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Leaked Documents Show UN Corruption In Somalia Extends To Over $51M
Somali News

Leaked Documents Show UN Corruption In Somalia Extends To Over $51M

The corruption within the UN is growing, with today's Inner City Press exclusive example being the UN Support Office on Somalia, while the UN censors and restricts the Press which reports on it. After getting the UN to belatedly confirm an investigation of UNSOS for sexual exploitation, today Inner City Press publishes photos from the recent UN Board of Auditors' audit of UNSOS cost overruns of over $50 million for rations delivery. Photos here. The audit was directed to UNSOS' Amadu Kamara, critical of untransparent waste of $51.3 million. In essence, the corrupt rations contract  for air delivery was twice as expensive as using UN air assets  yet it went on until the Mission ran out of money. The UN's missions - that is, the public's funds - are being drained. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he has a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual harassment, and for retaliation. But when Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on March 15 about Michel Sidibé's reported threats of retaliatory investigations against those making and offering support to sexual harassment complaints at UNAIDS, Haq said this is entire a matter for UNAIDS. Earlier Inner City Press story here. Will Guterres' less claimed zero tolerance for corruption be as illusory as on sexual harassment - or more? On March 29 when Inner City Press audibly asked Guterres, if he had even yet spoken to Sidibe, Guterres did not answer. Vine video here. The unaddressed rot is not only at UNAIDS. Inner City Press has been informed, and now exclusively reports, that there are also sexual exploitation and abuse allegations at the UN Support Office in Somalia in Somalia (UNSOS), whose outgoing director Hubert Price Inner City Press previously questioned about negligent imposition of sewage on Somalis. The UN belatedly confirmed the investigation on April 6, when Inner City Press asked for the second time. The allegation is of paying for sex, against the senior level of UNSOS just below Price's now Amadu Kamara's post. It's what Inner City Press called "blue on blue," a terms like so many difavored by today's UN in denial. On April 2, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I tried to ask the Secretary-General, I guess it was on Thursday, about allegations that UNAIDS have retaliation by staff.  And, since then, as you may know, the victim or stated…  self-described victim of Luiz Loures, Martina Brostrom, has appeared on CNN International and described in great detail both what she says happened and…  and the very flawed investigation.  So, I wanted to know, presumably, even in Lisbon, this is…  CNN International is available.  What does the Secretary-General — who so far, at least to my knowledge, has said it's entirely up to UNAIDS — what does he think of this person coming forward? And also I wanted to ask you, there appear to be new allegations of sexual exploitation at the UN support office in Somalia.  And I'd like you…  maybe you can't do it now, but maybe you can ask OIOS… Spokesman:  I'll check… Question:  …for a status on the case. Spokesman:  I'll check on Somalia."   But Dujarric for four days never responded with any answer. In fact, he had one, but apparently hoped either that Inner City Press would not ask again, or that he could again throw Inner City Press out. But on April 6 Inner City Press asked, saying it knows the name of the alleged perpetrator (it does), and then Dujarric confirmed that an investigation has been ongoing since November. But it's now April. Dujarric declined to confirm that both sides in the allegations are UN personnel: blue on blue. There are also allegations of theft of fuel and fraud in rations - we'll have more on this. Present on March 29, before Guterres' unannounced four day junket to Lisbon, was Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, who orders UN staff to "speak with one voice" - hers - on allegations of sexual harassment. She has continued to restrict Inner City Press, declining for months to even answer what the rules are.Inner City Press has been receiving detailed complaints about mismanagement and harassment in UNAIDS, but the UN refuses to answer. So below are some more of the complaints. Tellingly, the day after Guterres refused Inner City Press' question about UNAIDS, here are Loures' victims speaking publicly, in their own names:  Martina Brostrom, a policy advisor at UNAIDS, said of Loures at a conference in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015: "I was pleading with him, and I was just bracing with all that I could just to not leave the elevator."  Guterres? No answer - and no action. Where is Guterres on this? Where is Guterres? Malayah Harper, who used to run UNAIDS' programs in Uganda and Kenya, on Loures a year earlier, also at a hotel: "He got into the lift with me, and then kind of lunged forward to -- you could call it -- kiss me, but I thought a kiss had to be consensual." We'll have more on this, and on retaliation. Some more of the complaints exclusively published by Inner City Press: "Michel Sidibé has established this 'boys club' culture where qualified women are made to feel less worthy, are openly ridiculed by male colleagues except those women who are providing favors to him and his 'boys,' he continues to give perks to his boys who serve as his connectors to presidents, prime ministers etc by appointing them to important positions as well as even when they retired bridging them back on special assignments for them to make easy money. People such as Fritz Lherisson, Georges Shaw and more recently Abdoul Dieng." There are the Mali connections, beyond what Inner City Press reported about Burundi on March 23, here: "Ben Wahab - A Malian recently appointed as UNAIDS Country Director for Burundi with no country level and no management experience. He came in as a P4 Adviser and very quickly in 3 years he rose to his present position of UNAIDS Country Director.... Theresa Poirier, aMalian Canadian,  UNAIDS Country Director for Malawi .Also a relatively new comer to UNAIDS appointed by Michel as Director in Mali and now serving in Malawi as UNAIDS Country Director... Fode Simanga a Malian serving as senior adviser in Geneva but graded at Director level... Dado SY Kagnsssy a Malian before UNAIDS Country Director for Djibouti, very little experience,non articulative  and a fairly new comer to UNAIDS who was appointed to this position whilst many longer serving staff members are over looked and now posted to Guinea as UNAIDS Country Director.. Amakonde Sande (moved from consultant to P4 in short order to  P5 as UNAIDS Country Director in Malawi and then sent to Uganda  a D1 position where she stayed only for 3 months only to be appointed to China as UNAIDS Country Director... Bridgitte Quenum recently appointed as UNAIDS Country Director but she has no leadership, management experience and was appointed over other more senior  persons. It is reputed that her family is/was a great friend of Michel Sidibe and that is how she entered UNAIDS and now gained this distinguished position." But note - not only has Antonio Guterres bragged recently that now at the UN "we have some Portuguese things" - he also has his own hiring and traveling patterns. As to UNAIDS and Sidibe, there is talk of mining business; there are harassment complaints and findings that Sidibé refuses to act on.  Of Girmay Haile, the current UNAIDS country director in Zimbabwe, whistleblowers tell Inner City Press that a recent internal investigation came unanimously to the conclusion of severe bullying and intimidation just two weeks ago - but Sidibé has refused to move him. This followed a previous investigation against Girmay Haile Girmay HaileGirmay HaileGirmay Hailein Kenya; Sidibe refused the recommendation of the internal team and promoted him to country director Ghana. Girmay Haile has reportedly said he knows too much and if he falls they all fall. We shall see.   Back on March 15 when Inner City Press asked about the UN Secretariat's own investigation of whistleblowers, for the second day in a row, Haq again defended it, as somehow benefiting member states. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: I'm sure you've seen the article in The Guardian quoting Michel Sibidé [sic] of UNAIDS [Joint United Nations Programme against HIV/AIDS].  What I wanted to ask you is, he seems to be attacking those who came forward in the sexual harassment case against Luiz Loures.  He's attacked them.  He's said that Loures is a… is… made a courageous decision.  And, of his detractors, he says, we know these people are taking their golden shan… handshakes from us here and knowing they have a job and then attacking us.  We know all about that.  We know every single thing.  Time will come for everything.  When I hear anything about abuse of our assets, I ask for an investigation.  Maybe these investigations are going on.  And so, many staff and many people in the… in the “#MeToo” movement see this as a direct threat against those who came forward.  And I wonder, what does António Guterres… who I'm… I… I would assume is a reader of The Guardian, what does he think of these comments? Deputy Spokesman:  We're aware of this article.  Obviously, it's for UNAIDS and Mr.  Sidibé to explain what the comments attributed to him are.   At UNESCO in Paris there are cover-ups and retaliation in the wake of the two-step firing of Assistant Director General Frank La Rue for sexual harassment.  But when Inner City Press on March 20 asked Guy Berger, the grandly titled Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, if he thought reporting on l'affaire La Rue, which has included Inner City Press' exclusive report that after his suspension he was still getting paid and now questions about UNESCO Ethics Adviser Rebecca Trott, Berger said he was unaware of the specifics of the case and to ask UNESCO's press officer.    Since Inner City Press published the video of the Q&A, it has heard from UNESCO staff in New York that Berger "lied - he was among the best friends of La Rue, defended him at every turn, while also trying to take his job." This is how the UN works - work with collaborators like Berger's former student, to cover up abuse, while seeking mutual advancement. It is disgusting. So too on Rebecca Trott, UNESCO's "Ethics" adviser. As question mount about cover up, it will be interesting to know who is still protecting her within the organization. We'll have more on this. Likewise, after Berger has spoken and joked with a former student (given the first question) about the importance of independent media and even holding power in check, when Inner City Press asked about the UN's FAO and WIPO going after the press, he said he was unaware but implied it might be justified.  When Inner City Press asked about the UN Department of Public Information's continuing lack of content neutral media access rules, despite Inner City Press' repeated requests to DPI boss Alison Smale, both his student and the UN moderate looked surprised, as if they didn't understand.  OK: Inner City Press was evicted from its UN work space for pursuing the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case in the UN Press Briefing Room - an event of the group headed by Berger's student - and has been a non-resident correspondent requiring DPI “minders” to cover the UN General Assembly and its President. Meanwhile its office was given to a no-show Egyptian state media, Akhbar al Yom's Sanaa Youssef, who has not ask the UN a question in ten years.  Source Inner City Press , By Matthew Russell Lee