Archives For United Nations

On April 12, Security Council met again to discuss the issue of chemical substances that caused the death of 87 persons last April 4 in Syria. A first urgent session took place on April 5 on the very same topic (see S/PV.7915). Continue Reading…

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The UN Security Council agreement on the destruction of all chemical weapons held in Syria, by both government and rebel forces, and the measures adopted to try to prevent the terrorist groups operating in the country from getting their hands on chemical weapons are welcome. However, these agreements need to be followed up by an overall political agreement, the formation of a non-sectarian government including elements of the opposition committed to human rights and democracy and an end to the illegal support of the sectarian, terrorist insurgency by western countries, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Continue Reading…

The Report of the The International Commission of Inquiry on Libya has been issued and provides some interesting reading. Continue Reading…

Some important reactions to the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha – The San Francisco BayView has followed up on the reporting of the Wall Street Journal, the Black Star News and Human Rights Investigations on the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha with an article entitled: Libya: Tawergha, city of Blacks, depopulated – Rep. Jesse Jackson calls for investigation of ‘crimes against humanity’

A Black Star News report follows the remarks made by NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, giving the seal of approval to the ethnic cleansing.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr, who served as a national co-chairman of the 2008 Obama election campaign and who is a civil rights activist and stated on Wednesday:

“Racism in the form of ethnic cleansing, killing and genocide is wrong anytime, anyplace and against anybody in the world. And it appears as though the rebel leader, Mahmoud Jibril, is using the American idea that the South used to protect the institution of slavery – the 10th Amendment in our Constitution – to say, in essence, ‘it’s a states’ right and local control issue.’”

“Well, it’s not a local issue and it’s a moral outrage,”  he added.

“As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ As a senior member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I intend to raise this issue with my colleagues and condition any financial support for the reconstruction of Libya and its transition to a democratic society.”

“I think it is absolutely necessary that the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in the Hague investigate what I consider to be crimes against humanity,” Rep. Jackson said.

As the SFBayView states:

The White House has yet to issue a single statement condemning this ethnic cleansing of Black people. Hillary Clinton’s Department of State remains mute. The leaders of organizations that profess to protect the rights of Black people, such as the NAACP’s Ben Jealous and the National Urban League’s Marc Morial, have yet to make statements. Surely, someone must read The Wall Street Journal.

As the SFBayView also states:

Other major corporate media, such as The New York Times, CNN and BBC, all of which to varying degrees surrendered pretense at “objectivity” and openly supported the NATO bombardments, are now in a bind. They have yet to report major stories on the ethnic cleansing in Misrata and Tawergha. Rather than concede that the side they supported in the civil war is carrying out war crimes, they would rather suppress the story.

The reaction of the United Nations

As yet there has been little direct response from the United Nations to the Black Star News:

Even the United Nations was unable to respond today to the ethnic cleansing reports when contacted by The Black Star News and after the Journal’s reports were forwarded. A spokesman for Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was asked whether the targeted actions qualified as ethnic cleansing, whether they qualified as war crimes and whether the United Nations is demanding an investigation.

The spokesman, Eduardo del Buey, ignored the specific questions and responded with a statement from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, which states in part  “In situations of transition or unrest, restraint must be observed.” The spokesman explained:

“We are not commenting on media reports. the high commissioner speaks to the issue of human rights, and this is what she has said to date in Libya,”

Navi Pillay recently stated that “expectations that the UN will play its part are high and we must not disappoint them” – our expectation is that she will take some urgent action to protect civilians in Libya by working to bring an end to the NATO bombing and also make a firm statement, not just about the fate of migrant workers in Libya, but also about the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha and the abuses being committed against dark-skinned Libyans.

UN Resolution 2009 (2011)

This resolution, passed on Friday, makes some important provisions including:

“Strongly condemning all violations of applicable human rights and international humanitarian law, including violations that involve unlawful killings, other uses of violence against civilians, or arbitrary arrests and detentions, in particular of African migrants and members of minority communities’

South Africa’s representative, however, expressed disappointment that the resolution did not call specifically for the protection of the human rights of African migrants.  Alongside the Russian Federation’s representative and other speakers, he also called for the early lifting of the no-fly zone. South Africa’s representative, however, expressed disappointment that the resolution did not call specifically for the protection of the human rights of African migrants.  Alongside the Russian Federation’s representative and other speakers, he also called for the early lifting of the no-fly zone.

 

Under pressure from a Human Rights Investigations probe into cluster bombs, the usually secretive Spanish government has released some limited information regarding their exports of cluster bombs.

Spanish government information shows 2,271 MAT-120s were stockpiled on 2 December 2008 and 1,852 were destroyed by the end of 2008 with 419 retained.

Latest Spanish Government Claims

According to US ex-marine CJ Chivers, writing in The New York Times, Ramon Muro Martinez, Spain’s Deputy Director General for Foreign Trade of Defence Materials and Dual Use Goods has claimed that:

“No Spanish cluster munitions have been exported to the United States.”

No documents to prove the statement have been produced as yet and Mr Chivers has not yet divulged the full texts of the emails. The Spanish government refuses to reveal details of the role of Naval Station Rota and has failed to respond to the questions posed by HRI directly and in “Spanish Bombs in Andalucia.”

HRI has called for the release of details of all exports of cluster munitions by Spain – as well as the details of transfers of munitions to US Naval Station Rota.

On 8th June, according to CJ Chivers, Ramon Muro Martinez also claimed:

“One license to Lybia consisting of 5 cluster munitions for demonstration was issued in August 2006. The export took place in October 2006. There were two more licenses issued in December 2007 with a total amount of 1,050 cluster munitions. They were sent in March 2008.”

“All the licenses were submitted to a special scrutiny and the exports took place before the approval of a moratorium decided by the Spanish Government on the 11th July 2008 and the signature of the Oslo Convention on the 3rd December 2008.”

In a follow-up e-mail on the same day, Snr Martinez apparently confirmed that the cluster munitions were the MAT-120 rounds manufactured by Instalaza SA.

Another ministry official, Ana Terreros Gomez, according to Chivers, claimed the government of Libya had submitted an end-user certificate, or EUC, for MAT-120 rounds to the government of Spain.

“EUC issued by the Libya authorites was authenticated by the Spanish Embassy in Tripoli November 28th 2007.”

Joan Clos i Matheu, former Spanish Industry Minister

Joan Clos i Matheu was Spain’s Industry Minister September 2006 – July 2008, and has now moved on to be Under Secretary General of the United Nations.

Destruction of the Stockpile

According to a letter from the Spanish Foreign Minister on Cluster Munitions a 4.9 million euros contract was signed with Fabricaciones Extremeňas SA (FAEX), of the Maxam Industrial Group to dismantle and destroy the stockpile of cluster muniitons.

The Maxam Group is the owner of Expal (aka as the “Living Death”) who we have mentioned before in relation to their manufacture of cluster bombs and land mines and appears close to current Spanish Industry Minister, who was seen on 13 April 2011 in Beijing lobbying the Chinese government on their behalf.

Table of Spanish cluster munition destruction and retention:

Stockpiled on
2 December 2008
Destroyed by31 December 2008 Destroyed by18 March 2009 Retained
120mm mortar projectile ESPIN-21
(contains 21 submunitions)
2,340
(49,140)
1,950
(40,950)
390
(8,190)
120mm mortar projectile MAT-120
(contains 21 submunitions)
2,271
(47,691)
1,852
(38,892)
419
(8,799)
CBU-100 Rockeye bomb
(contains 247 submunitions)
545
(134,615)
537
(132,639)
8
(1,976)
CBU-99B Rockeye bomb
(contains 247 submunitions)
38
(9,386)
38
(9,386)
BME-330 B/AP bomb
(contains 28 submunitions)
393
(11,004)
385
(10,780)
8
(264)1
Total munitions
(submunition total)
5,587
(251,836)
4,377
(221,867)
385
(10,780)
863
(19,229)

1 Spain will retain an additional 40 SNA submunitions from two BME-330B/AP bombs.