Monday, May 22, 2017

From W Sahara, Phosphate Ship Impounded in Panama En Route to Canada, 2d Time in Month

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video heresong here
UNITED NATIONS, May 18 – Another ship carrying phosphate from Western Sahara has been impounded, this time in Panama, bound for Canada. As Inner City Press reported less than a month ago, South Africa similarly stopped a ship of Western Sahara phosphate en route to New Zealand. This time the ship is Danish, and named the "Ultra Innovation," photo here. This comes after Morocco's Ambassador to the UN, rather than answer Inner City Press' questions, used the UN Security Council stakeout microphone to denounce Inner City Press for its questioning and claim, for example, it never covers Venezuela. (This was and is false.) This is Morocco's thuggish diplomacy, which has included false complaints to the UN Department of Public Information which still restricts Inner City Press' access inside the UN, and at least as of May 15, refusal to respond to UN inquiries for a replacement UN envoy. Back on April 9 Inner City Press reported UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' proposal of Horst Kohler of Germany to replace Christopher Ross as the UN's Western Sahara envoy. Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, when Inner City Press, repeatedly refused comment. On May 5 Dujarric said Guterres "has communicated to his parties his preferred candidate to replace Christopher Ross, you know, who had announced his intention to leave.  Right now, the Kingdom of Morocco has not yet responded to the information passed on to it." Now on May 15, a full ten days later, Dujarric said "the last update I had is that we had not gotten approval from… the formality on a name to replace Mr. Ross.  We're still awaiting clearance." While pro-Morocco trolls insist this doesn't ascribe the delay to their King, in context it surely does. We'll have more on this: more questions, more stories. Watch this site.  Dujarric also, again, refused to explain the now week-long censorship of the Western Sahara stakeout of April 28. Now, after ten days of censorship, the UN has annexed the stakeout to this video and put it online, While it dispenses with pro-Morocco trolls' arguments,  explanations of the delay, and policy, remain needed. Inner City Press asked Dujarric for both and was told the UN likes to re-invent the wheel; no explanation was offered for the Turkish Cypriot Community getting their own, immediately archived UNTV stakeouts and this ten day delay. Watch this site. A ship moving phosphate taken from Western Sahara to New Zealand has been impounded in South Africa: the Marshall Islands flagged bulk carrier NM Cherry Blossom. The issue is the illegality of Morocco's exploitation of the natural resources of the Western Sahara territory it occupied, a question Inner City Press asked about at the UN Security Council stakeout on April 28, still not put online by the UN. So on May 4, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric about both issues: the ship and exploitation of Western Sahara's natural resources. On the first, Dujarric merely alluded to Antonio Guterres' report. On the UN's ongoing censorship of the April 28 Q&A stakeout including on exploitation of resources, Dujarric said he has nothing new - it's been six days and we will keep asking. At Morocco's "Universal Periodic Review" at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on May 2, the representative of the US urged  the Kingdom of Morocco to release detained journalists, and Sweden called on Morocco to respect freedom of the press. This call is apparently not heard by Morocco's Ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale, who even after Inner City Press published a blurring Morocco-AU document at his request used the UNTV microphone to claim that all of Inner City Press' publication are anti-Morocco. Nor is the call heard by the UN, which five days after the back to back stakeouts by Hilale and the Polisario representative has refused to put the latter video online. Inner City Press for the third day -- "question 228" by Hilale's count -- asked Dujarric about the delay; he again offered no explanation despite this same scenario having arisen in the past. From the May 3 UN transcript: Inner City Press: I’m sorry to ask you this again, but it’s… the stakeout took place Friday.  It’s now Wednesday.  So it’s five days later.  You’d said that it’s something working on.  I’d like you to explain it, because in April 2016, after, I think, a shorter period of time, it was decided to append the Polisario stakeout behind Algeria.  What’s the difference now?

Spokesman:  When I’m ready to have something to announce.  I will announce it and I will explain it.

Inner City Press: Does that solution…?

Spokesman:  That’s all I can say.
  Censorship. After several delays, the UN Security Council renewed for one year the mandate of its Western Sahara mission MINURSO at 6 pm on April 28. Final resolution put on Scribed by Inner City Press here. After the vote when Morocco's Permanent Representative to the UN Omar Hilale came to the UNTV stakeout, and after questions from Moroccan state media, Inner City Press asked Hilale three questions, on Horst Kohler as possible new envoy, on the C-24 Committee visiting the regions, and what Morocco had accomplished by ousting the MINURSO peacekeepers. Hilale rather than answering used the podium to, as he put it, give some statistics. 6-second Vine Camera video here.
He said that Inner City Press has asked 225 questions about the conflict in the past year - quelle horreur -- and had had the temerity to write 150 articles about it. Inner City Press pointed out that it has written more about other countries, such as these days Cameroon. But Hilale went on from there. Video here. Three days after the stakeouts, the UN Department of Public Information had put on its website only two of the three speakers that evening (May 1 photo here). So on May 1 Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: This happened before, so maybe you’ll have an answer to it.  On Friday, after the meeting on Western Sahara, in the Security Council, there were three stakeouts, Morocco, Algeria and then Polisario.  And three days later, only Morocco and Algeria are up and not Polisario.  Now, the last time it took several days, and then it was appended behind Algeria.  How did the same thing happen again, or it hasn’t even been… [inaudible]

Spokesman:  I can look into it.

Inner City Press  But isn’t it… I mean, after last time…

Spokesman:  I said I would look into it.
   Seven hours later, nothing. So here is part of the video. What is wrong with the UN, and its DPI?  It was to the DPI that Hilale's Moroccan mission made a frivolous complaint about Inner City Press taking photos at the stakeout; it was this DPI which evicted Inner City Press and still keeps it restricted, trying to give its long time shared office to an Egyptian state media which rarely comes in and never asks questions. This zero, apparently, is a count that Hilale, Morocco and its state media and trolls are most comfortable with. Up to death threats have been received. Here then is a song, Western Sahara Blues, the Ballad of Omar Hilale.

  In front of the UN Security Council's Western Sahara closed door consultations on April 25, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre why there is no human rights monitoring in the mandate of the MINURSO mission, as urged by for example Amnesty International. Delattre said human rights "is in our DNA," but said there are many ways to work for human rights. Video here.  Now the vote on the resolution, one draft of which is below, has been pushed back from 5 to 5:30 to 6 pm on April 28. Verification of Guerguerat, inclusion or deletion or modification of language in the resolution, below. Up on the UN's 38th floor after a photo op of UK Boris Johnson and Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Inner City Press spotted Uruguay's ambassador. He has been pushing for human rights monitoring, DNA or no DNA. But down at the stakeout of the Security Council, the questions to him concerned mostly a reported missile firing by North Korea. Watch this site. Inner City Press asked about Horst Kohler as Antonio Guterres' nominee as Personal Envoy on Western Sahara. Delattre smiled and answered in German. Then and the next day, as Inner City Press got versions of the draft, Morocco diplomats and state journalists walked freely up and down the UN's 2d floor, while Inner City Press was confined to Department of Public Information minders. After the meeting, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Ilyichev said the real work on the MINURSO resolution, which he still expects to be put to a vote on April 27, was at the level of experts, not in the April 25 meeting. Periscope video here.