Ouattara's Bamba Says Month Too Long, Chad Too Far,
Gbagbo Cut Lights
February 4 -- As the UN Security
Council agreed on elements
to the press deferring to the African Union's High Level Panel on
Cote d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara's ambassador Yousoufou Bamba told
Inner City Press that the AU outcoming “wasn't quite progress.”
to Inner City Press on the steps outside the Council
chamber, Bamba said “one month is too long,” referring to the
time given to the AU Panel. “It gives time to Gbagbo,” Bamba
asked about the inclusion by the AU on its panel of Idriss Deby of
Chad. “Too far,” Bamba replied. He might have said the same of
South Africa, which proposed the Council press statement.
reports of water and electricity cut off to Abobo and other Ouattara
strong holds, Inner City Press asked Bamba if he thought Gbagbo was
behind them. Yes, he said, “and also to the North, every night.
Doing so, let us say, he is losing his last support.”
UN's Ban Ki-moon and Bamba at swear-in, (c) MRLee
Young-jin had been billed for an on camera stakeout, but did not do
it. Several UN correspondents complained. Inner City Press rushed
back from the UN noon briefing to find
Mr. Choi speaking off camera to three reporters. While we will aim to
have more on that, Inner City Press asked about the two journalists
arrested after flying with the UN from Bouake to Abidjan.
said they had
landed and were in a taxi when arrested. Why was the UN flying them?
Choi said the UN has been flying people for Gbagbo and Ouattara for
some time. And still for Gbagbo? “If he asks,” said Choi.
speak of the helicopters voted on by the Council two weeks ago, of
which Inner City Press reported this morning that Ukraine's
parliament has now approved. Bamba confirmed this. (The Brazilian
President of the Council said it had not come up, when Inner City
Press asked after the press statement.)
said he called the Prime Minister at 2 am while patrolling Abobo.
Others say there will be a big Korean reception in New York,
including Choi, when Ban Ki-moon returns. We'll see.
* * *
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.
* * *
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.
* * *
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.
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.
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.