Ban Ki-moon Alleges 3 Copters from Belarus for Gbagbo,
Silent on 3 from Ukraine, Says Only Fired in the Air
February 28, updated -- While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on
his way to Washington, called for an emergency meeting of the
Security Council on reports of Cote d'Ivoire's defiant leader Laurent
Gbagbo importing three attack helicopters from Belarus, questions
remained unanswered about the UN's delay in moving three copters and
2000 troops approved in December from Liberia to Cote d'Ivoire.
Inner City Press asked Portugal's Permanent Representative Jose
Filipe Moraes Cabral if the Security Council had expected the troops
and copters voted on with much fanfare in December based on Ban's
“urgent” request would in fact be in the country by now.
that, he answered, urging Inner City Press to “ask DPKO,” Ban's
Department of Peacekeeping Operations, to explain the delay.
City Press had asked DPKO chief Alain Le Roy, who said responded that
an agreement had to be worked out with Ukraine about how the
helicopters would be used -- reportedly, only in pairs -- and that
the troops required visits to Togo and Niger and an unnamed third
country, now believed to be Mongolia.
Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky:
Press: In Cote d'Ivoire there was a briefing yesterday given by
one of the Security Council ambassadors, on the record, in which he
In or on?
Press: On, on. But still out of discretion, but I guarantee
that what he said is that, as a Council member, he was surprised that
the troops meant to get to Côte d'Ivoire, voted on by the Council
December, not being there was surprising and that, he said, you
should ask DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] why they are
not there yet. So, I wanted, it seems to me, it’s, especially with
this renewed fighting, that’s what sort of brings it to a head. Is
there some way to get a statement of what, if DPKO had expected them
to get there faster, if this is the fastest that the UN can get
troops to a place? What happened that an emergency call to send
troops in December is still not acted on in late February? Is there,
I mean, do you know, can you give a short answer?
I am sure my colleagues in DPKO are listening right now.
listening, there was no indication: no response was provided to Inner
City Press in the 24 hours that followed.
UN"s Ban gets out of a copter, explanation of Ukraine not shown
And so the following
Inner City Press asked again:
Press: On this Cote d'Ivoire question of why it’s taking so
long to get the emergency peacekeepers that were voted on in December
into the country, has there, I tried to go to the C-34 peacekeeping
mission yesterday, but was told it was a closed meeting. So I am
wondering, has DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] — you
said they were listening — have they provided any response to this?
Well, we did provide some details last week, and the
position remains the same. Obviously the intention is to move as
quickly as possible and my colleagues are liaising with the troop
contributing-countries towards that end.
Press: But were these contingents that are already in Liberia? That was
the kind of, I was just trying to get the specifics of the
Togolese and the Niger troops.
Well, as I have said, this is what we said last week, and
it remains the case today that there is liaison, consultation with
troop-contributing countries with the aim of trying to ensure that
peacekeepers, additional peacekeepers, are in place as soon as
possible. Everybody recognizes that that is a very important
movement that needs to take place quite quickly.
explanation of the delay, before the Council met on the morning of
February 28, Ban's spokesman Nesirky put this out:
to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Cote
has learned with deep concern that three attack
helicopters and related materiel from Belarus are reportedly being
delivered at Yamoussoukro for Mr. Gbagbo's forces. The first delivery
arrived reportedly on a flight which landed this evening and
additional flights are scheduled for tomorrow. This is a serious
violation of the embargo against Côte d'Ivoire which has been in
place since 2004.
has been immediately brought to the attention of the
Security Council's Committee charged with the responsibility for
sanctions against Côte d'Ivoire. The Secretary-General hopes that
the Security Council will consider convening urgently a meeting to
discuss this issue.
demands full compliance with the arms embargo and
warns both the supplier of this military equipment and Mr. Gbagbo
that appropriate action will be taken in response to the violation. The
Secretary-General has asked UNOCI to monitor the situation
closely and to take all necessary action, within its mandate, to
ensure that the delivered equipment is not prepared for use.
meeting requested did not take place in the Council's Monday morning
session. A diplomat from a Western Permanent Five member said the
facts had to be checked.
Representative Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral told Inner City
Press that with Belarus denying that any contract exists and denying
sending any copters, things have to be checked.
presidency indicted to Inner City Press that there are even different
views “in the UN” about “three attack helicopters and related
materiel from Belarus.... being delivered at Yamoussoukro for Mr.
on Monday morning attributed Ban's “Chicken Little”
emission to his quest for a second terms as Secretary General. Others
surmised Ban sees his position on Cote d'Ivoire slipping away.
his Spokesperson and DPKO should provide an actual
explanation for the delay in moving the copters and troops voted on
in December, and now for the statement that “three attack
helicopters and related materiel from Belarus.... being delivered at
Yamoussoukro for Mr. Gbagbo's forces.” Watch this site.
12:40 pm -- at Monday's noon briefing, Ban's spokesman Nesirky
confirmed the UN hasn't verified the information complained off in
the morning. Inner City Press asked if the Ukrainian helicopters are
in Cote d'Ivoire yet -- let me check, Nesirky said. But Inner City
Press asked this same question before. On ONUCI's statement that it
was forced to return fire, when Inner City Press asked, Nesirky said
the UN troops had only fired in the air. We'll see.
* * *
Resolution, US Insistence on ICC Exclusion Shields
Mercenaries from Algeria, Ethiopia
26 -- After passage
of a compromise Libya
resolution by the UN Security Council on Saturday night, Inner City
Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud if
mercenaries aren't let off the hook by the sixth operative paragraph,
exempting personnel from states not members of the International
Criminal Court from ICC prosecution.
paragraph, but said the the United States had demanded
it. He said, “No, that's, that was for one country, it was
absolutely necessary for one country to have that considering its
parliamentary constraints, and this country we are in. It was a red
line for the United States. It was a deal-breaker, and that's the
reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the Council.”
administration Ambassador to the UN in 2002 threatened to veto a UN
resolution on Bosnia if it did not contain a similar exclusion, the
Obama administration has maintained this insistence on impunity,
which in this case applies to mercenaries from Algeria, Tunisia and
Ethiopia, among other mercenary countries.
(In the case
there are allegations of official support for Gadhafi).
Press was able to ask UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about the
exclusion for mercenaries from non ICC countries, US Permanent
Representative Susan Rice did not take a question from Inner City
Press, and none on this topic, despite having mentioned mercenaries
in her speech.
Obama, Hillary & Susan Rice: mercenary impunity not shown
no longer Gadhafi, diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi came out to take
questions, Inner City Press asked him which countries the mercenaries
used by Gadhafi come from.
Algeria, Tunisia and Ethiopia
-- highlighted by NGOs as non ICC members -- as well as Chad, Niger,
Kenya and Guinea. So some mercenaries could be prosecuted by the
ICC, and not others, under language demanded by the US Mission to the
UN. Watch this site.
nationals, current or former officials or personnel from
a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject
to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or
omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such
exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.
Footnote: Araud blaming
the US position on "parliamentary
seemed to some a way to try to blame a decision by Obama's
executive branch on the Republicans who recently took over the House of
Representatives. But it was an Obama administration decision. More
nuanced apologists blame the Defense Department for pulling rank on
State. But the result is mercenaries firing freely.
* * *
Libya Draft Has ICC Referral, Mentions Article 16
26 -- As final draft of the Libya
being prepared for a 5 pm UN Security Council meeting on Saturday,
China said it had to call Beijing for instructions.
Araud bragged that the referral of the case of Libya to the
International Criminal Court is still in the draft, crowing “I told
spokesperson added, when asked by Inner City Press, that a perambular
paragraph of the new draft explicitly mentions Article 16 of the Rome
Statute of the ICC, stating that the prosecution could be suspended
for 12 months.
It's the same
language as in the Darfur case, the
spokesperson said, in which Sudan's Omar al Bashir is seeking
suspension or dropped of genocide charges against him.
goal is to
get those around Gadhafi to stop and defect, a EU Council members
spokesperson told the Press. Some had argued that it would push
Gadhafi over the edge, this spokesperson said, but we agreed he was
already over the edge. But others could defect to avoid prosecution.
way to do
that, another pointed out, would be to set the date of the situation
one day forward. Because there are people who could defect today who
are already guilty.
about the mercenaries, from Algeria and elsewhere, alleged by Libya's
Deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi? Watch this site.
Update of 4:50 pm --
a Western spokesperson says the vote is moved back from 5 pm to 8 pm,
says "mood music" is of urgency. So what's another 3 hours? Hmm.
idea is to see if China is bold enough to veto on ICC language.
* * *
Supports Referral to ICC, Spin of France & NGO,
26 -- With the UN Security
Council deadlocked on
whether and when to refer the case of Libya to the International
Criminal Court, a letter arrived that might tip the balance.
Abdurrahman Shalgam, writing as Libya's Permanent Representative to
the UN although on February 25 he compared Gadhafi to Hitler and Pol
Pot, wrote to the Council presidency that:
reference to the Draft Resolution on Libya before the Security
Council, I have the honour to confirm that the Libyan Delegation to
the United Nations supports the measures proposed in the draft
resolution to hold to account those responsible for the armed attacks
against the Libyan Civilians, including trough [sic] the
International Criminal Court.”
diplomat, insisting on being identified in that way, said that the
letter may change the positions of, among others, Brazil and of
Portugal, previously identified as not supporting referral of Libya
to the ICC today. The diplomat added, contrary to an argument made in
the press pen, that a letter from a Mission is not enough to join the
ICC, it would require a letter from a prime minister or head of state
Ambassador going out for lunch was shown the Shalgam letter by Inner
City Press and said, “So?”
is unclear how
the letter will play in the Council. Some might argue that if it is a
“self -referral,” no ICC language is needed in the resolution.
Others might argue that if Gadhafi's own former foreign minister
favors the ICC referral, the day after a much applauded speech at the
UN, Council members should go along.
Shalgam at UN - some want HIM as next S-G
his way out,
France's Ambassador Gerard Araud said that no Council member has
questioned Shalgam's credentials to represent Libya. But he noted
that the letter is to the Council president, not to the ICC. Inner
City Press asked him if all EU members on the Council support
referral of Libya to the ICC in the resolution today. “Ask the EU
members of the Council,” he said. The Council will reconvene at 3
that Shalgam's letter allows the ICC Prosecutor to
consider if it is a request for self-investigation came was made to
many reporters in the press pen by Richard Dicker, a representative
of Human Rights Watch. Previously, complaints have been made to the
UN Media and Accreditation Liaison Unit about Mr. Dicker's presence
in the press pen, which is often said to only be for UN accredited
HRW criticized Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
for being weak on human rights in China, Sri Lanka and elsewhere --
for Inner City Press story on Team Ban's reaction.
Regardless, the “no NGOs in the press pen” rule has been enforced
on others -- but was not on HRW's Dick Dicker on Saturday.We'll have
more on the rule of law late in the day.
* * *
Denies It Doesn't Support Referring Libya to ICC, EU
26 -- On the International Criminal Court and
whether and when the case of Libya should be referred to it, even the
European Union is not united, it emerged Saturday at the UN. As the
Security Council met on a draft resolution which would refer Libya to
the ICC, a Western -- and we must say, EU -- diplomat emerged to tell
the Press that Portugal was not supporting referring Libya to the
ICC, due to concerns about retaliation against their citizens in
e-mailed the Mission of Portugal and asked for a response, ideally to
the assembly UN press corps. And it happened: Portugal emerged and
told Inner City Press that Portugal supports the draft as is, with
the referral of Libya to the ICC, adding that Portugal is open to a
compromise to get a resolution done today.
that there may have been an idea of blaming Portugal for
dropping from the draft the referral of Libya to the ICC.
been requested: watch this site.
Mission tweets in response to Inner City Press that it will have a
lot to say on the record. When?
pm -- a Afro-Arab state's representative tells Inner City
Press that in consultations, Portugal was speaking of putting
referral of Libya to the ICC in a separate resolution. Still no
response from the Western spokesperson who threw Portugal under the bus.
of China being 100% opposed to referral, with the
counter-proposal of saying ICC will be discussed later coming from
India and Gabon -- whose president Ali Bongo is a supporter of
Gadhafi, and which dropped out of a planned joint stakeout with South
Africa and Nigeria after Friday's meeting. Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.