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Morocco lobbied UN to turn blind eye to Western Sahara in 'House of Cards' operation

The Moroccan government intercepted United Nations communications and used “unethical tactics” in a “House of Cards”-style operation designed to get the organisation to turn a blind eye to the humanitarian situation in Western Sahara, according to a leaked UN report.

The leaked report is a UN analysis of correspondence between the Moroccan government and the country’s permanent ambassador to the UN in Geneva and later New York, Omar Hilale, in the period from January 2012 to September 2014. The Moroccan correspondence was made public last year by an anonymous source using the @chris_coleman24 Twitter handle.
The Moroccan correspondence appears to show that the north African country intercepted internal UN communications; made significant donations to the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) with the expressed intention of influencing the body; lobbied to cancel fact-finding missions to the area by senior officials; and attempted to stop a mandate to monitor human rights abuses being given to the UN peacekeeping mission in the territory.
The leaked UN report, by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), says its “analysis of these cables indicates that the confidentiality of UN communications has been seriously compromised as Morocco indicates on several occasions that it had intercepted UN internal correspondence emanating from Geneva, New York and Laayoune”. In a cable dated 22 August 2014, Hilale made explicit reference to “the writings of the secretariat that have been intercepted”. read more
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