Deal Followed by Bombs, UN Silent, Chad Pollution
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 26 -- After Sudan's President al Bashir cut a deal
with the Justice and Equality Movement rebels, then began bombing the
remaining SLA rebels in South Darfurf, messages of congratulations
kept on rolling in. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed,
through his spokesman, the JEM and Bashir deal. Inner City Press
asked, but what about the bombs continuing to fall upon Darfur? Ban's
spokesman had no comment.
asked a permanent five Security Council Ambassador, do you think the
deal's a scam? The response first dealt with Chad and Sudan, the Deby
- Bashir peace deal that preceded the JEM deal. Maybe they both
realized it was in their interest to stop fighting, the Permanent
Representative said. Both are facing elections, Bashir in April and
Deby after that.
why is Deby
moving to throw out the UN mission? Deby "never wanted it,"
the Ambassador explained. Deby took offense when it was suggested he
wanted the UN out before he cooked his upcoming election. "MINURCAT
has no election watching mandate," Deby pointed out, as did his
UN Ambassador Allam-mi. A skeptic noted that even if it did, just
like Hamid Karzai, Deby need not worry.
Sudan show and tell of JEM weapons at Omdurman
Peacekeeper, Frenchman Alain Le Roy, is in Chad meeting with Deby.
The P-5 Ambassador said it cannot be all or nothing. The Mission was
supposed to leave in March 2011 anyway, the Perm Rep argued. What we
want is an organized withdrawal, say in nine months instead of three.
And Deby takes over all the infrastructure built there? But of
has been told, during the hand over from the European Union to the
UN, that France asked the UN to "indemnify" it for
pollution it caused, in Abeche and elsewhere. What is the purpose of
the UN and its blanket immunity, but to further shield of the P-5
from their own pollution? The UN did quietly agree to pay for much of
what it used for its mission in Eastern Chad. Watch this site.
* * *
Chad Says UN Destroys Airstrips, Logjam on Shakedown Street
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 17 -- In Chad, the "traffic" of the UN's
peacekeeping mission is "destroying our infrastructure,"
Chad's Ambassador to the UN Ahmad Allam-mi told the Press on
Wednesday. Inner City Press asked him about landing and other fees
that Chad's Idriss Deby government had been charging international
peacekeepers, and to respond to the idea that Deby's threat to throw
the UN out is just a ploy to get more money. Video here,
Allam-mi replied that there are "taxes for services rendered by
state companies." He called these a "royalty" and said
that "there is an agreement that we signed."
the UN, like
the European Union force before it, has never wanted to disclose how
much it agreed to pay Deby. Even at Wednesday's UN noon briefing,
when Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe, she
did not provide an answer, or even promise one in the future. Video here.
briefing, when the Security Council suspended their meeting on Chad
for a lunch break, Inner City Press asked top UN Peacekeeper Alain Le
Roy about the alleged "destruction" of Chad's
infrastructure, and whether the UN might now agree to pay more in
order to keep the MINURCAT mission in place.
there yet," Le Roy said. But are "we" getting
Inner City Press exclusively
covered a closed door meeting of Troop
Contributing Countries at which European countries with notable
exception of France, Chad's former colonial power, complained about
high landing fees charged by Deby. Click here
for that Inner City
the mission was
handed over from the European Union to the UN, it was said, Deby
tried to charge the UN for infrastructure built by the EU. Now,
informed sources say, Deby is at it again.
UN's Ban and Deby, payments for MINURCAT not shown
groups are demanding that MINURCAT stay in place to protect their
operations and civilians. As top UN Humanitarian John Holmes told the
Press on Wednesday, while some NGOs won't accept escorts from armed
peacekeepers, others do.
asked Holmes if it would be possible to keep the mission in the
Central African Republic, which it also serves, even if Chad kicks it
out. No, Holmes answered. It would have to be a separate mission. He
said he thinks the Central African Republic wants to keep the UN
Deby's gambit results in higher payments from the UN, the Central
African Republic and other hosts of peacekeeping missions would be
foolish not to also try the shakedown. Watch this site.
in mid 2008 when Inner City Press and other UN correspondents
accompanied the Security Council to Chad and elsewhere in Africa,
Deby skipped a scheduled meeting with the Council. Many questioned
why Deby would rebuff France, whose then Ambassador Jean Maurice
Ripert was in charge of the Chad leg of the trip. Sources tell Inner
City Press that Deby was four sheets to the wind, en flight back from
briefing, Ambassador Ahmad Allam-mi told Inner City Press, you try to
get me in trouble by quoting my president to me. But President Deby,
it appears, contains multitudes.
conference was stopped for two minutes as the headphones for
translation did not work. Video here, from Minute 25:53. Echoes
of French Ambassador Gerard Araud's melt down at the beginning of
February when the translation headsets weren't available. He demanded
to konw, where are the helmets? Now some question, as Chad shakes down
the UN as it did the EU, where is France?