d'Ivoire at UN, S. Africa Proposes Elements on AU, Ukraine Copter
Russell Lee, Exclusive
February 4 -- As the UN Security Council met Friday about
Cote d'Ivoire, the closed doors consultations left many questions
hanging. After Inner City Press for three days
asked the UN why the
helicopters voted on by the Council on January 21 were still not in
Abidjan, the reason became clear, not from the UN but Kiev.
Ukraine just approved the shift of copters from Liberia to Ivory
Coast - click here.
Why didn't the UN just say that?
asked Alassane Ouattara's Ambassador Bamba about the two journalists,
reportedly Forces Nouvelles affiliated, whom the UN transported on
January 28 from Bouake to Abidjan, where they were arrested as
rebels. I don't have anything on that, Ambassador Bamba said.
Mission source called the case an “outrage” - but the UN and Choi
Young-jin have yet to. Mr. Choi has said he will talk to the Press
after the consultations.
member's Permanent Representative emerged and told Inner City Press
that South Africa is proposing a Council press statement (actually,
elements to the press) in support
of the African Union mediation including South African President
Jacob Zuma. Another diplomat shook his head and said this would “make
Zuma & UN's Ban, recount of Gbagbo-Ouattara
votes not yet shown
Security Council's unceremonious ouster of the Office of the
Spokesperson for the Secretary General under Martin Nesirky, on
Friday representatives of UNESCO and, it was said, UNICEF were told
they could not even wait in the Quiet Room of the Council. Paranoia,
one agency rep called it. And so it goes.
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d'Ivoire, UN Silent on Copters & as Journalists Arrested
After UN Flight
February 3 -- As the Cote
d'Ivoire strategy of UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon and his ONUCI envoy Choi Young-jin is described
as unraveling, the ONUCI Mission and UN no longer answer basic
questions. Inner City Press has asked about events on January 28, in
which two journalists flown from Bouake to Abidjan on a UN plane were
spokesman Farhan Haq on February 3 said that “UNOCI has not comment
on this,” and argued that the arrest did not take place in flight,
but after landing. But if the UN can't even protect civilians or
journalists the moment they get off a UN plane, how can they comply
with their protection of civilians mandate?
had asked and is asking the UN to
confirm or deny the UN's / ONUCI's awareness of the arrest below,
please explain how journalists could be arrested while flying on a UN
operated flight, and regarding the helicopters voted on by the
Security Council more than two weeks ago, please state between whom
the “discussions” in your response of yesterday are taking place,
and on what topic. Also, what were these helicopters doing with UNMIL
until until two weeks ago, and now? The reported
and Charly left Bouaké for Abidjan at about 3 p.m. on 28 January
aboard a flight operated by the United Nations peacekeeping mission
in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI). They were arrested on their arrival at
Abidjan air base by members of the Defence and Security Forces
28, UN peacekeepers engaged with “young people” with “moderate
force.” Inner City Press since then has been asking the UN and its
Department of Peacekeeping Operations how young these people where
and what safeguards were in place -- without answer.
on February 3,
Inner City Press asked the UN's Special Representative on Children
and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy about the incident, and what
rules apply to UN peacekepers engaging with child soldiers or
said she would call for the use of “minimal” force -- to be
contrasts with the “moderate” force ONUCI says it used.
Mr. Choi & peacekeeper, copters, "young
people" and arrested journalists not shown
City Press asked Ms. Coomaraswamy if her office had been notified by
ONUCI or DPKO about their engagement with “youth people,” she
helcopters voted on by the Security Council more than two weeks ago
still no in Cote d'Ivoire, Inner City Press has asked, among other
things, “Regarding the helicopters for Cote d'Ivoire / ONUCI voted
on by the Security Council more than two weeks ago, please state
between whom the
“discussions” in your response of yesterday are
taking place, and on what topic.” Watch this site.
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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.
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