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UNOPS Buries Somalia Probe as Taranco & Pollard Vye to Head It, Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, January 2 -- As 2014 begins, the UN is among other things a shadowy system in which investigations are buried, answers aren't given, and proxies defend.

Take the UN Office of Project Services, on which Inner City Press has previously reported, back to 2009.

   In the middle of 2013 when Inner City Press first reported a scandal in Somalia in which the head there of the UN Mine Action Services was accused of sharing genetic information from bombings with US intelligence, Inner City Press was told that the UN would say nothing under UNOPS finished its investigation.

Six months later on the last day of 2013, Inner City Press asked if the UNOPS investigation -- or is it another cover up? -- was finished yet:

Inner City Press: I just wanted to be sure I ask again about this David Bax in Somalia. There was a UNOPS [United Nations Office for Project Services] investigation, it was about the middle of the year that it was said that it had begun. I wanted to know, you know, if itís finished or when the idea for finishing it is?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: With regard to the investigation you were referring to out of Mogadishu, I donít believe we have any update on that at this point. Okay.

Well, not okay. First, Inner City Press repeated put this question to the UN Spokesperson in writing, without response. When asked in-person when noon briefing began again, there is without explanation no completion of an investigation UNOPS began six months earlier.

Meanwhile at New Years UNOPS was tweeting self-promotion, but did not respond to the question: where IS the Bax investigation? UNsocial media.

  And so Inner City Press now exclusively reports, from its sources in the system, that among those vying to head this UNOPS going forward are Oscar Fernandez Taranco, who declined move-outs from the Department of Political Affairs in New York to assignments in Haiti and elsewhere, and the head of the UN Office of Human Rights Management Catherine Pollard.

  Leaving UNOPS as we're previously reported is Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's soon in law Siddarth Chatterjee, headed for another promotion as head of UNFPA in Kenya. The UN has at each turn resisted answering questions about these promotions, as even a Chatterjee defender recently (Dec 23) acknowledged. But he while he cited UN stonewalling, he did not mention censorship.

When Inner City Press first reported on this, and it was picked up by media from Chatterjee's native India, that media was contacted and told to take the story down, and to ask Inner City Press to do so. Why?

  Now a media very close to the UN has filed a bad faith Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint to get Google to block access to his own leaked email to the UN trying to get Inner City Press thrown out. And so it goes in this UN.


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