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Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

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At UN on Western Sahara, Morocco Pushes To Drop Human Rights Mechanism from Draft, Q of French Standards

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- In the run up to the UN Security Council's regular fight on Western Sahara this month, Morocco has been lobbying to change Paragraph 119 of the UN's report, about establishing a human right mechanism within the UN Mission MINURSO, Inner City Press has learned.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has suggested “the establishment of an effective international mechanism for regular independent, impartial and sustained human rights monitoring and reporting... through a component within MINURSO,” according to a draft obtained by Inner City Press.

But Morocco, according to sources, obtained a leak of the draft from the UN and is pressuring to change the paragraph to delete any reference to a new mechanism, and to instead “welcome the commitment of Morocco to allow unimpeded access to Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council.”

Morocco continues to have the unquestioning support of France. Some Polisario supporters call it a contradiction, that France would be bombing Libya in the name of human rights while blocking the establishment of a mere human rights reporting mechanism for Western Sahara. But, these people say, many of France's policies are more explicable in terms of colonial relations than principle.

Meanwhile, when new Security Council member South Africa invited all 15 Council members to a session on Western Sahara at its mission last month, Morocco lobbied many countries not to attend. Attendees included Nigeria, the US, Russia and the UK. France was notably not present. Watch this site.

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On Libya, UN Brings In Brit Ian Martin, Mulls Mission as d'Escoto with Niece

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- The UN's planning on Libya now involving bringing back its British former envoy to Nepal Ian Martin on the political side, and continency planning for possible UN peacekeeping mission, multiple source have told Inner City Press.

On April 1 outside the UN Security Council, Inner City Press asked chief UN Peacekeeper Alain Le Roy to confirm that his department is engaged in planning for a possible Libya mission. We are always planning, Le Roy cryptically said.

Later, UN source told Inner City Press that, at the urging of the UK which has offered asylum to Gaddafi defectors and is bombing the country, the UN is bringing Ian Martin back, on Libya.

While Inner City Press has positively assessed Martin's work in Nepal, particularly compared with his successor there, the UN sources say that for a “Brit, at the demand of the UK, to be assigned by the UN to Libya while the RAF is bombing” is unwise, and a new low for the UN. We'll see.

Meanwhile Gaddafi's request to be represented at the UN by former Nicaraguan foreign minister -- and UN President of the General Assembly -- Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann has taken a new turn.

Contrary to other media reports, Nicaraguan sources tell Inner City Press, d'Escoto Brockmann has not left New York. The request is in to the UN to credential him as a Nicaraguan Deputy Permanent Representative -- and also to get credentials for his niece Sophia Clark.

Ban and Ian Martin, UK pressure, Libya & Sophia Clark not shown

Inner City Press previously exposed and tangled with Brockmann about his hiring of his nephew Michael Clark, who is now working for UNCTAD in New York. Now neice Sophia Clark is back in the mix, for Nicaragua and prospectively Libya. If all goes well, there will be a press conference by d'Escoto Brockmann on April 5. Watch this site.

Footnote: the degree to which Ban Ki-moon's UN is in chaos is reflected by the Saudis' shoot down, just reported exclusively by Inner City Press, of the proposal to send ASG Fernandex-Taranco to Bahrain, click here for that story.

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UN Plan To Send Envoy Taranco to Bahrain Shot Down by Saudis, Sources Say

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proposed sending his Middle East coordinator Oscar Fernandez-Taranco to Bahrain, he was told not -- not by Bahrain but by Saudi Arabia, Inner City Press has learned from well placed sources.

After Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain as support against the largely Shi'a protests, the UN issued a cryptic statement in which Ban Ki-moon “noted” their entry. Ban's spokesmen refused repeated requests to elaborate on the statement.

Inner City Press has asked if the UN acknowledges that Bahrain's used of non-national Sunni forces as security -- from Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere -- might constitute a use of mercenaries, Ban's spokesmen have refused to answer.

Taranco in Council, but not in Bahrain: Saudi protest not shown

Now, when Ban's Secretariat told Bahrain they would be sending Tarranco, his Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, it was not Bahrain which said no. Rather, Bahrain told Saudi Arabia, which put on the kibosh.

Saudi Arabia give money and even planes to the UN, and for Ban Ki-moon to fly on. And so unlike Libya and even now Yemen, this is one crackdown on which the UN is doing absolutely nothing. Watch this site.

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

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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