human rights watch

human rights watch

On Western Sahara on Day Set for Vote, UNSC Prez Says Didn't Come Up, Hopes By End of Month

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On W. Sahara, Slated April 23 Vote Doesn't Happen, Nigeria Hopes By 30th, Spin By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, April 23, more here -- In the untransparent annual UN cat and mouse process around Western Sahara, French Ambassador Gerard Araud has repeatedly been asked by usual-friend Human Rights Watch but continues denying any French role, this year or before, in blocking a human rights monitoring mechanism in the MINURSO mission. Voting had been scheduled for April 23 in the UN Security Council on the renewal of the MINURSO mandate, but it did not happen. Inner City Press asked Security Council president for April Joy Ogwu of Nigeria about the delay. She replied that she hopes it can be voted on during her presidency, this month. At the April 21 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric three questions about Western Sahara: any comment on Morocco's King's visit to Dakhla, any confirmation of Polisario's letter of last Tuesday to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about crackdown in El Aaiun, and why Polisario can't, but the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can, speak on UN Television. On the last Dujarric, who at least until March 10 as in charge of UNTV, said he had no comment. But it was a request for an explanation of a double standard. When Inner City Press asked the question again on April 22, Dujarric said it was a good question but that he couldn't answer it at that time. But more than a day later, no answer was provided. At the April 23 noon briefing Dujarric was asked, in French, about Morocco and human rights. He said he might have some details in the afternoon. Inner City Press asked, Details for all? None were provided by the evening of April 23. But the April 24 meeting in at the US State Department with Western Sahara-connected Kosmos Energy no longer appears on the schedule there. Regarding this month's Security Council process, French Ambassador Gerard Araud has tweeted, "I'll wait to see a real proposal before saying what we think of it." But in April 2013 he answered Inner City Press: "how to improve human rights in Western Sahara? We have always said the best way is through bilateral dialogue with Morocco." Video here http://youtu.be/lmg4HVzJSKQ?t=39s