Deal with Russia on Cote d'Ivoire Resolution Has Bamba Staying Silent,
Speaks Afterwards to Inner City Press
Russell Lee, Exclusive
January 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.
this, 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.”
Bamba sat in
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.
d'Ivoire Troop Rollover Stalled by “Politics,” UK
18, updated -- As the UN Security Council met Tuesday morning
at the deadline to extend its extra troops in Cote d'Ivoire, two
Western Ambassadors for the first time admitted there's a problem.
Ambassador Wittig of Germany said there might be a “hiccup.” Then
Mark Lyall Grant of the UK came out and blamed it on Russia.
reported back on January 14, several Council members complained
that the “Westerners” had loaded up what was supposed to be a
technical rollover with “politics.” After a second draft by
France, sources told Inner City Press that while China was
“flexible,” Russia still had a problem with a paragraph about
surprise on Tuesday morning that the problem remains?
City Press asked Lyall Grant about the sanctions paragraph Russia was
known to have a problem with, even back on Friday. Lyall Grant said the
Council President -- Bosnia -- was talking to Russia, and that he
didn't think the Russians in New York knew what the issue, apparently
taken by their capital, was. But why call a vote, he asked, if Russia
doesn't have instructions?
Gambari and Lyall Grant, who will not second guess UN
Vitaly Churkin walked into the Council, Inner City Press asked him
about what Lyall Grant had said. Churkin asked rhetorically, We're
am -- Inner City Press is told the Council will have Cote
d'Ivoire consultations after its meeting on Sudan. At issue is not
only the “political” language that Russia still doesn't want in,
but also whether the new / Ouattara Ambassador, Yousoufou Bamba,
should be allowed to speak in the chamber. Inner City Press told
Churkin what was said about him “not having instructions.” He
replied, smiling, “I always have instructions.”
pm -- Russia's Churkin tells Press his country has agreed to
an “improved” Cote d'Ivoire resolution. “We inserted freedom of
expression,” he said, smiling. It will be voted on tomorrow. Inner
City Press asked Ouattara's Ambassador Bamba if he'll get to speak
and he said “yes.” Watch this site.
* * *
France's Cote d'Ivoire Resolution, Russia Objects on Sanctions,
China "Flexible;" Kabila's DRC Change
-- The UN Security Council was slated to vote on
January 14 on a peacekeeping resolution about Cote d'Ivoire. But the
vote has been delayed, until January 18. Why?
told by Council sources that “the Westerners” -- drafter
France and the United States -- loaded the resolution up with “too
much politics,” getting back into the same issues which caused a
long delay in issuing a mere press statement about Cote d'Ivoire.
so, with the
clock ticking, on the January 14 day scheduled for voting France
circulated another version of the resolution, with “some of the
politics” removed, aiming to have this voted on January 18.
Council experts meeting broke up at 5 pm on January 14, sources told
Inner City Press that the remaining problem is a paragraph about
sanctions that Russia is objecting to. "China is being more flexible,"
coming out in favor of Gbagbo, there are rumblings
of other changes. A Congolese UN staffer approached Inner City Press
on Friday morning to ask that Ban Ki-moon be asked what he thinks of
Joseph Kabila's move to change his country's Constitution to avoid
the type of run off that allowed the UN in Cote d'Ivoire to reach out
and certify a winner.
UN's Ban: why rely on Gbagbo if UN certified as illegitimate?
told the UN's
handling of Cote d'Ivoire makes it less likely, many diplomats say,
that the UN will be invited in for any substantive role in their
elections. Merely logistical, one African Permanent Representative
told Inner City Press. “The UN should move the ballots around and
pay for things, but say nothing.” We'll see.
* * *
Paying Gbagbo Army, UN Is
around 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?
January 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.
Ban's 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.
UN 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?
* * *
Opposition Office, Ban's Spokesman
Passes Buck to DPKO Missions
Cote 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.”
purporting 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?
learned 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
Ban 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.