UN Spins Statements on Sudan Separatism, Ban's Stance on Sri Lanka
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 2 -- Following a protest of
the UN in Juba, South
Sudan which included calls for "Ban Ki-moon [to] repent before
judgment," the UN belated rushed to argue that Mr. Ban was
misquoted by AFP about disfavoring a vote for self-determination by
the South Sudanese.
Spokesman Farhan Haq came in late for Tuesday noon briefing at the UN
in New York, read a statement
then began to leave the podium without taking any
questions. Inner City Press called out, will you take questions
later? When he did, later, the UN
did not transcribe it.
Press asked Haq both what the UN says Ban told AFP, and how Ban's
statement about making unity attractive does not indicate a
preference. Haq argued that this language is from the CPA. He said he
would later provide Ban's actually words to those interested. Video
from Minute 1:50.
Press went to Haq's office before six p.m. on Tuesday, it was closed.
The Deputy Spokesperson handed Inner City Press a print out in which
AFP had dutifully modified the quote. This was taken at face value.
also in Haq's
begrudging Q &A period, when Inner City Press asked about UN
vehicles stolen in Darfur, Haq answered that this would not undermine
the UN's "relationship" with "military leaders of
here, from Minute 3:33.
whether due to personal beliefs or by letting others in his
administration take the lead, has elsewhere come down firmly on the
side of central governments over minorities seeking autonomy.
Protest of UN and Ban in South Sudan, Tribune
Lankan bloodbath on the beach of 2009, for example, he and his
closest advisors were seen as doing little to stop the Rajapaksa
regime in Colombo from bombing civilians in norther Sri Lanka, to
irrelevant from consideration of Ban Ki-moon's statements and
attitudes about Sudan. You can make AFP run a correction, then dodge
and not transcribe questions, but the issue remains and will be
pursued. Watch this site.
* * *
UN, Araud of France on Chad and Guinea but not Myanmar, Francophonie
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 2 -- With France taking over the Presidency of the
UN Security Council for February, Ambassador Gerard Araud told the
Press on Tuesday that Myanmar is not on the agenda, because no member
had raised the issue. Video here,
from Minute 34:12.
previous impassioned statements about Burma by both France and the UK
-- the U.S. now seems to reply on Senator Jim Webb -- and other
Council member told Inner City Press that the idea is that Myanmar
can be raised "as needed." The UN's policy, too, is on
auto-pilot, with envoy Ibrahim Gambari having left the post
temporarily in the hands of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's titular
chief of staff Vijay Nambiar.
advisor, deputy chief of staff Kim
Won-soo, recently told South
Korean outlet JoongAng that he and UN political chief Lynn Pascoe
will travel to North Korea starting February 9. Since North Korea
not even in the footnotes of the program of work Araud presented on
Tuesday, Inner City Press asked if Araud expected Pascoe to briefing
the Council upon his return.
informed of the mission of Mr. Pascoe and his team to Pyongyang,"
Araud answered, adding that a briefing after the visit was expected.
Then why wasn't it in the program of work?
group of experts about the UN Peacekeeping mission in former French
colony Chad. Inner City Press asked Araud about Chadian President
Idriss Deby's statement that the UN Mission mandate should not be
renewed past its March 15 expiration. Video here,
from Minute 8:01.
"As you have said, I think it is right, the president of the
Republic of Chad has signaled his will to see the force withdrawn
after 15 March. But the Secretariat has sent a mission to N’Djamena,
therefore there are high level contacts between the Secretariat and
N’Djamena and we are waiting for the result of this mission."
City Press that in the closed door Chad experts meeting, the U.S.
told the UN Peacekeeping Department DPKO to not make any commitments
while in Chad, but to return to New York for instructions. When
leadership of the MINURCAT mission passed from the European Union to
the UN, Deby used it as a chance to charge more money. And now?
Araud on Feb. 2: this
is not acceptable, where are your helmets?
Inner City Press asked Araud about the finding of Guinea's national
commission exonerating Dadis Camara for the killings on September 28,
2009, Araud responded with procedural notes about the Council
supporting the political process, and praise for Burkina Faso's
What about Dadis
Camara's war crimes? What about a human
rights component being added to the MINURSO mission in Western
Sahara? It should be an interesting month. Watch this space.
Araud began the press conference in French, then stopped, to wait for
non Francophone reporters to get their "helmets" or
translation headsets. When this was delayed, Araud demanded, "C'est pas comme ca," it's not like
that, not acceptable, saying, I
don't speak English! Video here,
from Minute 1:55. Araud said
several times, I meet often to the press. Inner City Press has
inquired into this, and will be testing it this month.