Wednesday, March 23, 2016

On W. Sahara, ICP Asks Spain for Its Position As Gallach Bans It from UNSC Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 21 -- Why didn't UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon go to El Aaiun in Western Sahara, even to visit the headquarters of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara?  And why on March 21 did Ban say, "We had a good meeting in the Security Council today" when his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq toldInner City Press it was fine it was excluded between there were no Secretariat staff involved? Who is Ban's "we"?

Now we asked, What is the position of Spain the former colonial power in all this? On March 21 Inner City Press asked Angola's Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti what had been accomplished on defending MINURSO; his answer declined comment on the "Spanish Sahara."

Earlier on March 21, having had difficulty getting an answer from Spain's Mission to the UN particularly after Cristina Gallach, the highest Spanish official in the UN system, ousted Inner City Press from its office and the UN without due process -- and from the Western Sahara meeting, Periscope here -- sent this to Spain's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson:

From: Matthew R. Lee [at]
Date: Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 9:15 AM
Subject: Press Q on Spain's position on Morocco ordering out 83 UN/AU staff from MINURSO, and UN doing it, on deadline, thanks
To: cecilia.yuste [at]

Hello -
This is a Press request to know Spain's position on Morocco ordering 83 UN (and AU) staff to leave “the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco,” as they referred to Western Sahara - and, separately, to UNSG Ban Ki-moon and/or DPKO chief Herve Ladsous deciding to in fact evacuate these staff to Las Palmas.
We have not heard Spain's position from the Mission here - there are other issues - and so put this question to you, on deadline. Please acknowledge receipt and provide substantive response asap.
Thank you in advance,
Matthew Russell Lee,  Inner City Press
Office at UN: Room S-303, UN HQ, NY NY 10017 (??)
Cell: 718-716-3540 [&]
Email Matthew.Lee [at] and this and @FUNCA_info
Periscope live broadcasts:
Video of protest in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (in Tamil, with signs)
Sri Lanka Sunday Times, March 20, 2016
   But twelve hours later, no answers at all...

As the 8:30 am meeting took place, Inner City Press once it got about the retaliatory Ban imposed by UN official Cristina Gallach heard from its sources that this photograph of troops and missiles - note the flag(s) - was circulating among the highest UN officials including DPKO chief Herve Ladsous, and that Morocco was moving to oust even MINURSO military personnel from Dakhla. There were still no other media present at 9:30 am.

  Inner City Press arrived at the UN at 8:20 am and as passing through the now required (by UN censorship and retaliation) metal detectors saw a convoy diplomats from the Morocco mission going in.

 But up at the Security Council, the door for "non-resident correspondents" was locked; Inner City Press' current pass downgraded in retaliation by the UN doesn't work on the turnstiles and there was no guard present.

 Inner City Press set up in the hall, but from there was unable to put questions -- as it has  right to -- to the Permanent Representatives going in.

  Seen, through glass, were the Perm Reps of France and Spain chatting amiably; PRs of New Zealand and Ukraine and Russia; American Deputy David Pressman.

  At the noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, Vine here (video still not provided)