Inner City Press


In Other Media-e.g. Somalia, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia   For further information, click here to contact us          .

Home -

Search is just below this first article

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07 7/19/07 6/29/07 6/14/7 6/1/7

How to Contact Us


Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"

Inner City Press Podcast --

In Chad, Leaked Memos Show UN Worries about Funding, Which Camps to Protect, Keeping Up with EU

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- As the UN prepares to send a force into Chad and the Central African Republic, deploying for the first time in a mission the UN's new Standing Police Capacity, a number of doubts and difficulties remain, internal documents obtained by Inner City Press show.

            While the Security Council authorized an advance mission to Chad, an internal memo to Assistant Secretary General Jane Holl Lute that "faced with difficulty to deploy the advance mission, it was decided to establish a core presence of UN in Chad, consisting of 28 staff members." The so-called Tiger Team had, as of mid-August, only two of its 12 members, and there were disagreement about how and even if it would be funded. The memo to Ms. Lute states, under "funding of Tiger Team," that "OPPBA [the Office of Program Planning, Budget and Accounts] declined to approve request for GTA [General Temporary Assistance] to fund 12-member Tiger Team." Click here for the first page of the memo, in JPG format.

      Longer term, the memos acknowledge

"concern that the UN will not be able to keep pace with the European Union deployment... The EU will provide around 4000 troops to secure an in-tandem UN deployment by the end of the year but starting as early as mid October 2007. An important consideration is the expectation to match the EU deployment (whose principal reason for deploying is to support the UN mission.)"

            Four thousand EU troops would be supporting 1500 UN personnel. In an August 17 e-mail to UN officials Rakesh Malik, Lino Puertas and Harinder Sood, among others, Craig Goodwin writes of "some additional points Hany [Abdel-Aziz] is likely to bring up in his [meeting with Jane Holl Lute]... Much of the confusion between UNPOL and the SPC may have now dissolved as the Acting Police Advisor and the head of the SPC are one and the same individual (Walter Wolf). Points that Hany has been briefed on since the OO Chad coordination meeting yesterday are... Need for OO to exchange letters with the Gov of Chad prior to the Security Council resolution... Please see attached note that was sent to ASG front office." Click here for the e-mail, in JPG format.

        There is also disagreement or inconsistency about which internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Chad the forces would be protected. The memos admit, under the heading "Envisaged EU Military and Police Concepts are in conflict," that

"EU plan to concentrate in the IDP areas south of the Abeche - Farhana road while the UN Police plan to deploy to all UNHCR refugee camps including the six northern camps centered on Guerda, Iriba and Bahai. While the latest SG report indicates that three sector multi-dimensional offices will be established in Goz Beida, Farthana in the South and Central Eastern Region and Iriba in the North, police stations are also planned for Iriba and Bahai in the North."

            The "latest SG report" referred to the memo was reported as " UN Secretary-General unveils plans for UN presence in Chad." S-G Ban Ki-moon and his advisors trumpet every incremental preparatory step in the region as testament to the efficacy of Ban's "quiet diplomacy." Some call Ban's style secretive. The internal memos provide a rare internal look at the UN's logistical process, show how undated forms are requested, in order to expedite procurement, and how circumventions of procurement rules are envisioned in advance.

   While ASG Jane Holl Lute on August 7 told Inner City Press that "I am not a stevedore," in (non) response to a question about getting equipment to Darfur through the Port of Sudan (and also declined to address other questions, click here for that), in Chad some stevedoring is needed. With regard to air power, the memos reported on notes... asking the Chad planning team to receive undated CONOPs [Concepts of Operations] so the Department of Field Support staffing tables, MRPs and associated budgets can be staffed and finalized to ensure a rapid deployment following the Security Council resolution."

            After acknowledging concerns that "contracting lead-time will be slow in getting essential equipment, especially communications equipment, into theater once the Security Council resolution is mandated," the memos project that "if WFP [IL 76 in Brindisi, Italy and/or Antonov AN124] availability unlikely and no bids received" there will be a request "to the Controller in advance of the Security Council resolution to requisition aircraft under exigency financial rules."

            It is not clear why any company from whom aircraft could be obtained outside of the procurement rules would not, in this scenario, have submitted a bid.

Camp in Chad: internal UN memos show concerns about upcoming mission

            The delegations of authority are listed in the memos: from Controller Warren Sach and ASG Jane Holl Lute to Hany Abdel-Aziz of MINUTAC, Delegation of recruitment authority of MINUTAC. On this last, recruitment, the memos say that Jean-Pierre Ducharme is slated to remain "in New York until at least mid-September to ensure staffing issues and recruitment remain on track." Mr. Ducharme previously served as the Acting Chief Administrative Officer for UNIFIL in Lebanon.

            In terms of recruitment, Hany Abdel-Aziz has previously said in an interview

"if you have a private military company protecting a civil hospital, I have no objection. If they are there to complement the logistic effort made by the United Nations because we do not have the necessary expertise or know-how, why not ? As long as it is cheaper and more cost-effective. As long as they do not depart from the moral principles on which the UN flag is supposed to operate, or limit the UN presence to a secondary role."

            If the problems or "concerns" outlined in the internal memos persist, would the next move be toward private military contractors? The next step? The memos "the one slot available for a Department of Field Support logistics staff member to accompany the EU advanced team recce to Chad between 25 August and 1 September should be one of the UNHQ Chad planning team members." Developing -- watch this site.

* * *

Clck here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (which had to be finalized without DPA having respond.)  Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Search WWW Search

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service.

            Copyright 2006-07 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540