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Arab League Report Blames Opposition for French Reporter's Death, Decries Media

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 28 -- Outside the UN Security Council Friday afternoon, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari repeatedly told the press to find and read the Arab League monitors' report, which was supposed to have been annexed to the League's letter to the Council but was not. (Click here for Inner City Press' first coverage of this "Annex amateur hour".)

  Attached for any reader who might not otherwise have access to it is the "Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria for the period from 24 December 2011 to 18 January 2012," as Inner City Press obtained it.

  As Ja'afari said, in the main example he gave, this Report says in Paragraph 44 that "Mission reports from Homs indicate French journalist was killed by opposition mortar shells."

Of that, Ja'afari pointedly said, "you'll never hear the French Ambassador [Gerard Araud] or BanKiMoon say that."

  The Report, signed by Sudanese General Al Dabi who was active in Darfur, the locus of International Criminal Court indicted war crimes, also says at Paragraph 29 that "the media exaggerated... the number of persons killed." Is Dabi or the Arab League also saying that of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, and UNICEF?

 On the other hand Al Dabi's report recites for example down in Paragraph 74 that "The Mission was informed by the opposition, particularly in Dar‘a, Homs, Hama and Idlib, that some of its members had taken up arms in response to the suffering of the Syrian people as a result of the regime’s oppression and tyranny; corruption, which affects all sectors of society; the use of torture by the security agencies; and human rights violations."

  Ja'afari's argument on Friday was that the Arab League is split, but Qatar and some others came to the UN before or without regard for the Arab League Report.

(c) UN Photo
Syria PR Ja'afari at UN: "Gentlemen, read the [Al Babi] Report"

  Tuesday, the Security Council will hear from the Qatari minister and the Secretary General of the Arab League -- and not from Al Dabi. Still, will this split be brought up?

We will have more about the Report, but for now we are putting it online, here.

  In the list of media reportedly granted accreditation to enter Syria (but not yet entering) are two reporters "from the agency Roberts." Oh, Dabi!

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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