Cote d'Ivoire Says "Suppress" TV Station, UN Choi Says Nothing, Somalia?
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 17 -- After Cote d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo delayed
elections for the fifth time, his Ambassador to the UN Alcide Djedje
complained to the UN Security Council on Wednesday that "the UN
cannot validate a poll... with a private television in the area
controlled by the rebels, which campaigns for one of 14 candidates."
asked Djedje at the stakeout that followed what he and the Gbagbo
administration would like the UN to do about this television station.
"It should be suprime," he answered: suppressed.
envoy to Cote d'Ivoire Choi Young-jin came to the stakeout, Inner
City Press asked him what the UN thinks of the Gbagbo
administration's call to "suppress" a TV station.
can only tell
you the facts, Mr. Choi replied. There is a government station, and
in Boike the rebel capital, there is "TV Ma Patrie."
is the UN
concerned by a government in a country with a large UN peacekeeping
mission openly calling for the suppression of a TV station? We have
to wait for the Ivoirians to deal with it, Choi in essence said.
what about the
UN's commitment to free press, or at least against government
censorship or suppression? Inner City Press asked Ambassador Djedje
what his government thinks of Choi. He is doing a good job, Djedje
replied not surprisingly.
UN's Choi, Somalia not shown
said that the voters list was fine. Now that Gbagbo wants 429,000
voters stricken from the rolls, Choi appears to have changed his
be changing position. Within the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, people have noted questions in Abidjan about Choi leaving
the UN Mission in Ivory Coast. Inner City Press asked Choi. He
replied that when he took the job two and a half years ago, it was to
see the election held. "You'll be there a long time," more
than one reporter retorted.
officials approached Inner City Press later on Wednesday to talk
about Choi moving to the UN mission on or about Somalia. Sure,
Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, after calling for a moratorium on reporting on
the killing of civilians by peacekeepers should many at the UN feel
be replaced. But to pull Choi out of Cote d'Ivoire without holding
the promised election? What this site.
Ambassador Djedje, after his stakeout, declined to give a business
reporter his card. A business wire story included the day's price of
cocoa, quoting a trader that its rise had more to do with weather
than the atmosphere under Gbagbo. U.S. and European media views Cote
d'Ivoire through a cocoa chocolate lens.
diplomat of a rising Asian power snarked to Inner City Press, why is
France pushing so hard on elections, when elections can bring
problems? French Ambassador Araud declined to speak at the stakeout,
or in the hall, making a quip that seemed on the record but which
we'll leave aside for now. The Asian diplomat wondered, of Myanmar as
well, why the European powers are so openly obsessed about their
former colonies. Why indeed.
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Says Ivorian Voter Registration "Is Over" Despite Dispute,
Afghan Lessons Unlearned
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 13 -- In the wake of the UN's contested role in the
fraud ridden election in Afghanistan, the Security Council on Tuesday
met about the elections slated for November 29 in Cote d'Ivoire,
where the UN has some 7000 troops. While Ivorian President Laurent
Gbagbo has dodged elections for some time, now he has been quoted
that they're on.
asked the UN's top envoy to Cote d'Ivoire, Choi Young-Jin, about
local reports that the registrations from some 213 registration
stations have not been processed, eliminating eight percent of
eligible voters. Video here, from Minute 4:32.
processing is complete and credible," Choi Young-Jin ruled.
"It's over." Video here,
from Minute 4:32. He has used
that word, "credible," before. But for example
the Ivorian newspaper l'Expression
what it called 'the scandal surrounding the voter registration' on
the bodies that conducted the operation, namely, the National
Statistics Institute and SAGEM (a French company), saying that they
have botched up the work. The paper further revealed that the data
which had been collected in some 213 registration centers were not
processed, representing 8 percent of the total data that were not
taken into account on the provisional voters' lists."
eight percent, Mr. Choi acknowledges that 40% of the registrations
have not been verified against historical records. He said he has a
solution in mind, but wouldn't share it with the Press, but rather
return to Cote d'Ivoire and play his "cards urgently and
intelligently." He mentioned using mobile phone records.
asked him if he could distinguish the UN's role in Afghanistan, where
envoy Kai Eide is being called biases for incumbent Hamid Karzai. Mr.
Choi answered, "I need my colleague in Afghanistan to answer you
question." That would be... Kai Eide.
One wag asked, but where is Mr. Choi's Peter
UN's Choi at stakeout, comparison to Afghanistan not shown
When the Security
Council President for the month, Vietnam's Ambassador Le Luong Mihn,
came to the
stakeout, Inner City Press asked him if there was any thinking to
ensure that the UN's situation in the election in Afghanistan is not
repeated in Cote d'Ivoire. "Today was on Cote d'Ivoire," he
said. Video here,
from Minute 2:53.
Inner City Press tried again, asking if there was any
"We did not discuss Afghanistan today," he insisted. But
maybe they should have.
Inner City Press also asked Mr. Choi if he or the UN had played any
role in the settlement between Cote d'Ivoire and Trafigura about the
toxic waste dumping. No, Mr. Choi said, that is a bilateral problem
between Cote d'Ivoire and the company. A narrow mandate: but could it
still blow up, a la Afghanistan? Mr. Choi said keep up the momentum.
Watch this site.
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