d'Ivoire, UN Copters Absent After 2 Weeks, UN Passes
Buck to Licorne
February 2 -- Two weeks after the UN Security
fanfare passed a resolution to send three attack helicopters and
troops to Cote d'Ivoire, the UN on Wednesday confirmed to Inner
Press that the helicopters had not yet arrived.
“discussions” were ongoing, without saying with thom these
discusses were. With defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo? With Alassane
Ouattara holed up in the Golf Hotel?
questioned, if the UN Mission in Liberia could so easily give these
helicopters up, what was the US-supported Mission doing with them
Hardeep Singh Puri, on his way out of the Security Council on
Wednesday morning, told the Press that the issue of the helicopters
would be addressed with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when he returns
from his long trip to Switzerland, Addis Ababa and London.
asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq to confirm the helicopters
had not arrived, and why, asking the UN in writing:
you state the status of getting the three helicopters (and
peacekeepers and other equipment) called for in the most recent Cote
d'Ivoire resolution of the Security Council into Abidjan? If they are
not in, what are the
obstacles? What is the time frame? What
assistance is the UN requesting?”
response, Inner City Press asked this month's Security Council
president Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti to confirm that the helicopters
had not yet arrived, and how the Council follows up. She said she was
not aware but would look into it.
Wednesday, the UN sent this answer:
Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at] un.org
Date: Wed, Feb 2, 2011
at 1:24 PM
Subject: Your question on UNOCI
To: Inner City Press
question on whether helicopters from UNMIL have been transferred to
UNOCI: Discussions are continuing on the issue of helicopters and
they have yet to arrive in Cote d'Ivoire.
discussions? With whom?
UN & Licorne, which UN
says "supports ONUCI" then won't answer
rebuffed other Cote d'Ivoire questions. Day after day since January
22, Inner City Press asked:
Abidjan, much is being made of the stated discovery of assault
helicopter parts in a shipment supposedly of food for the Force
Licorne peacekeepers. This is a request that the UN and its mission
in Abidjan, which is sure to have seen the now day-old story, state
its understanding of what was in the shipment, respond to criticism”
question for more than a week, the UN finally dodged it, telling
Inner City Press “On Cote d'Ivoire, your question should be
addressed to Force Licorne.”
Licorne is there under a UN mandate, and the scandal surrounding it
impacts the UN presence. Watch this site.
* * *
with Russia on Cote d'Ivoire Resolution Has Bamba Staying Silent,
Speaks Afterwards to Inner City Press
19 -- As the UN Security
Council on Wednesday
morning belatedly adopted a resolution increasing UN forces and focus
in Cote d'Ivoire, the new Alassane Ouattara appointed Ambassador
Yousoufou Bamba sat at the Council table but did not speak.
the UN troops four week period ran out and the resolution was
supposed to be adopted, arguments in the Council's closed door
consultations focused on the procedural question of whether
Ouattara's Ambassador Bamba could sit at the Council's horseshoe
table, and if he could speak.
as well as demanding that the phrase “without prejudice to
the freedom of expression” be added before a call to halt
Radiodiffusion Television Ivoirienne (RFI) from “incit[ing] hatred
and violence, including against the UN and particularly UNOCI.”
the meeting for the vote approving the amended resolution but did not
speak, Inner City Press sent Bamba a text message asking for his
reasons. He emerged from the Council and told Inner City Press, “I
voluntarily chose not to speak, with the support of the African
members, not to create a breach in the unity of the Council.”
explained to Inner City Press by the Permanent Representative of an
African country not currently on the Council that it was mostly South
Africa which implored Bamba not to speak, in order they said that the
world not see that the Council is not, in fact, united.
UN's Ban and Bamba at swear-in, (c) MRLee
asked Bamba about Russia's demand that “without prejudice to the
freedom of expression” be added to the resolution. Bamba said
that's “not to silence their side” -- seeming to say that the
Gbagbo “side” is Russia's side.
Bamba came back to tell Inner City Press that “on behalf of the
Ouattara administration,” he appreciates the increase in UNOCI's
“defensive force” - he pointed at the phrase about “three armed
helicopters with crews from UNMIL” as he said this -- and the RTI
paragraph and “especially,” he said “the lifting of the
blockage of the Golf Hotel without delay.” We'll see.
* * *
Gbagbo Army, UN Is
the UN in New York there is open
talk about trying to cut off Laurent Gbagbo's access to cocoa customs
in Cote d'Ivoire, or to paying bribes to his military to defect.
is UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon part of these discussions?
16 is named for when payment is
due to Gbagbo's military. One Ambassador told some of the press that
Gbagbo's military is being told that “the ICC is watching,” and
that ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo told the Council that not only
Ouattara but also Gbagbo recently called him. France is described as
trying to blockade cocoa custom funds to Gbagbo.
spokesman Martin Nesirky if, during Ban's
video conferences with his envoy in Abidjan Choi Young-jin the two
speak on these topics. “The Mission monitors such developments with
a close eye,” Nesirky replied. He added that “the Mission keep
Headquarters informed... They assess every aspect across the
spectrum.” Audio here, from Minute 18:40.
some, this was
a surprising answer.
UN's Ban & Choi, talk of cocoa customs & payments not shown
called for a Special Forces action
against Gbagbo and Inner City Press asked Nesirky about it, he
replied that the UN favors a diplomatic solution. Watch this site.
could conclude that the deadly fighting in
Douekou was not related to the Gbagbo - Ouattara standoff. Rather
than explain, Nesirky read out a note that a seven person team from
Abidjan will go to Douekou with aid and to assess. Then what?
* * *
Office, Ban's Spokesman
Passes Buck to DPKO Missions
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.”
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?
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
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.
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.