not only for inappropriate service of the US (for which he has been thrown out of a country before) but also for “ruling over” the UN compound, abusing his power to decide who gets which accommodation and job, and even controlling and profiting from the sale of liquor in the UN compound's bar.

  Rather than answering, the UN questioning began: who would know about this? The better question is, why has been been allowed to go on so long? And what's going to be done about it now?

  At the UN's June 24 noon briefing, Inner City Press began by asking Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey to simply confirm receipt of the UNMAS whistleblower's complaint, and whether UNMAS's Somalia chief David Bax and his Denel contractors are expected to run around Mogadishu armed. Video here from Minute 6:28.

  Del Buey told Inner City Press to “ask DPKO,” the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. But DPKO's chief Herve Ladsous has repeatedly refused to answer Inner City Press' questions, video here. And another at DPKO, and the head of UNMAS, have not responded to Press inquiries about the complaint. But as noted, the witch hunt has begun.

I wouldn't call it a witch hunt,” Del Buey insisted. But when people are accused, we have to look into it and get to the bottom of it.”

  Inner City Press asked if the complainant would be subject to the UN's stated whistleblower protections. And that too is a question to be answered. Watch this site.

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