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UN Admits Union Chief was Barred by Doss' MONUC, Maintains Malcorra Satisfied by LRA Fight

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 1 -- The UN is shameless in its defense of itself and its embattled high officials like Alan Doss, the Congo envoy who asked the UN Development Program to bend or break rules to give his daughter a job, and then oversaw the lock-out of the head of his Mission's staff union. Last week Inner City Press reported, based on documents, that MONUC union chief Mr.Guershom Nondo said he had been barred from MONUC premises.

The UN wrote to Inner City Press that the report was "incorrect," that Nondo was never barred. Inner City Press then ran a second story, complete with the denial and Nondo's e-mail. Now the UN writes to belatedly admit that yes, Nondo was barred by MONUC -- "MONUC security issued an incorrect internal instruction to its personnel to prevent him from entering the mission's premise" -- but it was by mistake. But why then did the UN claim that the report was in error? To defend itself and Doss.

  Meanwhile when straight-shooting UN official Susana Malcorra was quoted in Uganda that a new mandate is needed to more effectively combat the Lord's Resistance Army rebels, the UN in New York quickly claimed she was misquoted, and issued a carefully crafted version of what she supposedly said. Inner City Press asked, is that what she said or what you wish that she had said?

    Tuesday, after the New Vision of Uganda followed up saying that the UN in Sudan and Alan Doss' MONUC should to more to fight the LRA, Inner City Press asked again.

Alan Doss and Ambassador of Uganda, nepotism, lock-out and new LRA mandate not shown

  Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq said that the statement read out by Spokesperson Michele Montas is the UN's position. It's a shame, because Malcorra's quote about a need for changes to fight the LRA is the truth. But at the UN, apparently, the truth must immediately be denied.

  A graphic novel about the LRA has been published, "Unknown Soldier" from Vertigo. It is better than it might have been, with references to President Museveni and the Ugandan People's Defense Force. It errs in letting the UPDF off the hook, saying that the LRA dressed up in official army uniforms to commit atrocities in their name. Ask the people of Karamoja, where its the "real" UPDF that torched whole villages. Still, the graphic novel is welcome.

Here's the UN Spokesperson's Office e-mail:

Subj: Re: Your Report/Question on MONUC and Mr. Nondo
From: unspokesperson-donotreply [at]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: 8/31/2009 11:56:48 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

A clarification regarding your earlier question on Mr. Nondo:

As indicated earlier, he is neither banned from MONUC premises, nor suspended.

MONUC administration has spoken directly to Mr. Nondo and explained this point. On the morning of 25 August, MONUC security issued an incorrect internal instruction to its personnel to prevent him from entering the mission's premises. This was rescinded officially by MONUC Administration the following day.

    So why did the UN claim that "Your report regarding MONUC and Mr. Nondo was incorrect. MONUC informs that Mr. Nondo has neither been banned from MONUC premises, nor suspended"?

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In Congo, UN's Alan Doss is Flying While Union Chief Maintains He's Banned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 27 -- Alan Doss, the British chief of the UN's Mission in the Congo MONUC who has been documented to have asked for a bending and breaking of UN rules to have his daughter hired in the UN Development Program, on Wednesday claimed of the Kimia 2 operation, criticized for resulting in further displacement and of being co-coordinated by indicted war criminal Bosco Ntagana, "the outcome is largely positive."

   From the point of view of UN headquarters, then, Alan Doss is "on message," as well as representing Permanent Five Security Council member the UK. Could this explain the lengths to which the UN is going to defend Doss' nepotism, personal use of Mission resources and mismanagement of relations with the local staff? Click here for local UN staff e-mail.

  On Doss' April 20 e-mail to UNDP asking for "leeway," widely described in the UN as outrageous, still nothing has been done. The UN and Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York have also refused, since August 14 and 17 respectively, to provide any answer to whether Alan Doss has used UN resources for his family in his previous non-family post in Liberia, where sources tell Inner City Press Doss tried to bend rules to get a job for his wife with UN Volunteers.

   On the Congo, the UN on Thursday after more than 10 days responded, though a spokesperson who has asked to remain nameless, that

on your " family question": As far as we can determine, there is no rule against staff members receiving visits from family members. Mrs. Doss has visited the DRC and has stayed in-country on several occasions since Mr. Doss became SRSG. She doesn’t reside in the DRC. Mrs Doss has flown on UN aircraft in the DRC (during the SG’s visit earlier this year, for example). There is no rule against non-MONUC or non-UN personnel flying on UN/MONUC flights. In the DRC, non-MONUC passengers fly on a space-available basis and according to categories of priority (reimbursement is not normally sought for travel by non-MONUC passengers on MONUC flights.)

   Beyond Doss' reported seeking of "leeway" in Liberia, as in New York, the above does not address whether other MONUC staffers can bring family to the non-family location and fly for free on UN planes. Who can do it? And who decides?

Alan Doss shaking in Congo, staff and UNDP victims not shown

On staff relations in the Congo, the UN on Thursday morning wrote

Subj: Your Report/Question on MONUC and Mr. Nondo
From: unspokesperson-donotreply [at]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: 8/27/2009 10:19:21 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Dear Matthew, Your report regarding MONUC and Mr. Nondo was incorrect.

MONUC informs that Mr. Nondo has neither been banned from MONUC premises, nor suspended.

   While for the record Inner City Press appended the incorrect position to its initial article,  Inner City Press has Mr. Guershom Nondo's e-mail about the situation, and now puts it online here. Nondo states:

"Please be advised that starting this morning I am not allowed to enter MONUC premises... MONUC administration has decided to put me in administrative leave starting this morning until further notice. This decision is related to ... the ongoing interim Salary Survey as well as all similar activities."

  Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesperson's office, which erroneous charged error, for a response, even suggesting they seek one from DFS Officer in Charge Tony Banbury, but none has been received. Banbury has been aware from the first article that the issue is being raised. Is the claim, as with the UNDP worker whose job Doss stole for his daughter, that the lower ranked staff member is lying? How low will the UN go? How much abuse of power will be permitted? Watch this site.

In Congo, UN's Embattled Doss Bars Union Chief from Premises, Scandal Expands

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 25, updated Aug. 27, 11 am --  Alan Doss, the Special Representative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the Congo, is embroiled in a nepotism scandal at UNDP in New York. Meanwhile in Kinshasa, he has barred Guershom Nondo, the president of the MONUC staff union, from UN premises.

   When on August 25 the Staff Union in New York sought to solve this labor problem, they were first told that the head of Peacekeeping's Department of Field Support is away from New York. Her deputy, Tony Banbury, was deemed too busy with other meetings to attend to this problem in the Congo. Finally a lower ranking official said that the "Special Representative" -- that is, Alan Doss -- would surely take care of the problem.

  But how can the UN preach good governance, transparency and labor rights, particularly in the Congo, when the chief of its mission there explicitly asked the UN Development Program to bend its rules -- show him "leeway" -- and give his daughter the job of the assistant to the Deputy Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, who was subsequently pepper sprayed by UN Security after he displayed Doss' email asking for "leeway." He then allegedly bit Security Office Peter Kolonias, but that's another story.

UN's Alan Doss in Goma -- preaching?

   And here is another story: a UN whistleblower who served in Liberia says that while it is a non-family duty station, Doss brought family members there, something prohibited to other UN staff, and tried to get them hired, for example by UN Volunteers. Inner City Press has been told this by several well-placed sources. The UN has still refused to answer questions posed in writing on August 14 to Ban's Spokesperson's Office and August 14 to Peacekeeping, "Please describe and account for -- including use of UN / Mission resources including air resources -- any presence by Doss family members along with Mr. Doss in DRC, and before that in Liberia (for that latter, including any effort to use UN Volunteers resources)."

  For seven and ten days, no answers from the UN. Inner City Press has asked Doss for his side the the story and received a terse email that he began at DPKO on July 1, the rest is being investigated.

  On August 24, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson Michele Montas if, as has been said would happen, Ban has received a report on l'affaire Doss now that Ban has been back in New York for five days. No, the Spokesperson said:

Inner City Press: Marie had said … now it’s, I don’t know, about 10 days ago … that the Secretary-General took these allegations about Mr. Doss, the job that UNDP -- the whole nepotism issue seriously, and he expected to receive a report on his return to New York. I am wondering, has he received this report yet? And if not, when is he going to receive it?

Spokesperson: Well, you know, I asked the question today and the answer I got is that he has not received the report yet, and is still expecting it from UNDP.

Inner City Press: Because, the thing is, when she said it, she said it was somehow different than the UNDP one. She said he expected to receive it upon his return to New York. That’s why it sort of seemed to be maybe just an update on what had had happened, or why the investigation is taking so long.

Spokesperson: As far as I know, he has received nothing new about the case.

   And on August 27, Ban Ki-moon leaves town again, for Vienna and Norway and Geneva. His Deputy Spokesperson said he took allegations of nepotism seriously and expected to receive a report when he returned to New York... Watch this site.

Update of August 27, 11 am -- for the record, Alan Doss' MONUC now states that "Mr. Nondo has neither been banned from MONUC premises, nor suspended." That's not what Mr. Nondo's email to UN Headquarters in New York has said. We note the UN's strange position on putting actual documents online, that it is somehow undiplomatic. We also note that the UN and DPKO have refused, since August 14 and 17 respectively, to provide any answer to whether Alan Doss has used UN resources for his family in his previous "non-family" post in Liberia. There are a number of other questions left unanswered by the UN and DPKO, we will be writing separately on that topics shortly. Watch this site.

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 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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