d'Ivoire, France's Brief Humility Ends, Sarkozy Seizes Le Pen for
March 25 -- The enmity between France and Laurent Gbagbo,
the defiant leader in former French colony Cote
d'Ivoire, is long
But during the post-elections moves in the UN Security
Council, the French Mission to the UN has tried to take slightly more
of a back seat, engaging -- or some say hiding behind -- the African
members, spending time to try to get them on board before unveiling
new proposals in the Council.
so this time.
Council members in New York that France would share, even devise,
“elements” of a new resolution on Cote d'Ivoire with African
members, particularly South Africa which has been accused, unfairly
the South Africans say, of supporting Laurent Gbagbo, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy on March 24 just couldn't hold back.
“The French are
drafting a resolution to ban heavy weapons,” Sarkozy told the press
in Brussels Thursday night. He was answering questions about Libya,
specifically the United Arab Emirates' second about face, in which
the UAE now says it will give planes, seemingly in exchange for some
secret anti-Iran deal regarding Bahrain.
said he would only answer on Cote d'Ivoire “tomorrow,” March 25,
when he said that the Security Council was meeting on the subject.
But he went on, saying that Gbagbo is using heavy weapons, and that
“the French are drafting a resolution.”
one wag snarked
in real time, so much for France not holding Le Pen.
Sarkozy and Ban, military planners?
the country which drafts resolutions on a particular country or topic
is said to “hold the pen. Le Pen is, well, Le Pen.
military talk by the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire, known by its, yes,
French acronym ONUCI, is said to respond to criticism by the
supporter of Alassane Ouattara that while Ban Ki-moon's envoy Choi
Young-jim is sufficiently hawkish on Gbagbo, ONUCI's military
commanders have not been.
Now they are
jumping into action, speaking
against and essentially threatening to shoot down a helicopter they
say Gbagbo's forces are repairing.
call it a de
facto no fly zone imposed by Ban and Choi Young-jin, without a clear
mandate. But France now drafts the mandate. Watch this site.
* * *
As UN Speaks Again of Gbagbo Helicopter, No
22 -- Has the UN Mission in Cote
d'Ivoire declared a
no fly zone over Abidjan?
bringing in attack helicopters from
Ukraine, and accusing defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo of trying to
bring in attack helicopters from Belarus, the UNOCI Mission has now
accused Gbagbo of “repairing” an MI-24 helicopter, and has warned
it should not be used.
forces see this has just another example of the UN taking sides. The
pro-Ouattara force, including his diplomats at the UN whom Inner City
Press has spoken with, see UNOCI's action as too little, too late.
Ki-moon's envoy Choi Young-jin is “sufficiently pro-Ouattara”
for them, but they don't think the UN's military force commanders
have done enough.
the March 22
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked:
On Côte d’Ivoire, there is the mission there, UNOCI
has apparently put out a statement saying that they believe that
[Laurent] Gbagbo forces are, quote, repairing an MI-24 attack
helicopter, and that any attempt to use this will not be allowed, or
not be accepted... is it illegal for them to fly a helicopter? What
exactly is the mission’s statement? Where did this helicopter come
from, given the past statement that they were coming in from Belarus?
And is there a no-fly zone in essence over Côte d’Ivoire? How
seriously do they take this and do they agree finally with Mr.
[Alassane] Ouattara’s side who says that 832 people have been
killed by the pro-Gbagbo forces since the beginning of this stand-off
in the election?
A considerable number have certainly been killed,
and I am sure that my colleagues who are carefully monitoring this in
Côte d’Ivoire would be able to provide an update on figures. As
you know, they have been… human rights colleagues, humanitarian
colleagues who monitor this, have been fastidious in providing
detailed figures. So, I would anticipate that we would be able to
provide more. On the helicopter, its exact provenance, I would need
to ascertain. I do not have that information. The mission in Côte
d’Ivoire, as you know, has a Security Council mandate to protect
civilians. And it will do all that it can within its mandate and
with the resources it has to protect civilians in the country.
confirmed that the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire,
UNOCI, had put out a statement stating that “recently, the mission
has observed that this camp is repairing an MI-24 attack helicopter
in the military wing of Abidjan airport and is also getting BM21
multiple rocket launchers ready in Abidjan”.]
UN"s Ban gets out of a copter, explanation not shown
But what I couldn’t tell from the statement is whether
they are saying to the Gbagbo forces “don’t fly the helicopter at
all”, or “don’t use it to kill civilians”, which obviously
is, I mean, what are they saying? What is their current status? What’s
the, what message are they seeking to send with this
message is that the mission is there to protect
civilians in the country. And that it is doing under a very clear
mandate from the Security Council.
Do you remember this previous question about there was a
particular, you know, killing of civilians that was attributed to the
pro-Ouattara side by Human Rights Watch and others? And you, I mean,
I don’t mean to… has UNOCI actually, did they report that in real
time or have they said anything on that? I know that they are very
fastidious, but on that one, I still haven’t heard anything back to
show that they reported that as equally as they do the other side.
consistently said and the Office for the High
Commissioner for Human Rights has also been quite clear on this. Any
human rights abuses on either side would need investigating and
should be condemned. And if I have any further information on that I
would let you know.
later and counting, there was no further information. Watch this
* * *
“Allegations” Stall UNSC Statement,
Reliability Questioned, Medicine Shortage Covered Up by UN
-- At 5 pm on Friday at the UN in New York, the
Office of the Spokesperson announced that on Cote d'Ivoire there
would be a Security Council press statement read out in 15 minutes. A
UN TV camera was set up.
been in front of the Council, reporting on an unrelated meeting
about Kenya and the International Criminal Court and was told by
diplomats there were problems with the Cote d'Ivoire statement.
General says 'allegedly,'” a Security Council member told Inner
City Press. “With what he claimed last time about helicopters
into Cote d'Ivoire, we can't act on this type of
TV camera before which the Council president would have read out a
Press Statement was disassembled. It is canceled, Inner City Press
of Peacekeeping Alain
Leroy publicly apologized for
what he called the “mistake” of the allegation that defiant
Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo was bringing in attack helicopters from
Belarus, his UN's objectivity is being called into question.
Affairs Valerie Amos, when asked
by Inner City Press if
she is concerned about sanctions on Cote d'Ivoire hurting civilians
including people who can't get money out of closed banks and can't
get pharmaceuticals said those are not the complaints she has been
on March 17,
when Inner City Press asked
the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for
Cote d'Ivoire Ndolamb Ngokwey about the impact of sanctions, he
admitted that the central pharmaceutical depository has no medicine,
because ships can't come in to the port. He said he's trying to
advocate “locally,” to embassy in Cote d'Ivoire about this. But
Amos and Ban are not telling the Security Council about it.
admission the UN's
of the March 17 press
conference with Ndolamb Ngokwey did not include Inner City Press's
question or Ndolamb Ngokwey's answer about pharmaceuticals. Click here
press release, but here
Ban & Choi Young-jin, public financial disclosure not shown
March 18, Inner
City Press asked
Côte d’Ivoire; I mean, obviously there is this
market attack which is, you now, quite bad, but there, I also, I
wanted to ask, I don’t know if the UN had said anything about,
Human Rights Watch has documented what they say are killings by the
pro-Ouattara forces as well, in this village of Anonkoua-Kouté.
They say that, you know, some 60 pro-Ouattara fighters killed nine
civilians. And I, you know, obviously, the Gbagbo Government there
says that the UN has, is, that its reporting is very partial,
etcetera. So, I am just wondering, has the UN system had anything to
say about this, you know, whatever, misdeed, at a minimum on the
other side and where have they said that?
are fundamental and are for everybody. The
mission in Côte d’Ivoire of the United Nations has as its mandate
to protect all civilians in an impartial way. And that also includes
monitoring human rights abuses from wherever they may emanate. And I
know that my colleagues there would certainly look into any
allegation from whichever quarter. And if I have any further
details, then clearly I would let you know.
would be great. Especially, you know, if they’d
said anything in the past because it seems like it was a widely, at
least alleged, thing there.
say, we need to be very clear that human rights are
universal and that any attack from whichever side, any provocation
from whichever side needs to be looked at.
added to its transcript this:
that in the statement just issued by his
Office, the Secretary-General had warned the concerned Ivorian
parties to bring the violence and related human rights violations to
an end without further delay. The Secretary-General also urged the
Security Council to take further measures with regard to the Ivorian
individuals who are instigating, orchestrating and committing the
violence. The Spokesperson also noted that in a report released at
the end of February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi
Pillay, had documented human rights violations by both the forces
loyal to Mr. Gbagbo and by the Forces Nouvelles.]
Martin Nesirky, didn't say, or email, any of this to Inner City
Press, just the referenced statement, expressing Ban's shock at “the
firing of mortars, allegedly from a military camp of forces loyal to
Mr. Gbagbo” -- with the word “allegedly” which, in the wake of
Ban's error on the Belarus helicopters, led to the shooting down of
the proposed Security Council press statement on Friday afternoon.
And so it goes at this UN. Watch this site.
Click for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
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.