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As Weisbrod-Weber Gets W. Sahara, Ladsous' Water Down, Eritrea Water Up?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 15 -- Back on May 9 Inner City Press reported that Morocco was trying to block the appointment of Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber as head of the UN mission in Western Sahara.

  A letter of appointment was sent to the UN Security Council, on which Morocco is six months into a two year elected term. But Morocco objected.

  After more than a month's delay, on June 15 Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber was finally named SRSG of the MINURSO mission. But the status of envoy Christopher Ross is less clear.

 Since Morocco says they've lost confidence in him, he hasn't traveled to the region; he is in limbo.

  Western Sahara was the topic, after higher profile Malvinas / Falkland Islands, in the so-called Committee of 24 on Friday. Inner City Press went and asked Frente Polisario representative Ahmed Boukhari about the confirmation of Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, and how Morocco's blocking of Ross differed, if it does, from Polisario having lost confidence in previously envoy Van Walsom.

  Boukhari said that Ross was neutral, while Van Walsom "issued his own report, against Western Sahara independence." He said that Ross had never made such a comment, noting that the UN's reports on Western Sahara are edited by, among others "Herve Ladsous, who is French." France supports Morocco.

  As Inner City Press reported, the two versions of the last report on Western Sahara were watered down to drop allegations against Morocco of limiting freedom of movement of the peacekeepers.

  Inner City Press exclusively learned on Friday that a similar amateurish post-publication is taking place on the forthcoming report on Eritrea. The report already has a number (S/2012/412) and has been on the UN's ODS Official Document Service.

  But unlike the Western Sahara watering down, in this case it's a matter of watering UP -- Ethiopia and others are said to want the report to be more damning of Asmara. And so it goes at 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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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