Peacekeeping Missions, Fear In Central African Republic, UN
Sounds CAR Alarm
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 10 -- The Central
African Republic, one of the
poorest countries in the world where people fearing both government
and rebel forces flee into the bush, "suffers from a surfeit of
multilateral interventions," UN Humanitarian deputy Catherine
Bragg told Inner City Press on August 10.
Ms. Bragg recently visited
the CAR and on Monday she came to brief the UN press corps. Only two
media outlets asked questions. Ms. Bragg began by marveling that
there were as many reporters present as there were. (In a briefing
just before Ms. Bragg began, a scandal occasioned by nepotism
Congo Mission chief Alan Doss was the topic of energetic questioning,
click here for that.)
unsuccessful engagement with CAR ranges from a peacekeeping mission
that is directed only at spill over from Darfur in Sudan, to a
peacebuilding project repeatedly changes its name. As Ms. Bragg
described it, there are sections of the country with no roads at all.
from Minute 28:23.
said when Inner City Press asked, the biggest problem is
fear among the population. Despite local and international
peacekeeping missions, there is still no peace. Former colonial power
France contributes little.
In Central African Republic, forces of fear, French not shown
It is a country so poor, some say, that it
cannot even afford a more descriptive name than "Central African
is to Ms.
Bragg's credit that she went, and that upon her return she sought to
brief the press. But Inner City Press' final question remains
unanswered: what is being done so that the same sad briefing is not
given in two years, or in five years?
* * *
Stonewalls as Alleged Biter Nixes Deal, Doss To Meet Hillary Clinton
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 10, updated
-- In Criminal Court in lower Manhattan on Monday, former UN
Development Program contractor Nicola Baroncini,
that his job was stolen by the UN's top envoy in the Congo
Alan Doss for his daughter Rebecca, rejected an offer of reduced
charges and an anger management course in the assault case against him.
next court date is October 28.
At the UN's regular press briefing later on Monday, UN Deputy
Spokesperson Marie Okabe was peppered with questions about the pepper
spray used on Mr. Baroncini, and from Inner City Press about about
jurisdiction for investigation of Alan
Doss, who is slated in the midst of this development nepotism
meet today with
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Half an hour after the briefing, Ms. Okabe told the Press that UN
Security, "as part of standard operating procedures, is looking into
the incident" in which Officer Peter Kolonias was bitten, but only
after Mr. Baroncini says he was tackled, handcuffed and pepper sprayed.
the June 22 incident inside UNDP's building in which Mr. Baroncini
was pepper sprayed and then bit UN Security Officer Peter Kolonias,
Alan Doss wrote an email about awarding Baroncini's post as assistant
to the Deputy Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the
Pacific to his daughter.
first reported by Inner City Press, Doss asked to be shown "leeway" so
he could transfer from a UNDP to a UN Peacekeeping contract before or
on the day she got to job, to evade anti-nepotism rules. Inner City
Press first published the email on July 30, here.
August 10 in the courthouse
at 100 Centre Street, Baroncini told the Press that
July 1 was the last day Rebecca Doss could be given a UNDP contract
that would not have to be reviewed by a higher panel. He insists,
however, that for Rebecca Doss to have been considered and offered
the job while her father was still with UNDP violated the rules. For
16 days now, the UN and UNDP have repeated that the matter is under
Alan Doss in the Congo, pepper spray and NY
courthouse not shown
Monday if immunity applies to Baroncini, or to the testimony that
would be required later in the case from UN Security Officer Peter
Kolonias. Some opined that Baroncini's immunity was lifted, by
operation of law or by UNDP
Administrator Helen Clark, who after more than 100 days in the post has
yet to hold a press conference.
Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon, himself sensitive to questions about
nepotism following the promotion of his son in law Siddarth
Chatterjee at the UN in Iraq and this year at the UN Office of
Project Services in Copenhagen. Inquiries among the press corp have
begun into the related hirings of Mr. Ban's daughter. It is all
coming to a head. Watch this site.
Update of 1 p.m.,
August 10 -- at Monday's UN noon briefing, all of the questions
were about the man bites man story originated by Inner City Press more
than two weeks ago. Reuters, which is now preparing a piece on the
matter, asked if Mr. Baroncini had been pepper sprayed before any
biting took place. The Times of London, which reported on the story
over the weekend, asked about immunity. Inner City Press asked how Alan
Doss, the UN's envoy to Congo and an employee of the Department of
Peacekeeping Operations, can evade full investigation of his conduct by
limiting the review to the Office of Audit and Investigation of UNDP,
which no longer has jurisdiction over him. Inner City Press requested
(again) in person media availabilities by UNDP's Helen Clark and the
head of the UN Department of Safety and Security Gregory Starr. Watch
the proceedings Monday morning in Room 405 of the courthouse at 100
Centre Street involved, one after the other, a defendant in a Miami
Heat "Wade" jersey, handcuffed behind his back; another
defendant, female, with a baby strapped in front; a defendant named
Mamadou Bah with a seemingly disinterested assigned counsel; the
removal of a camera from the Press, and admonitions to those in the
courtroom not to wear caps, eat, drink or talk.
One wondered how
documented nepotism by the UN's top Congo envoy could devolve into
retaliation against a whistleblower down this level. Don't call me
the biter, Baroncini asked. I don't want my child (now two years old)
to have that impression in twenty years. Okay then. We will continue
reporting this story, with an array of related puns: the
whistleblower's mordant critique of the UN's toothless protections
against retaliation, the gnawing problem in the UN of nepotism,
leading to an open and shut case.