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On Burundi, ICP Asks French PR of Protection of Civilians, UN Police; He: “Potentially Productive"

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On Burundi, ICP Asks French PR About UN Police, "Potentially Productive" By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, February 10 -- When the UN Security Council met on Burundi on February 10, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre about the protection of civilians, and for France's view of the idea of sending at least UN Police there. Video here. Delattre called it a “potentially productive idea,” then went into the Security Council's closed door meeting. We'll see. Earlier on February 10 on Burundi at the UN, the UN Peacebuilding Configuration head stark presentations from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, background below. When the IMF held is biweekly briefing on January 14, Inner City Press submitted a number of questions, leading with Burundi and whether the Nkurunziza government's "income" from sending troops to Somalia and Central African Republic should be disclosed in the budget. See below. On February 10 in the UN Peacebuilding Commission, while the IMF still didn't directly address the sleight of hand with the UN's peacekeeping funds, it presented a stark picture of Burundi's economy. It said GDP fell over four percent in 2015. The IMF said any new program would depend on relations with the international community. The World Bank's Bella Bird spoke by video from Addis Ababa; she said the World Bank still has $270 million of projects in Burundi, but said the government is closing down, not reaching out. Burundi's Ambassador to the UN Albert Shingiro, after these critiques, went on and on bragging about blocking the proposed MAPROBU peacekeeper force in Addis, denouncing NGOs he left UNnamed and false media reports. He continues to block @InnerCityPress on Twitter. We'll have more on this. Back on January 14, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice read out Inner City Press' question then referred to the IMF's March 2015 sixth review, saying the government had committed to include the income from peacekeeping operations in the budget. Rice then said due to deterioration in the security situation, the seventh and eight reviews are not possible and the program is "off track." On January 14 the IMF's Rice also noted the US Congress having approved quota reform (answering that he was not aware of any new oversight this might trigger), and said that Managing Director Lagarde will hold Greece meetings in Davos. Rice declined to answer ICP's question on Nigeria, saying much has been said on the topic; a Trinidad and Tobago question remained outstanding as the embargo time expired, but Inner City press was later on January 14 told on Trinidad and Tobago, the IMF's engagement with the country is one of economic policy advice or what we call surveillance. There is no program nor any talk of that, Inner City Press was told. Back on December 5, 2015, Inner City Press also asked the IMF about Burundi (and Zambia), and Rice said following as to Burundi, audio here: “In terms of the outlook in Burundi, it's effected by the decline in economic activity there and the . withdrawal of donor support. Confidence in the economy has been weakened by the political climate and adverse security developments. The growth rate in Burundi, which we had initially projected 5% in 2015, is now estimated at minus 4.1% in real terms.... In the current environment, completion of the 7th and the 8th review under our program there is not possible and as such, Burundi's program with the IMF, which is an ECF arrangement, is now off track.”