Kissinger at the UN, Story of a Photo Not Taken, Wheelchair Sans Mr. K
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, May 7 — It was inside the UN, but there was no sign on the door. In Conference Room E of the Temporary North Lawn Building, Inner City Press was told, Henry Kissinger was speaking.
Having covered, in the time of Occupy Wall Street, a mock award ceremony for Henry Kissinger held in front of a midtown Manhattan hotel (video here), Inner City Press had a sense there could be news: Kissinger in the UN! Again!
And so Inner City Press set up shop at a Cafe Austria table in front of Conference Room E. The electronic blue sign which usually announces what’s taking place in a UN meeting room — the Law of the Sea, or even sometimes, “Questions about Information” — was blank.
There was a paper sign on the door itself, DPI-NGO, but that event (which Inner City Press also covered, in the context of an internship with an NGO inside the UN being auctioned off for $26,000) was over.
A UN Security medical officer arrived, to unfold and man a wheelchair, along with two bodyguards. Two of the three looked skeptically at Inner City Press. But it is an open area.
After several false alarms, the moment came. Henry Kissinger came out of Conference Room E. But he said, even before he was out, “no pictures of me in a wheelchair.”
There have been other sightings by Inner City Press in the UN this year: Judith Miller of Iraq and New York Times fame, here in the time of Syria and chemical weapons, on April Fool’s Day no less.
Beyonce, for whom photographers were ordered to turn over their memory cards and have them erased. (Meanwhile, the UN took photos while raiding Inner City Press’ office on March 18, then shared them and had them leaked on March 21 once the UN was asked about the raid.)
AsUN Stonewalls on Abyei, Who Leaked the Route, Misseriya Disposition?
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, May 7 — What are this UN’s priorities, when it comes to the death of a UN Peacekeeper in Abyei and at least five questions left unanswered?
On May 6, Inner City Press asked the chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, did the UNISFA mission under this command provide notification of its travel, in which at least one peacekeeper and paramount chief Kuol Deng Kuol were killed?
So Inner City Press submitted several questions in writing to the UN’s top three spokespeople. But they did not answer, even as on Tuesday morning Ladsous’ spokesman Kieran Dwyer was giving information to other scribes, not about the death in Abyei, but other peacekeepers, in the Golan Heights. Priorities.
So Inner City Press went to Tuesday’s UN noon briefing and asked spokesman Martin Nesirky:
Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about the death of the peacekeeper in Abyei. I had sent you some questions, but I need to ask them [here]. One, did UNISFA [United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei] give notification of its travel? Two, how large was the protection element? There have been some complaints now by South Sudan that it wasn’t large enough. And what were the casualties to the UN’s knowledge on the Misseriya side?
Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, we’ve already answered that question, Matthew…
Inner City Press: How?
Spokesperson: The last part: that we are not aware of the casualties suffered amongst the assailants, those who attacked that particular group. I don’t have anything further beyond what we have already given to you both in this room and subsequently by e-mail. If that changes, I will certainly update you.
Inner City Press: It seems like the permission question…
Spokesperson: I said if I have anything further, I will certainly update. Do you have some other question, Matthew?
Well, yes. Here’s more: A, B and C:
In firefight it’s reported in Sudan that 17 Misseriya were killed and 12 injured.
a) What were the numbers and weapons used on each side?
b) What happened afterward with the remaining Misseriya? Did the UNISFA take prisoners, or disarm the remainder of the group? Did they get identities of the ambushers?
c) Did they find out who leaked the route of the convoy?