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UNSC To Belatedly Meet Jan 3 on Central African Republic, & Yemen

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, January 2, updated -- As the US, France, China and other evacuated their citizens from Central African Republic, and the UN pulled out all of its international staff, the UN Security Council has not held a meeting about CAR since December 19.

On January 2 as each Security Council member came to meet with January's Council president Pakistan, Inner City Press asked when they might at least get a briefing about the Seleka rebels' advance on Bangui.

French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud said there "could" be a meeting, but it's "the regional organizations that are in charge." This was not the approach taken when the M23 rebels moved on Goma; so much for consistency.

Inner City Press asked US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo is there would be a Council meeting about the Central African Republic before the regular, pre-scheduled one about the UN's political mission there -- all of whose international staff have been removed.

Ambassador DiCarlo told Inner City Press, ""I think there will be one." Later other diplomats confirmed a briefing for January 3 in the afternoon, after the Council meets to adopt its program of work for January.

  One of the new Council members, more open than the rest, told Inner City Press exclusively that the Thursday afternoon Council session will also concern Yemen, and a possible Council trip there.

  On Central African Republic, at Wednesday's UN noon briefing, the first since December 21, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky confirmed that all UN international staff were out of the country, but said that envoy Margaret Vogt is in touch with the Department of Political Affairs.

  But is she in touch with Bozize? What is the UN's role now? What has this political mission being doing?* [See below.]

Footnote: All of the five new Security Council members sent their Permanent Representatives for bilateral meetings with January's President, Pakistan's Permanent Representative Masood Khan.

 This was true for two of the Council's Permanent Five members. Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong stopped and noted Kim Jong Un's overture to South Korea, saying that it is important to facilitate better relations on the Peninsula.

 Some might say, this make follow up on the Council's elements to the press about the launch less likely. Watch this site.

Update of 3:40 pm -- after publication, this came in:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM
Subject: Questions
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

On the Central African Republic: But is she in touch with Bozize? What is the UN's role now? What has this political mission being doing?
As made clear at the noon briefing, while as a security precaution, international staff have now all been temporarily relocated outside the country, we remain engaged in efforts to resolve the crisis. The Special Representative has remained in close dialogue with the key parties in the Central African Republic and the region and has offered support to political negotiations.

   We publish this ten minutes after receipt - and, we'll see. Watch this site.

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