d'Ivoire, Questions of Cocoa Customs, Ouattara Calls for
January 6 -- As the stand-off in
Cote d'Ivoire continues,
talk around the UN in New York turned to money: specifically, how to
cut off Laurent Gbagbo's funds. The US applied financial sanctions to
Gbagbo and his wife Simone. France, it was said, was looking into how
the Gbagbo government continues to collect customs, particularly on
asked an Ivorian diplomat, now representing Alassane Ouattara, how he
is getting paid. The diplomat shook his head and said “it is
difficult.” Others say that automatic payments continue to Ivorian
diplomats for now, but may soon stop.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mentioned in his read out of a call
with Ouattara that he took note of Ouattara's call for an
International Criminal Court investigation, Inner City Press asked
Ban's spokesman what he thought of Ouattara urging a “special
Press: Mr. Ouattara in Côte d’Ivoire has said that he’s
written to Ban Ki-moon, asking for some sort of an ICC [International
Criminal Court] investigation in Côte d’Ivoire. Can you confirm
receipt of that letter? And also, he’s also called for a special
operations action against Laurent Gbagbo, presumably to remove him
from the country or otherwise. What does the UN think of that call?
Nesirky: Well, on the first one, we’re checking to see
whether there’s been a letter, but what I would mention is that, as
I think you know, the Secretary-General spoke to President Ouattara
by telephone, and — that was on 1 January — and on the readouts,
we said that the Secretary-General took note of President Ouattara’s
call, during their conversation, for an early International Criminal
Court investigation as a credible signal for accountability. On the
second point, we’ve seen those reports. As we’ve repeatedly
said, we support the diplomatic efforts of ECOWAS [Economic Community
of West African States] and the African Union. They’re working
hard to find a political solution to what is obviously a very
difficult situation, and we think it’s important that they are
allowed to have the time to make that diplomatic process work.
Press: Would it be fair to say that the UN doesn’t look
favourably on the idea of special operations? Is that what you’re
I’m saying that the diplomatic process is an important aspect
here. ECOWAS and the African Union have been playing an important
role, which the Secretary-General supports. And, as I’ve
mentioned, he is in close touch with ECOWAS and the African Union on
sources tell Inner City Press that during the negotiation of the most
recent Press Statement on Cote d'Ivoire, there was a request that the
statement call for a “peaceful” solution, but that the United
States did not want this word in.
UN's Ban and Djedje, now on US OFAC sanctions list
asked Inner City Press, rhetorically, “Isn't the UN supposed to be
about peaceful solutions?” And what about that call by Ouattara
for a special forces operation? Watch this site.
* * *
Gbagbo Forces' Deadly Raid on Opposition Office, Ban's Spokesman
Passes Buck to DPKO Missions
4 -- What
UN doing in Cote d'Ivoire and whom
is it protecting? After forces of Laurent Gbagbo raided the offices
of the opposition Democratic Party of Ivory Coast, Inner City Press
asked the UN to confirm whether one or four people had been killed,
and to state where other that the Golf Hotel is it protecting, even
just in Abidjan.
Martin Nesirky, who earlier spoke about the ONUCI Mission's
“patrols,” replied that UN peacekeepers had “sought to gain
access but it was not yet possible.”
asked whether the UN was purporting to protect offices of opposition
political parties, or by implication their officials.
“The focus is
Golf Hotel,” Nesirky said. As the UN says when civilians are
slaughtered or raped in Eastern Congo, he said UN peacekeepers “can't
be everywhere all the time.” Here we're talking about a foreseeable
attack on an opposition politicial party's office right in Abidjan.
The UN couldn't be there?
Security Council, Inner City Press learned that the Council will in
all probability have consultations on Cote d'Ivoire on January 5.
“We're still consulting” a source told Inner City Press, “but
it looks like it will be tomorrow.
briefing, Nesirky added that he would “defer to [his] colleagues in
the Mission” to provide further answers. Video here,
UN's Le Roy meets Ouattara, answers on protection of
offices not shown
the spokesman not only for Ban Ki-moon but for the UN Secretariat,
which includes UN peacekeeping missions, increasingly engages in this
passing of the buck. In just the past ten days, he has told Inner
City Press to go ask the UN Mission in Kosovo about a UN judge who
let an organ
theft defendant go free.
He has allowed the
UN - African
Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur to go 11 days without answering a
question about rape by Sudan government officials right next to UN
Nesirky has told to go ask MINUSTAH in Haiti
how much the UN pays an official. We'll have more on that one, and
the others. Watch this site.