Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On Burundi, UN Belatedly Confirms Mayuyu Repatriation to ICP After Telling It Mayuyu “Not On Any Roster”



By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up On Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, August 24 -- UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press on August 24 that Burundian Lt. Col. Alfred Mayuyu was deployed to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in July but is being repatriated to Burundi effective immediately. Vine I here.

This followed Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq on August 5 telling Inner City Press that Mayuyu was not on “any roster” of MINUSCA, video here.

 Inner City Press asked Dujarric, if that was not intentional misrepresentation, what does it say about UN Peacekeeping's “vetting” under chief Herve Ladsous if they can't even find the name of a high profile human rights abuser. Vine II here.

This, Dujarric did not explain.  Beyond the Vine here. He said not to “extrapolate from this one incident” - ironic, in that he, USG Cristina Gallach and SG Ban used a simple event Inner City Press wanted to cover as a pretext to evict it. We'll have more on this Inner City Press will continue on this.

On August 24, it also asked about new mass graves found in Burundi.UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about Burundi, the one about Mr. Mayuyu, which I've asked about…

Spokesman:  I have an answer for you.

ICP Question:  You do?  Good.  Also, there's been a report also in Radio Publique Africaine about mass graves.  The group APRODH, run by Mr. Mbonimpa, said they found  mass graves, including of people who dug the graves buried to eliminate witnesses.  So, I wanted to, I guess, get that one in the hopper.  But, on Mr. Mayuyu…

Spokesman:  I can confirm from our colleagues in peacekeeping that Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Mayuyu from Burundi, who was deployed to UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic as a military observer in July this year is to be repatriated with immediate effect.  The Permanent Mission of Burundi has been notified of the Secretariat's decision.

ICP Question:  This is not to be mean-spirited, but, on 5 August, standing where you are, Farhan said, Mayuyu is not on any roster.  And so, I'm left wondering…  I don't believe necessarily that there's any kind of misrepresentation, but how can the mission not know who's…?

Spokesman:  I can only give you the information I have… I have now.  I'm not sure if those were Farhan's exact words.  I'm sure he was speaking with the information that he had at the time.  The point is that we looked into the matter, and I can confirm that information to you this morning.

ICP Question: f the mission is not able to actually even run a name… run a name through its roster…?

Spokesman:  I think you're extrapolating from this one incident. 

Again, ironic, in that he, USG Cristina Gallach and SG Ban used a simple event Inner City Press wanted to cover as a pretext to evict it. We'll have more on this.But Inner City Press will continue on this. Watch this site.

Shouldn't the UN Spokesperson be expected to provide an explanation why his Office told the Press a controversial Burundian colonel was NOT with UN Peacekeeping when a respected radio station in Burundisays the colonel was repatriated? It would seem so. But it's not the case in today's UN.

On August 22, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric for just such an answer:

To: Stephane Dujarric [at] un.org
From: Inner City Press
Date: Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 3:13 PM
Cc: Farhan Haq [at] un.org, FUNCA [at] funca.info
Subject: Press Q again about Burundi's Mayuyu - I was told "not on roster," now RPA says he's repatriated: confirm/deny, explain

"I have asked your Office repeatedly about Burundian Lieutenant-colonel Alfred Mayuyu being deployed to MINUSCA in the Central African Republic despite his human rights record in Burundi, including in connection with Dec 12, 2015.

I was told, by Farhan Haq, that Mayuyu was not on any MINUSCA roster.
Last week I heard Mayuyu was in fact being repatriated (with the flight paid for the UN, not Burundi) and aimed to ask at today's abruptly-ended briefing.
Now the below has been published by Radio Publique Africaine, that Mayayu IS being repatriated.

Please immediately confirm or deny, and if confirm, please explain why I was told, after repeated questions, that Mayuyu was not on any roster."

   No explanation given; no answer at all for more than a day, from this spokesperson who worked to get the investigative Press thrown out -“aide memoire" to Senate Foreign Relations Committee here,Paragraphs 9 and 10, some video of Q-no-A here. Is this acceptable for the UN?

  With no email response, even just to confirm receipt, from Dujarric Inner City Press at the August 23 noon briefing asked again, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about this Burundian Lieutenant Colonel Mr. Mayuyu.  I’d asked a couple of times here and was told he’s not on any roster, and now Radio Publique Africaine in Burundi has reported that he was deployed and has been repatriated.  So what is the… what are the facts?  And if he was there, why was it said from this podium that he wasn’t there?

Spokesman:  I hope to have something on that a bit later today or tomorrow.

Inner City Press:  How can the mission not be able to say? He’s a commanding officer…

Spokesman:  As I said, I’m trying to harvest facts.

   Since Dujarric has a history of rushing out of the briefing room with questions unanswered, Inner City Press began a Periscope video. Dujarric said, gesturing at Inner City Press' Periscoping phone, “You know it’s also live on the web.”

Inner City Press:   I understand.  But I have to be ready…

Spokesman:  Of course.

Inner City Press:   to…[inaudible]

Spokesman:  And I want people to see that I am the lazy Spokesman that you say I am.

Inner City Press:   All right.  I did email about Mayuyu…

Spokesman:  I’m lazy.  That’s what I can tell you.

  The reference was to a hashtag, #LazySpox a/k/a (in French) #DroleDePorteParole. And eight hours later and counting, still no answer of any kind.

On July 29 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to send up to 228 UN Police to Burundi, with four abstentions: China, Egypt, Venezuela and Egypt. Surprisingly, Russia voted yes. Here is the French text; English is below.  

Minute before the UN Security Council was to vote on the draft resolution to send up to 228 police to Burundi, French ambassador Francois Delattre spoke with his Chinese counterpart, tweeted photo here, while Angola's ambassador spoke with US Ambassador Samantha Power and her deputy, David Pressman. (Blurrier photo tweeted here.)

But what has been done on the resolution so far? Alexis Lamek, deputy ambassador of its author, France, first declined to answer Inner City Press' question, said he would revert, Vine here, and see below.

On August 22, Inner City Press asked again and Lamek said, “We are speaking with the different stakeholders,”(Vine here) saying after Inner City Press followed up that includes the government.

  Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson's Office under Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press, after repeated requests about Ban's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous taking Lt. Col Alfred Mayuyu into the UN mission in the Central African Republic MINUSCA despite human rights abuses that Mayuyu was not on any roster of the UN. That said publicly on August 5 and never supplemented. Vine here;  Video here,UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask on Burundi,  I'd asked you about Lieutenant Colonel Mayuyu, deployment… people continue to say that he's actually being deployed to CAR (Central African Republic), and they've linked him to a unit that was involved in… in… in torture and other abuse in December 2015.  So what… is that, in fact, being re… I don't know if you looked into it, but I did ask it here.  Go ahead.

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes.  I did look into that.  As far as I'm aware from our colleagues in MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic), they're not aware that this person is on any of their rosters.  They're continuing to check to see whether it was under a different name or something, but no.  At this point, we don't have that.

   Last week Inner City Press heard that Mayuyu was, in fact, repatriated from CAR, with the UN and not Burundi paying for the flight. Since Dujarric's office, beyond participating in evicting Inner City Press from the UN, and refusing questions on restrictions since, didn't even acknowledge its last round of written questions, Inner City Press intended to ask in-person at the August 22 noon briefing. But Dujarric left abuptly.

  Now, RPA reports Mayuyu has been repatriated. Inner City Press has asked Dujarric and his deputy Farhan Haq, who gave the August 5 answer, in writing for an explanation. Watch this site.

On August 19, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq what if anything the UN has done about the abduction by government security of another journalist. Haq said the UN hopes he “found” - so the UN didn't even contact the government? Vine hereUN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: on Burundi, I wanted to ask you, there's now a call… there was obviously Jean Bigirimana.  There's another journalist, Gisa Steve Irakoze, of a radio station, one of the few independent radio stations in the country, has been abducted, the word RSF uses, by the National Security Agency.  And I wanted to know… it's kind of a pressing case… is the team on the ground, rather than just a later report, are they in any way involved in trying to ask the Government to release this journalist who's also diabetic and hasn't eaten in two days by some accounts?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we're aware of the latest reports, and we are concerned about any efforts that would harm the right of Burundians to the freedom of expression and any crackdowns on the media.  So, of course, we hope that this will be resolved and that the person will be found and found safely soon.
On August 18, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq, Vine here and hereUN transcript: 

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about Burundi.  There have been… first, there's some… there are various Tutsi members of the army, some who are out of the country, who are basically trying to… saying they don't want to go back because they face imprisonment or killing.  There's… there's… some nine have gone missing.  Six have been killed.  So, I wanted to know whether this is something that the Special Adviser or the team on the ground is concerned about, a seemingly ethnic split in the army, and how this also impacts the impending deployment of 800 Burundian troops to the Central African Republic.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, as for the deployment of troops, that's a process that is under way, and we'll see how that is carried out, but it will follow the normal guidelines for vetting.  Regarding the situation on the ground in Burundi, the Special Adviser does continue to be in touch with the Government and other sides.  We are trying to work with the various communities to make sure that the country continues to deal with its problems in an inclusive manner.

 Continues??

So far, here have been two economic responses. On August 16, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq, Vine hereUN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: it's widely reported that the Burundian Government has closed the border with Rwanda and stopped all trade between the two.  So, I wanted to know if there's a… any response by the UN and its Special Adviser.  And also, what's been done since the… since in mid-July the Security Council passed the resolution to deploy 220 police, what exactly has DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] and the Secretariat done to implement or begin implementing that resolution?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we are in touch with potential police-contributing countries, and what we're trying to do is see whether we can construct a police presence in accordance with the mandate provided by the Security Council.

ICP Question:  Has the Secretariat communicated with the Pierre Nkurunziza Government?  Because they've said publicly that they're not going to take the police.

Deputy Spokesman:  We are in touch with the Nkurunziza Government, including through the Special Adviser.

ICP Question:  And what about the trade?  What about the cutoff of trade?  Is the UN taking note of that?

Deputy Spokesman:  I am aware of the media reports.  I'm not aware of any particular reaction we have.  As you know, for most of these sorts of matters, we encourage countries to deal with any differences with each other through bilateral means.  If there's anything more to say, I'll let you know.

ICP Question:  Sure.  I'm only asking because isn't there also a guy working on Great Lakes?  It seems to be the problem in Burundi is becoming a regional issue, so I'm wondering whether the UN sees it as such.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I haven't seen any comment from that particular Adviser on this, just so far.

Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq on August 10 about bodies found in Burundi's rivers, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: on Burundi, I’d asked you about the journalist that’s been missing and that his publication Iwacu says that he’s been killed.  But in investigating a body found in a river, something called the National Committee on Human Rights of Burundi went and they found more bodies in the river.  So it gives me… I guess I wanted to know, since the UN has people, including, supposedly, human rights observers, on the ground, do they accompany the Government commission when they go to investigate bodies in a river?  Some people are saying 11 bodies have been found.  Certainly, two have been found.  One is supposed to be a journalist.  Given that the Government is accused in some of these cases of being the killer, what’s the UN’s role with its team on the ground?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, the human rights monitors in Burundi follow up on any allegations of human rights atrocities, and then they report back on them, and as you know, those reports are available.

ICP Question:  Right, but specifically, I guess, do they… are they in Bujumbura reading about this, or do they accompany the Government to go to the site of bodies?

Deputy Spokesman:  You can see the reports.  They give details about the work that they do in their periodic reports.

ICP Question:  Right but in this instance, I guess I’m just asking you now, since there’s a dead journalist, when would they report on it?

Deputy Spokesman:  We would have to see.  Obviously, every so often, they have the periodic reports in which they describe the work that they’re doing.

On August 9, Inner City Press asked French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek, now that the government of Burundi has said it rejects the deployment of UN Police, what next? He said, “I will come back to you.” Vine here.  He didn't.


  At the August 9 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq what the UN Secretariat is doing, to get the police deployed. His answer cited Burundi's sovereignty and cooperating with the government. Vine here.

On August 8, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: I'd asked before about this journalist from Iwacu called Jean Bigirimana, and now his publication, Iwacu, seems to indicate that his body has been found.  And there are number of press freedom organizations, human rights organizations saying that it has to be investigated.  With the UN's presence there, what steps has it taken since he was disappeared and the publication went public with his disappearance?  Has anything been done by the UN on this case?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we do monitor the situation of human rights in the country.  We don't have any particular report on this case to share at this point.  But they are looking into the circumstances of all of the potential human rights violations in the country.  Obviously, any harassment, let alone killing, of any journalist merits a strong reaction and would need to be fully investigated by the authorities on the ground.

On August 5, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: 

 I wanted to ask on Burundi, something new and then one as a follow-up question.  There's reports there of a mass grave of 12 bodies being unearthed in Ngozi, and so I wanted to know if it's something that has reached your office or if the UN's going to have any role in examining that.  And also, I'd asked you about Lieutenant Colonel Mayuyu, deployment… people continue to say that he's actually being deployed to CAR (Central African Republic), and they've linked him to a unit that was involved in… in… in torture and other abuse in December 2015.  So what… is that, in fact, being re… I don't know if you looked into it, but I did ask it here.  Go ahead.

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes.  I did look into that.  As far as I'm aware from our colleagues in MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic), they're not aware that this person is on any of their rosters.  They're continuing to check to see whether it was under a different name or something, but no.  At this point, we don't have that.  Regarding a mass grave in Ngozi, of course, we're concerned about any reports of mass graves, and I'll look and see whether we have anything further about this particular…

On August 4, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you, in Burundi, among the various things happening is a move by the Government to either disbar or arrest a number of human rights lawyers that have… have both advocated for victims of torture and other abuse and have been pretty high profile internationally, sending out reports, including Vidal Nshimirimana.  So, I wanted to know, since you have a team on the ground there and there seems to be a feeling that human rights defenders and lawyers that work on that should be defended, what has the UN done in this public announcement by the Government that they should all be disbarred?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, certainly, we believe that all human rights defenders everywhere should be able to go about their work, and we would have concerns if there's any effort to prevent human rights lawyers or other human rights activists from going about their work, and that is to be avoided.  And, yes, we do have team on the ground to monitor any problems with human rights that are recorded.

Threats have been made against any UN Police who deploy - including threats by pro Nkurunziza officials who were invited to the talks in Arusha supported by the UN. From the UN, the silence has been... deafening.  Meanwhile, here is the Nkurunziza government's belated justification for breaking off UN Committee Against Torture dialogue,put online by Inner City Press here.

On July 30 in Bujumbura, the CNDD-FDD rally at the French embassy which Inner City Press had reported in advance on July 29 featured French Ambassador Gerrit Van Rossum engaging with the CNDD-FDD crowd and their signs about Rwanda. Inner City Press tweeted photo here.

On August 1, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about Burundi.  Following the resolution on Friday, which authorizes up to 228 police, I wanted to know what the Secretariat is thinking in terms of actually deploying and seeking consent, in light of… over the weekend, there were a number of protests in Bujumbura and a number of people including some invited to the Arusha talks have issued threats that anyone deployed will be killed, so what is the Secretariat going to do now?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we are aware of that.  At the same time, of course, the Security Council has spoken.  They have made clear what their wishes are and we will follow up on that.  And, of course, from our standpoint, the next thing to do will be to reach out to potential police-contributing countries and see what… how quickly we can get a police force that will comply with the request for the Security Council.

ICP Question:  Sure, without actually asking what was said at the stakeout by Ambassador [François] Delattre that consent is absolutely needed, so what is the process for… for the UN seeking consent?  And also just on these threats, including death threats, since the UN supports these Arusha talks, does it seem inconsistent to you that people invited and participating in the talks would be publicly issuing death threats to UN police?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, regarding that, I'll leave it to the facilitators of the Arusha talks to discuss the Arusha talks, but, from our standpoint, what we want to do is make sure that any mandate… Security Council-mandated force is able to go about its work.  And as with every other country, we then deal with the host Government to make sure that will happen.

The UN of Ban Ki-moon and Herve Ladsous plans to accept 800 more soldiers from Burundi for "service" in the Central African Republic, Inner City Press was exclusively informed and got the UN to confirm on June 23. But why?

Especially now that the UN has belatedly acknowledged that the new rape charges in CAR are against Burundi? And now that Burundi has “discontinued its interactive dialogue” with the UN Committee Against Torture? On July 29 Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about this; the generic response indicated to some that Ban's office is not even aware of it.

 After breaking off interactive dialogue with the UN Committee on Torture, Burundi and its “keeper of the seals” turned in a written response that many find less than credible. Inner City Press is putting it online here on Scribd. En francais. Watch this site.

As if in a parallel universe, on July 28 the French mission to the UN circulated and put “in blue” its belated draft resolution on Burundi, which as obtained by Inner City Press would among other things “authorize a ceiling of 228 United Nations individual police officers for the United Nations police component as referred to in paragraph 13 of this resolution, headed by a United Nations senior police adviser, to be deployed in Bujumbura and throughout Burundi, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure their progressive deployment.”

   Inner City Press has obtained the draft - not from the French mission - and exclusively puts it online here. During this process, amazingly, Burundi's Permanent Representative to the UN Albert Shingiro has been on vacation. Sources tell Inner City Press his goal is to be able to say he wasn't here, it wasn't his fault. But will that work?

  And if Pierre Nkurunziza, who is slated to come to the UN General Assembly high week in September, does not accept the 228 police? Inner City Press is told of splits in the CNDD-FDD party. We'll have more on this.

On Syria, UNSG Ban Ki-moon's Late-Announced “Briefing” Is Hand-Over, Photo-Op



By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 -- On the evening of August 23, an item was added to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's online schedule:

* 9:30 a.m. Briefing on the “Report of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism and other Issues related to Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic”

  Then UN Television said it would broadcast this “photo op” at 10:30 am.  Doesn't “briefing” connote more than photo op? And why isn't it in the UN's Media Alert? Inner City Press wrote to Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Q: UNTV has just announced a “photo op” of the Secretary General, seemingly related to the revised listing * 9:30 a.m. Briefing on the “Report of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism and other Issues related to Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic”

Where is this “briefing”? Who has been informed of it, and who will be permitted to attend / observe this “briefing”? And if it is a briefing, why does DPI's UNTV describe it as a photo-op?

What is the update on this fourth round of questions onBurundian Lt Col Mayuyu, email of 29 hours ago?

Dujarric, we report upon receipt, responded:

"At 9:30 the SG will receive the report of the OPCW/UN mission and be briefed on its content. The report will then be transmitted to the Security Council. The photo-op is just the handover of the report.  When I something on Burundi, I will share it with you."

It's appreciated - but on the Burundi question, Inner City Press has asked it four times; UN Peacekeeping or after this amount of time the mission in CAR should be able to answer. On Syria, why a photo-op is created - with Kim Won-soo? - is UNclear. But it is appreciated.  Watch this site.

On August 11 when the the UN's third Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura invited the media to a question and answer stakeout on August 11, the turn-out was decidedly light. While the UN used to provide interpretation of stakeouts, this time it didn't.

 Present for a predictable question was Voice of America, with which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman has worked to evict the critical Press (one FOIA document here, more forthcoming). Ban finally did the eviction earlier this year, film here. This is Ban's UN.

   In his prepared statement, de Mistura added a word to the UN's old saw, saying there is no “sustainable” military solution. He quoted a response the day prior in New York by OCHA's Stephen O'Brien - an answer which the UN Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach didn't even include when it put up the video of the OCHA briefing (which was about South Sudan, another failure of Ban's UN.)

   More than anything, Ban's UN seems to want to be perceived as relevant: it wants to be spoken with, and to brag about its discussions. De Mistura told the near-empty stakeout about his work in previous mediation. Ban himself was out in Los Angeles, bragging about talks with... Norman Lear. This is today's UN.

Ban's Spox Won't Say How Much Ng Paid for Slavery Event, Tells Inner City Press “Ask Organizers,” Indicted



By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 -- As the UN bribery scandal gathered force Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an audit by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services of Sheri Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), David Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Group and its affiliates including the "World Harmony Foundation" and South South News, among others.

  The audit, completed early this year but first put online by Inner City Press, directly criticizes Cristina Gallach, the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Paragraphs 37-40 -- and 20b.

This last concerns the lack of any due diligence by the UN Department of Public Information under Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach of Ng Lap Seng's GWF's sponsorship of the “Ark of Return” ceremony. So on August 23, the International Day for the Remembrance of Slavery and its Abolition, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: in the audit of the Ng Lap Seng/John Ashe case, there’s a paragraph on the failure to do due diligence on the ceremony of the Ark of Return outside.  And I’ve asked before, but I wanted to ask now after all this time, how much money did Ng Lap Seng, still on trial for bribery, commit at that event?  And what repercussions, what accountability, on that event and on the audit generally, have taken place…?

Spokesman:  I think… we’ve asked this question… you’ve asked this question before.  The audit and its recommendations were taken up seriously by all the Departments named.  As for the… for the ceremony, I think you’d have to ask the organizers.

  But the organizers are indicted; some like the GSF's Sheri Yan have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 20 months in prison. Ask them? Or ask Gallach, who never spoke to Inner City Press before ousting it, and now hasn't even as Inner City Press is excluded from covering event without a minder, while the media Gallach's DPI is trying to give Inner City Press' long time shared office to, Akhbar Al Yom, never comes in, never asks questions? Ask whom? More from the transcript:

Inner City Press:  so what’s the status of the recommendation that had to do with due diligence…

Spokesman:  They’re all being… they’re all being fulfilled.

   We'll have more on this.

On June 29, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Farhan Haq about it ,video here, UN transcript here and below.

On August 11, lawyers for Ng Lap Seng filed in Federal court their formal demand to the UN and Ban Ki-moon's chief lawyer Manuel de Serpa Soares to produce a slew of financial and other information, including all of its communications with South South News.

 SSN is described in the file, by the prosecution, as a vehicle of bribery but the UN has left it in its office -- a conflict of interest -- while evicting Inner City Press which asked questions about it. Ban Ki-moon's UN is corrupt. We'll have more on this.

On July 29 Shiwei Yan a/k/a Sheri Yan was sentenced to 20 months in prison, was fined $12,500 and forfeited $300,000. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's press release, here.

On August 1, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokeman Farhan Haq, UN Transcript here:

 Inner City Press: This has to do with the sentencing of Sherri Yan in the John Ashe-Ng Lap Seng case on Friday and she was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison, $300,000 of forfeiture, and Judge Broderick said the case, which is an ongoing case, has damaged the UN.  So, I wanted to know, given that the case is about bribery within the UN and given the judge's statement, what is your comment on the sentencing and the continuation, continuing of the case?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we don't have any particular comment on the sentencing.  Of course, we have been following this process and we have been sharing information that is relevant; but, from our standpoint, what we need to do is get to the bottom of what happened here to make sure that UN officials are not tainted by this and that ultimately everyone knows that no officials, whether Member States or otherwise, should be participating in these sorts of activities.

Including Ban Ki-moon? As this player in on UN scandal was sentenced, the UN outright stonewalled on basic Press questions about a news scandal, while having evicted the questioning Press and confining it to minders. Then it said the event was canceled as a basis to answer no questions.

This is Ban Ki-moon's UN: Ban attended Sheri Yan's father's one person art show, had his photo taken at it. See here.


Ban and Yan's bio, credit via photo links

The UN claims the Ng Lap Seng and Sheri Yan case has nothing to do with it or especially Ban, who wants to run for President of South Korea. But this is false.

Ban is allowing new privatization of the UN, through UN Security; his spokesman is trying to discourage questions about it by accusing Inner City Press of “unethical Googling,” after having played a role in ousting and evicting Inner City Press. This is Ban's UN.

  From the July 11 order in the Ng Lap Seng case:

"Defendant Ng and his counsel, with CJA counsel Mr. Wikstrom, and counsel for the Government, are instructed to appear for the conclusion of the Curcio hearing on Monday, July 18, 2016 at 10:00 a.m... Trial is set to commence on January 23, 2017." While Team Ban Ki-moon might be happy the formal trial doesn't begin until Ban leaves the UN and, some say, his formal run for South Korea president does, there will be more files development before then.

In Federal Court, there more links between South South News, still with a UN official from Ban Ki-moon as Inner City Press while investigating it was evicted, and bribery in the United Nations. On July 8, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN Transcript here:

Inner City Press: There's been new filings in the Ng Lap Seng case in the Southern District, and since you'd said previously that the UN is monitoring this, these filings have to do directly with South-South News.  And they quote… they have put into the record a letter in which South-South News is described as wanting to have part of this Macau Centre that was the… the thing that Ng Lap Seng was trying to procure these documents for.  It's described as a global media platform authorized by the UN.  And they put these in as… as essentially saying that this is a conduit for bribery.  So, I wanted to know:  Since you've said that the UN is monitoring this, given that the prosecutor [inaudible] has put this… this letter, I guess they got it in discovery or in some other fashion in, what is the UN's response to it?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, like I said, we have been monitoring it and are looking at all of the information that's coming up.  And in that regard, as you know, there's an ongoing review of the status of South-South News.  There's no conclusion to that review at this point.

Inner City Press:  And I'd asked on Tuesday.  I'd asked Stéphane in writing… there was a meeting held down in 1D Basement, DPI [Department of Public Information] and something called the Malko Investment Group.  And since I googled Malko Investment Group and nothing came up, I sent him an e-mail and asked what is this entity and why is this meeting being held in the UN?  And I wanted to reiterate to you, why would DPI be having a meeting in a UN  meeting room with an investment group and particularly one that doesn't… that's either misnamed on the sign or doesn't exist at all?

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the circumstances of the meeting.  I will check with DPI, what they have to say about that.  But, at this stage, I'm not… I'm not aware whether they're the sponsor of that… of that particular meeting or not.

Inner City Press:  There's a picture of the sign.  I mean, I wrote to you.

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the details of whether they're the actual sponsors.  Sometimes meetings are set up by Member States’ organizations.  We'd have to check.

 Haq did not return with any answer from due diligence-less DPI. 
From the prosecutor's new letter:

"in an email dated on or about March 12, 2010, an individual affiliated with the State Council Information Office, an entity of the PRC government, sent an email to a business associate of Ng, containing a draft letter (in Chinese) for Ng to sign or approve. According to a draft translation prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the letter, which began with Ng introducing himself as a member of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (“CPPCC”), a political advisory body, and as the “Chairman of the Board of the United Nations South South News,” stated in pertinent part:

[quote] my greatest wish is to fairly and objectively report the social development, religion, culture, and ideology of China through the South South News, a global media platform authorized by the UN, to display China’s soft power, counter malicious, distorted news by anti-China forces, and let the whole world hear a true voice that comes from China to understand the real China. . . .

. . . I will select suitable regions in China to establish a South South Cooperation Organization International Conference Center and a South South News Network Media Production Center as a base of operations for South South News.

Hope that the plan to establish two centers and the development of South South News in China can obtain strong support from the government of China. [unquote]

As the Court is aware, South South News, the entity described in the above email, is the conduit through which the Government alleges that defendants Ng and Jeff C. Yin funneled some of their bribe and money laundering payments.”

   So it says South South News was “authorized” by the UN; the prosecution says Ng and Yin used South South News as a conduit for bribery in the UN. And as of July 8, South South News still has its UN official from Ban Ki-moon as Inner City Press while investigating it was evicted and is now restricted to only cover events on the UN Conference Building's second floor -- ECOSOC and the Trusteeship Council Chambers, the General Assembly and General Assembly President's office -- with one of Ban Ki-moon's minders. This is Ban's UN.

From the UN's June 29 transcript:

Inner City Press: Monday down in… in Federal Court, there was a hearing for Mr. Ng Lap Seng in the ongoing case, and Assistant District Attorney [Daniel] Richenthal basically widened the case and said they're going to be… there's more things they're looking at as to Ng Lap Seng, and he also described in more detail a, quote, conduit of bribery taking place within the UN.  And I wanted to know, since you've said you're monitoring it, what is the UN's response to the new information that was presented on Monday?

Deputy Spokesman:  Yeah, we are aware of the latest information, and, as I've pointed out, the situation of South-South News is under review.  It continues to be under review, but certainly, any new information is useful in light of that.

After the above, a corporate news wire which has a conflict of interest on this passed through South South News' claims that it has had "
no connection with any government at any level" - this is false. But the conflicted corporate wire, with its own Permanent seat on the board of hte UN Correspondents Assocation which took money from Ng's South South News, merely passes through the denial. Call it journalism? We'll have more on this.

On June 27, former South South News reporter turned spokesperson for John Ashe and now his family wrote to the UN press corps, some of whom she saw over the weekend:

"Dear Friends and Dear UN and Media Representatives, I am kindly forwarding a Statement from the Family of the late John. W. Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly 68th Session, at the request of his widowed wife, Anilla Cherian.I have accepted to forward this Statement in my personal capacity and in honor of Ambassador Ashe’s legacy as a long-serving diplomat.  I will not be addressing any questions and I do appreciate your understanding.

It was very nice seeing several of you over the weekend. I hope you are all doing well."

If the goal was to distinguish South South News from John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng, this doesn't do it.

The audit deals with South South News - which as of June 27 STILL has a UN office, photo here, UNlike Inner City Press. In Ban's UN one only gets due process if one has money, or pays money, as South South News did, including to the UN Correspondents Association which then gave Ng Lap Seng a photo-op with Ban. Or as the Saudis did to get Ban to remove them from the Yemen Children and Armed Conflict annex.

On June 27 in Federal Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal said that South South News was a conduit for bribery involving the now conveniently (and mysteriously) deceased former PGA John Ashe. (Some with links to Ashe try to erase all trace, but here is one: UNCA with AAshe's spokesperson Konja, formerly of South South News), which one wire-with-a-conflict covering this story never mentions. Compare to this.)



Those with links to dead-under-indictment  (RIP) try to erase links but here's one: UNCA

Meanwhile while Inner City Press can only work with minders, its office given to Akhbar Elyom's correspondent, a former UNCA presdient,  sits empty and Gallach gallavants in Paris. We'll have more on all this.

Ban's audit, notably, does not mention that Ban accepted Ng's South South Award and was in the program of Ng's August 2015 event in Macau.

Nor does Ban's audit mention that his Sri Lanka adviser Vijay Nambiar and his spouse, Ban Soon-taek, were both present at the founding of the Global Sustainability Foundation; the latter took photos with South South News' indicted Vivian Wang at the UN Correspondents Association ball where UNCA gave Ng, from whose South South News it took money, a photo op with Ban himself.

On April 16, at Ban's and his USG Cristina Gallach's direction, Inner City Press' long time UN office in S-303 was evicted and five boxes of files were dumped onto First Avenue. Video here and here.

On April 20, the Free UN Coalition for Access sign on S-303 was removed (photo here) without the consent of Inner City Press' office mate, also a FUNCA member, who was told that the lock was being changed, presumably to sell the office to someone else. Inner City Press immediately objected to MALU, the DSG, Chef de Cabinet and Spokesman, putting them on notice.

And lo and behold it was given to a former UNCA president who never comes to the UN, never asks questions: Saana Youssef of Egyptian state media Akhbar Elyom. This is Ban's UN.

  UNCA, at least under Giampaolo Pioli, openly tells people to pay it money, it can get them UN official space. This is corruption.

  Now since the eviction of Inner City Press, South South News has sent out a press release saying that despite the guilty plea by its President Francis Lorenzo and indictment of its Vice President Vivan Wang, it is clean - and blames its problems on a "few independent journalists." Wonder who's referred to - as the other one(s).

 Not Reuters, which passes through without analysis South South News' press releases - and without disclosing that Reuters' Lou Charbonneau and now Michelle Nichols have occupied Reuters' permanent seat on the Executive Committee of the UN Correspondents Association, which took South South News' money then arranged a photo op for Ng Lap Seng with Ban Ki-moon.

  South South News' founding is described in the John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng indictment; it is portrayed through gauze in the OIOS audit. The name South South News has appeared in the Panama Papers.

  For now, another UN example. To deliver "personal" invitations to the South South Awards, which USG Gallach attended in September 2015, South South News needed access to the UN during the Septameber High Level week. So, Inner City Press is informed, South South News personnel got D or Diplomat passes through Lorenzo's Dominican Republic mission to the UN. Back, indeed.


Here are an initial two of many photographs of that event, these by Luiz Rampelotto of Europa Newswire via Facebook, including one of now indicted Vivian Wang of South South News with Mrs. Ban

Here's from South South News' press release:

"It is disgraceful that a few independent journalists are exhibiting a lack of professionalism and irresponsibility by attacking everything and anyone they believe is linked to this case. This is often done by insinuation, guilt by association and baseless assumptions that disparage many innocent people and organizations. Irresponsible assumptions, fact-twisting and misinformation serve to distort the perception of the situation, while affecting our hard work and the work of many innocent people who have absolutely nothing to do with this case.

These types of attacks are counterproductive and unprofessional. We believe these attacks reflect poorly on the integrity of the profession of journalism as a whole. Not to justify any illegal activities, but all sorts of organizations worldwide have been victims of unscrupulous people, as have other organizations facing similar circumstances.

We as employees will defend our hard and honest work and we will defend the commitment to our goals and objectives of producing quality journalism to inform about these important issues. This hard-earned reputation has been tainted by some unscrupulous acts. Many media and administrative professionals have proudly worked for South-South News and can attest to the integrity of our media operation.

This is a complex case in which many players from different organizations and events have been implicated, as detailed in the Government’s complaint. It is working its way through the United States judiciary system, as it well should. If you have questions regarding the people mentioned in the US Government complaint, you should contact their legal representatives directly.

Again, South-South News is continuing its professional day-to-day functions by providing some of the most comprehensive, high-quality coverage of the UN and disseminating information on global development issues."


The same indicted Vivian Wang of South South News with David Ng Lap Seng at the same UNCA event

  On this, Inner City Press on January 29 sought to cover an UNCA event held in the UN Press Briefing Room, which was nowhere listed as closed.  On February 19 Gallach, without recusing herself, unilaterally deactivated Inner City Press UN residential correspondents pass, and had Inner City Press' reporter physically thrown out on First Avenue without coat or passport. Audio here.

  This is called retaliation. On the afternoon of April 12, Inner City Press while with another colleague asked Ban about Gallach's orders.

  "That is not my decision," Ban said quickly. He is aware; the ouster and censorship serve him, but he says it is not his decision, just as for example Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa or higher profile censors might.

  On the evening of April 12 Gallach ordered the final eviction of all of Inner City Press' investigative files on Saturday, April 16 at 10 am. This is the face of today's UN corruption.



This is what the UN eviction order sent to Inner City Press says:

Subject: Office
To:matthew.lee [at] innercitypress.com
From: Tal Mekel [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Dear Mr. Lee,

Further to the letter to you from Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, on 30 March 2016, we note that you did not remove your belongings from the office by the 6 April deadline as required.

As you have still not removed your belongings, we wish to inform you that your belongings will be packaged on Saturday 16 April 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

After carefully packaging them up, your belongings will be forwarded to Bronx NY headquarters address for Inner City Press that you had listed in your media accreditation application. If you wish us to forward your packaged belongings to another address instead, please let us know as soon as possible.

We request your presence during the packing. Please contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU) to make the necessary arrangements. If you are not present, the packing and forwarding will still take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday 16 April 2016.

Best, Tal

Tal Mekel
Acting Chief
Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit
United Nations - S-250
New York, NY 10017

   And here is some of what the OIOS audit says, about USG Gallach:

"37. On 30 June 2015, Global Sustainability Foundation sponsored an exhibition titled “The Transformative Power of Art” in the visitors’ lobby at United Nations Headquarters. This exhibition was curated by an Italian artist, whose works were displayed along with the works of other artists participating in one of his workshops.

38. Exhibitions in publicly accessible areas at Headquarters are governed by the Secretary General’s Bulletin ST/SGB/2008/6, which stipulates, inter alia, as follows:

(a) The United Nations Exhibits Committee, which is an interdepartmental body of the Secretariat chaired by the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information [Cristina Gallach] is the standing body that reviews and authorizes such exhibitions;

(b) Any proposal originating from an NGO or foundation must be accompanied by a written communication of support from a Secretariat department or office, a separately administered organ or programme of the United Nations, an organization of the United Nations system or a permanent or observer mission to the United Nations;

(c) Exhibit proposals focusing on a specific individual, or originating from a single artist, shall not be permitted;

(d) The Exhibits Committee may, at its discretion, reject a proposal for an exhibit in part or in its entirety, or require the elimination or alteration of any part thereof; and

(e) The secretariat of the Exhibits Committee shall inform the Assistant Secretary General, Office of Central Support Services, of the authorization granted for a proposed exhibit.39. OIOS noted that the exhibition held of 30 June 2015 was not in compliance with these provisions. The Exhibits Committee did not authorize the exhibition because it did not receive a proposal in accordance with (b) above. The Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the President of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly informed the Exhibits Committee of the President’s decision to host a series of major cultural events, which included an exhibition, reception, and concert. The Committee informed the Office of the President that the exhibition was not in accordance with the regulations for exhibits in publicly accessible areas at Headquarters, but the Office of the President decided to proceed with the exhibition anyway. Therefore, the Exhibits Committee did not accept, reject or alter the “proposal”.

40. OIOS notes that the Exhibits Committee only had an advisory role in the matter, and in the circumstances described, it could not have possibly prevented the staging of the event. However, considering that the exhibition was attended by the Secretary-General and other senior Secretariat staff despite its non-compliance with the Secretary-General’s bulletin on exhibits, the perception that the NGO was given preferential treatment or favour (that too without performing any due diligence checks) could have an adverse impact on the Organization’s reputation. This risk is aggravated by the allegations in the criminal complaint against Sun Kian Ip group, with whom this NGO is affiliated."

While Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said this audit will not be made public until April 22, on April 6 as a full text exclusive Inner City Press published the audit while noting affiliates the UN audit omitted, and portions of the audit that some involved seem to be trying to cover up, including not only as to the Department of Public Information, but also the Global Compact and other back-doors into the UN, including but not limited to "Friends of the UN."

  Beyond the Under Secretary General of the Department of Public Information's responsibility for exhibits in the Visitor's Lobby such as the one indicted Sheri Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation held on June 30, 2015, she was also in charge when GSF was allowed, without any due diligence, to on March 25, 2015 sponsor an event entitled "Unveiling of the 'Ark of Return' Permanent Memorial." Audit at Paragraph 20 (b).

  Inner City Press asked the UN about DPI's engagement with the Global Sustainability Foundation around the Ark of Return in October 2015. To be diplomatic, this should have led to / required a recusal.

   DPI, the audit says, was "associated" with Ng Lap Seng's and Frank Liu's World Harmony Foundation through something called the "Friends of the UN" based in Los Angeles / Santa Monica. We'll have more on this.

  As Inner City Press demonstrated even before publishing the audit, the Global Compact as of April 2016 lists Ng's World Harmony Foundation as a member, despite the October 2015 indictments.

  Now we note that the Global Compact, represented at Ng's Macau event in August 2015, has a representative who because not a UN staff member kept the iPad Ng's Sun Kian Ip foundation gifted. What kind of "anti corruption" UN Global Compact is this?

On April 11, after publishing the above, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, and when Ban will answer questions. Video hereUN transcript here:

Inner City Press:  onthis OIOS inquiry, I want to ask you something.  One of the entities controlled by Mr. Ng Lap Seng is World Harmony Foundation.  I don’t know if it was you or Farhan [Haq] last week that said it’s still a member of the Global Compact, but it also seems to partner with DPI (Department of Public Information) is associated through something called Friends of the United Nations, which seems to be based in Santa Monica, California.  It’s a little unclear.  Can you say, is this one of the ground balls that you guys are going to be running down, in terms of what other groups enter through that way?  Also, what explains World Harmony Foundation six months after the indictment still being part of the Global Compact?  And one other Global Compact question.  The audit specifically says that, of the iPads given out at the Macau event in August, the representative of the Global Compact has not returned it, said that he’s not going to return it.  He’s not a staff member and he’s keeping it.  It’s right in the audit.  And so I wanted to know, since the Global Compact said it’s about transparency, anticorruption, is this okay?  And why isn’t he a staff member if he’s representing the Global Compact?

Spokesman Dujarric:  I don’t know.  That’s a question you should… in terms of World Harmony, whether or not they’re still a member, is a question you can ask of the Global Compact.  Obviously, as we said, the audit is an initial step, and other issues are being pursued.

Inner City Press:  But are they going… I mean, I guess Global Compact, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), are they going to hold a press conference?

Spokesman Dujarric:  You should ask them.  They have press people, like the Secretariat, and they’re there to answer questions.

Inner City Press:  And the Secretary-General, you said he’ll be in the room tomorrow, but he won’t speak.  Looking at the list of press conferences, it seems like the last one was December of last year…

Spokesman:  He will have… there will be some sort of a press conference… there will be a press conference, probably on Friday, tied to the climate event.

  Climate of corruption, some say.

To be diplomatic, on April 8 this is what Inner City Press asked Dujarric, video hereUN transcript here:

Inner City Press: this OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] audit, I obtained it, published it and I want to ask just for today, two specific questions about it.  One is, it talks about funds going to this thing called UNPAN, which I've heard of, but it seems to be pretty obscure.  And in looking at its website, it claims to be publishing articles they say were published in December 2016, which hasn't actually occurred yet.  So, there's something a little… What's been done on the recommendations as to… to UNPAN and the use of its name by the entities that were audited....

Spokesman:  The recommend… the audit, I think, as all of you have seen now, includes recommendations and includes the status of those recommendations, and we're following through with them.

Inner City Press: I'd asked Farhan [Haq] yesterday about the 30 June 2015 event in the Visitor's Lobby, which has a section of the whole audit about DPI [Department of Public Information] being in charge of it, not doing it.  I want to ask you about another event, which was 25 March, this unveiling of the Ark of Return permit memorial, which they said was no due diligence done of the Global Sustainability Foundation.  It seems like, in this audit, they make these two findings about DPI, these two events, but it's only looking at it, I guess, institutionally.  As I've asked you, when Global Sustainability Foundation was founded in this building, a senior adviser of the Secretary-General and his spouse were present…

Spokesman:  I mean, I think…

Inner City Press:  Does this audit look at individuals or only entities…?

Spokesman:  The audit looks at… looked at the systems.  When there are issues related to individuals, further investigations are being done.

Inner City Press:  Right.  But, it seems like they only mention the individuals that were in the criminal complaint.  There was nothing…

Spokesman:  You know, the audit… I think the audit speaks for itself and outlines how we're following up with it.

 There is a need for follow up.

  The audit cites Ng's Interntional Organization for South South Cooperation's engagements with, or capture of, the UN agency UNPAN, the UN Public Administration Network. A visit on April 8, 2016 toUNPAN's website finds them featuring articles they say were publishd in December 2016 - that is, in the future. Ironically, the article(s) address the topic of corruption. That is today's UN.

   The audit for example does purport to cover South South News, but not the big money South South Awards held in September 2015 at the Waldorf Astoria including the Under Secretary General of the Department of Public Information (DPI) Cristina Gallach.

   (Inner City Press in October 2015 questioned Ms. Gallach about her participation in the South South Awards, video here. On February 19, 2016 Gallach ordered Inner City Press to leave its long time office and stripped its Resident Correspondent accreditation, without once speaking to it. This is the subject of an April 5 letter to Ban Ki-moon from the Government Accountability Project, demanding that this “crude and heavy handed” retaliation be reversed, watch this site.)

 On April 7, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq a first round of questions about some of the limitations of the audio,video here

On Burundi, Ban's Spokesman Dujarric Still Won't Say Why Told ICP Mayuyu Not Deployed, RPA



By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up On Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 -- Should the UN Spokesperson be expected to provide an explanation why his Office told the Press a controversial Burundian colonel was NOT with UN Peacekeeping when a respected radio station in Burundi says the colonel was repatriated? It would seem so. But it's not the case in today's UN.

On August 22, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric for just such an answer:

To: Stephane Dujarric [at] un.org
From: Inner City Press
Date: Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 3:13 PM
Cc: Farhan Haq [at] un.org, FUNCA [at] funca.info
Subject: Press Q again about Burundi's Mayuyu - I was told "not on roster," now RPA says he's repatriated: confirm/deny, explain

"I have asked your Office repeatedly about Burundian Lieutenant-colonel Alfred Mayuyu being deployed to MINUSCA in the Central African Republic despite his human rights record in Burundi, including in connection with Dec 12, 2015.

I was told, by Farhan Haq, that Mayuyu was not on any MINUSCA roster.
Last week I heard Mayuyu was in fact being repatriated (with the flight paid for the UN, not Burundi) and aimed to ask at today's abruptly-ended briefing.
Now the below has been published by Radio Publique Africaine, that Mayayu IS being repatriated.

Please immediately confirm or deny, and if confirm, please explain why I was told, after repeated questions, that Mayuyu was not on any roster."

   No explanation given; no answer at all for more than a day, from this spokesperson who worked to get the investigative Press thrown out -“aide memoire" to Senate Foreign Relations Committee here,Paragraphs 9 and 10, some video of Q-no-A here. Is this acceptable for the UN?

  With no email response, even just to confirm receipt, from Dujarric Inner City Press at the August 23 noon briefing asked again, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about this Burundian Lieutenant Colonel Mr. Mayuyu.  I’d asked a couple of times here and was told he’s not on any roster, and now Radio Publique Africaine in Burundi has reported that he was deployed and has been repatriated.  So what is the… what are the facts?  And if he was there, why was it said from this podium that he wasn’t there?

Spokesman:  I hope to have something on that a bit later today or tomorrow.

Inner City Press:  How can the mission not be able to say? He’s a commanding officer…

Spokesman:  As I said, I’m trying to harvest facts.

   Since Dujarric has a history of rushing out of the briefing room with questions unanswered, Inner City Press began a Periscope video. Dujarric said, gesturing at Inner City Press' Periscoping phone, “You know it’s also live on the web.”

Inner City Press:   I understand.  But I have to be ready…

Spokesman:  Of course.

Inner City Press:   to…[inaudible]

Spokesman:  And I want people to see that I am the lazy Spokesman that you say I am.

Inner City Press:   All right.  I did email about Mayuyu…

Spokesman:  I’m lazy.  That’s what I can tell you.

  The reference was to a hashtag, #LazySpox a/k/a (in French) #DroleDePorteParole. And eight hours later and counting, still no answer of any kind.

On July 29 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to send up to 228 UN Police to Burundi, with four abstentions: China, Egypt, Venezuela and Egypt. Surprisingly, Russia voted yes. Here is the French text; English is below.  

Minute before the UN Security Council was to vote on the draft resolution to send up to 228 police to Burundi, French ambassador Francois Delattre spoke with his Chinese counterpart, tweeted photo here, while Angola's ambassador spoke with US Ambassador Samantha Power and her deputy, David Pressman. (Blurrier photo tweeted here.)

But what has been done on the resolution so far? Alexis Lamek, deputy ambassador of its author, France, first declined to answer Inner City Press' question, said he would revert, Vine here, and see below.

On August 22, Inner City Press asked again and Lamek said, “We are speaking with the different stakeholders,”(Vine here) saying after Inner City Press followed up that includes the government.

  Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson's Office under Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press, after repeated requests about Ban's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous taking Lt. Col Alfred Mayuyu into the UN mission in the Central African Republic MINUSCA despite human rights abuses that Mayuyu was not on any roster of the UN. That said publicly on August 5 and never supplemented. Vine here;  Video here,UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask on Burundi,  I'd asked you about Lieutenant Colonel Mayuyu, deployment… people continue to say that he's actually being deployed to CAR (Central African Republic), and they've linked him to a unit that was involved in… in… in torture and other abuse in December 2015.  So what… is that, in fact, being re… I don't know if you looked into it, but I did ask it here.  Go ahead.

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes.  I did look into that.  As far as I'm aware from our colleagues in MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic), they're not aware that this person is on any of their rosters.  They're continuing to check to see whether it was under a different name or something, but no.  At this point, we don't have that.

   Last week Inner City Press heard that Mayuyu was, in fact, repatriated from CAR, with the UN and not Burundi paying for the flight. Since Dujarric's office, beyond participating in evicting Inner City Press from the UN, and refusing questions on restrictions since, didn't even acknowledge its last round of written questions, Inner City Press intended to ask in-person at the August 22 noon briefing. But Dujarric left abuptly.

  Now, RPA reports Mayuyu has been repatriated. Inner City Press has asked Dujarric and his deputy Farhan Haq, who gave the August 5 answer, in writing for an explanation. Watch this site.

On August 19, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq what if anything the UN has done about the abduction by government security of another journalist. Haq said the UN hopes he “found” - so the UN didn't even contact the government? Vine hereUN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: on Burundi, I wanted to ask you, there's now a call… there was obviously Jean Bigirimana.  There's another journalist, Gisa Steve Irakoze, of a radio station, one of the few independent radio stations in the country, has been abducted, the word RSF uses, by the National Security Agency.  And I wanted to know… it's kind of a pressing case… is the team on the ground, rather than just a later report, are they in any way involved in trying to ask the Government to release this journalist who's also diabetic and hasn't eaten in two days by some accounts?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we're aware of the latest reports, and we are concerned about any efforts that would harm the right of Burundians to the freedom of expression and any crackdowns on the media.  So, of course, we hope that this will be resolved and that the person will be found and found safely soon.
On August 18, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq, Vine here and hereUN transcript: 

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about Burundi.  There have been… first, there's some… there are various Tutsi members of the army, some who are out of the country, who are basically trying to… saying they don't want to go back because they face imprisonment or killing.  There's… there's… some nine have gone missing.  Six have been killed.  So, I wanted to know whether this is something that the Special Adviser or the team on the ground is concerned about, a seemingly ethnic split in the army, and how this also impacts the impending deployment of 800 Burundian troops to the Central African Republic.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, as for the deployment of troops, that's a process that is under way, and we'll see how that is carried out, but it will follow the normal guidelines for vetting.  Regarding the situation on the ground in Burundi, the Special Adviser does continue to be in touch with the Government and other sides.  We are trying to work with the various communities to make sure that the country continues to deal with its problems in an inclusive manner.

 Continues??

So far, here have been two economic responses. On August 16, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq, Vine hereUN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: it's widely reported that the Burundian Government has closed the border with Rwanda and stopped all trade between the two.  So, I wanted to know if there's a… any response by the UN and its Special Adviser.  And also, what's been done since the… since in mid-July the Security Council passed the resolution to deploy 220 police, what exactly has DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] and the Secretariat done to implement or begin implementing that resolution?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we are in touch with potential police-contributing countries, and what we're trying to do is see whether we can construct a police presence in accordance with the mandate provided by the Security Council.

ICP Question:  Has the Secretariat communicated with the Pierre Nkurunziza Government?  Because they've said publicly that they're not going to take the police.

Deputy Spokesman:  We are in touch with the Nkurunziza Government, including through the Special Adviser.

ICP Question:  And what about the trade?  What about the cutoff of trade?  Is the UN taking note of that?

Deputy Spokesman:  I am aware of the media reports.  I'm not aware of any particular reaction we have.  As you know, for most of these sorts of matters, we encourage countries to deal with any differences with each other through bilateral means.  If there's anything more to say, I'll let you know.

ICP Question:  Sure.  I'm only asking because isn't there also a guy working on Great Lakes?  It seems to be the problem in Burundi is becoming a regional issue, so I'm wondering whether the UN sees it as such.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I haven't seen any comment from that particular Adviser on this, just so far.

Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq on August 10 about bodies found in Burundi's rivers, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: on Burundi, I’d asked you about the journalist that’s been missing and that his publication Iwacu says that he’s been killed.  But in investigating a body found in a river, something called the National Committee on Human Rights of Burundi went and they found more bodies in the river.  So it gives me… I guess I wanted to know, since the UN has people, including, supposedly, human rights observers, on the ground, do they accompany the Government commission when they go to investigate bodies in a river?  Some people are saying 11 bodies have been found.  Certainly, two have been found.  One is supposed to be a journalist.  Given that the Government is accused in some of these cases of being the killer, what’s the UN’s role with its team on the ground?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, the human rights monitors in Burundi follow up on any allegations of human rights atrocities, and then they report back on them, and as you know, those reports are available.

ICP Question:  Right, but specifically, I guess, do they… are they in Bujumbura reading about this, or do they accompany the Government to go to the site of bodies?

Deputy Spokesman:  You can see the reports.  They give details about the work that they do in their periodic reports.

ICP Question:  Right but in this instance, I guess I’m just asking you now, since there’s a dead journalist, when would they report on it?

Deputy Spokesman:  We would have to see.  Obviously, every so often, they have the periodic reports in which they describe the work that they’re doing.

On August 9, Inner City Press asked French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek, now that the government of Burundi has said it rejects the deployment of UN Police, what next? He said, “I will come back to you.” Vine here.  He didn't.


  At the August 9 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq what the UN Secretariat is doing, to get the police deployed. His answer cited Burundi's sovereignty and cooperating with the government. Vine here.

On August 8, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: I'd asked before about this journalist from Iwacu called Jean Bigirimana, and now his publication, Iwacu, seems to indicate that his body has been found.  And there are number of press freedom organizations, human rights organizations saying that it has to be investigated.  With the UN's presence there, what steps has it taken since he was disappeared and the publication went public with his disappearance?  Has anything been done by the UN on this case?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we do monitor the situation of human rights in the country.  We don't have any particular report on this case to share at this point.  But they are looking into the circumstances of all of the potential human rights violations in the country.  Obviously, any harassment, let alone killing, of any journalist merits a strong reaction and would need to be fully investigated by the authorities on the ground.

On August 5, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: 

 I wanted to ask on Burundi, something new and then one as a follow-up question.  There's reports there of a mass grave of 12 bodies being unearthed in Ngozi, and so I wanted to know if it's something that has reached your office or if the UN's going to have any role in examining that.  And also, I'd asked you about Lieutenant Colonel Mayuyu, deployment… people continue to say that he's actually being deployed to CAR (Central African Republic), and they've linked him to a unit that was involved in… in… in torture and other abuse in December 2015.  So what… is that, in fact, being re… I don't know if you looked into it, but I did ask it here.  Go ahead.

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes.  I did look into that.  As far as I'm aware from our colleagues in MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic), they're not aware that this person is on any of their rosters.  They're continuing to check to see whether it was under a different name or something, but no.  At this point, we don't have that.  Regarding a mass grave in Ngozi, of course, we're concerned about any reports of mass graves, and I'll look and see whether we have anything further about this particular…