Report on Congo Is Toned Down, UN Won't Say By Whom, Ban's Role
October 1, 2010 -- Hours after the publication
of the UN's
“watered down” report on war crimes in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky refused to disclose who in
UN, particularly in the Secretariat of Ban Ki-moon, was involved in
making the changes from the stronger draft version of the Mapping
publication of the report after President Paul Kagame of Rwanda,
criticized in the report, threatened to pull Rwandan troops from UN
peacekeeping missions including in Darfur. Ban flew to Kigali and
discussed -- or negotiated -- with Kagame.
issued in modified and watered down form, Inner City Press asked
Nesirky about the involvement of Ban's legal office, beyond the
lawyers of High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in
watering down the report. Here are three initial examples:
reference to "damning elements" that could be used
by a court to conclude that genocide took place has been changed
"inculpatory elements.” Another section elaborates at length —
compared with the earlier draft — on a number of "countervailing
factors" that could be used to argue that such a crime didn't
take place. A draft section that dismissed mitigating arguments was
think you've got
it backwards, Nesirky replied.
asked, “it wasn't watered down?” Nesirky never answered this,
rather emphasizing that the HCHR has experience lawyers. Yes, but
what was the involvement of the legal office of Ban, who negotiated
UN's Ban and Kagame, negotiations and edits not shown
that Ban negotiated with Kagame, and then was questioned by BBC and
Al Jazeera about Ban's failure to now make any recommendations about
prosecution, and by CNN about Ban not making himself available for
questions on this long anticipated day of publication.
appointments of the day are with the Ambassador of Pakistan, and
hosting a reception about the MDGs. It should be noted that after Ban
named Kagame and Spain's Zapatero as the co-chairs of his MDG
Advocacy Group, Zapatero refused to meet with Kagame due to war
crimes charges pending against him in the Spanish courts. After this
Mapping Report, will things only get worse? Watch this site.
Prepares Trip to Uganda & Sudan, DRC Report to
Raise Peacekeeping Price?
1, 2010 -- As the modified Mapping Report on war
crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was issued today, at
the UN in New York Ambassadors of the accused countries as well as
the DRC scrambled to make their nations' complaints and addenda
the eve of the
Report's release, Uganda's Permanent Representative Rugunda took
congratulations from a stream of other Ambassadors for the
alphabetically honor of assuming presidency of the UN Security
Council of October. There was little to no mention of the UN's charge
of war crimes.
noted that for the first time, a president of the Council
would be leading a mission
of the 15 members to his country, just as
his month began. The phrasing was conditional, as Sudan had yet to
issue visas for the second part of the already controversial trip.
a connection between the Mapping Report and the Uganda leg of the
trip, on which Inner City Press has been told it will be included.
Ugandan foreign minister Sam Kutesa has in writing urged that the
Mapping Report, which accuses UPDF troops of terrorizing civilians in
the Congo, not be published at all, and implied that it may lead to a
reversal of Uganda's peacekeeping role in Somalia.
a odds with
a position taken in the closed door meeting at the UN in New York on
Somalia, during which multiple sources tell Inner City Press that
President Yoweri Museveni said that if he received funding for 40,000
troops in Somalia, he would clean the place up, “African style.”
Somalia mini Summit, from which as Inner City Press exclusively
reported Eritrea was at the last minute dis-invited, African Union
Commission chief Jean Ping took Press questions. Inner City Press
asked about complaints that the Ugandan and Burundian troops in
Somalia aren't being paid enough.
that even with a recent increase, the AU troops in Somalia are
compensated at the level of $750 a month, rather than the $1080 the
Uganda's Museveni & Rwanda's Kagame,
Mapping Report fall out not yet shown
said, results in a situation in which “all the
peacekeepers want to go to Darfur” to receive the higher pay. Of
course, it is the troops' country which decide where they go, and
which receives the compensation.
Ambassador Rugunda told Inner City Press on Thursday night, is slated
to meet with President Museveni. How will the issue of the mapping
report come up? Will commitments be sought or made about additional
payments for Somalia peacekeeping? Watch this site.
is the Council trip to Uganda and Sudan, slated to begin
October 4, still not confirmed as of 9 am on October 1 -- the terms
of reference are not even being negotiated by the whole Council, but
only the US and UK, the leaders of the Sudan legs of the trip, Inner
City Press is told.
last minute questions were raised about how many
journalists, and even which journalists, should be allowed to cover
the trip. These should and must be resolved today -- watch this
* * *
Trip, “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” About Bashir, Darfur Stop
28, 2010 -- If 15 UN Security Council diplomats
travel to a country run by an indicted war criminal but no one can
take pictures of it, did the trip really take place?
question being asked Tuesday at the UN, as details
leaked out to Inner City Press about
the Council's on again, off again and now on again trip to Sudan.
had been whether Sudan would demand that the Council Ambassadors meet
with President Omar al Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal
Court for war crimes and genocide, and secondarily whether the
Council would first visit Khartoum or Juba in South Sudan.
to Inner City Press on Tuesday morning that they had
prevailed on both points. The trip would go to Juba, and in all
probability to Darfur -- Darfur wasn't mentioned in the Council
Tuesday, one participate said -- before going to Khartoum.
won't ask to meet with Bashir, and he won't ask to meet with us,”
one seemingly excited diplomat told Inner City Press about the trip
on Tuesday, adding that Bashir might conveniently be out of the
country, in Libya, he said.
don't tell” trip, Inner City Press has dubbed it.
UN's Ban & Bashir, with some distance: don't ask, don't tell?
been invited to visit Cote d'Ivoire. Inner City Press asked the UN's
envoy to that country K.Y. Choi about this on Tuesday. Choi's
response, strangely, was to repeat that inviter Laurent Gbagbo and
his two main opponents are all committed to a peaceful first round of
elections on October 31.
the approach of the UN Secretariat to questions about war crimes and
impunity: to repeat talking points again and again, even if
unrelated. We'll see.
dysfunctional things have become between the Security
Council and the Office of the Spokesman of the Secretary General,
which has already been barred from the Council consultation meetings
they for years attended and summarized, is exemplified by that the
fact that less than a week before the re-scheduled trip, the Council
has not told the OSSG about any arrangements for press.
past trips --
Inner City Press accompanied the Security Council to Sudan, the
Congo, Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire and elsewhere in 2008 -- the Council has
let the OSSG invite the press, arrange for visas, and attend.
Apparently not this time. Watch this site.
* * *
Prepares To Hand Over Bashir's Enemies for “Blood
Lee, Exclusive Must Credit
28, 2010 -- In Darfur, the Joint African Union -
UN peacekeeping mission UNAMID is preparing to turn over to the
government of Omar al Bashir five supporters of rebel leader Abdel
Wahid Nur who have been “accused by Sudanese authorities of having
committed crimes,” as shown by UNAMID documents obtained by Inner
two months the
government of Bashir, who has been indicted by the International
Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide, has demanded that UNAMID
and the UN turn over the five, who “sought refuge in the Community
Policing Center of the Kalma Camp for Internally Displaced Persons”
after an outburst of violence in the camp.
imposed a blockade on the camp, not allowing in food or fuel or
medicine, and now seeks to close down the camp.
from UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari to Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali
Karti recites that Bashir's government “explained its position of
principle that Sudan has the right to apply the death penalty as such
a penalty is not illegal under international law and is part of
Sudan's criminal code.”
“without prejudice to its position of principle,
the Government has undertaken to work in a co-operative manner with
UNAMID... with a view to bringing the issue to a mutually acceptable
Click here to see
Gambari's letter, as obtained exclusively by Inner City Press.
paragraph of his letter, Gambari “propose[s] that the issue of the
five individuals be brought to a conclusion... on the basis of the additional
terms set forth in the attachment hereto... to ensure that
the five individuals concerned are transferred to the relevant
authorities of the Government.”
what are the
terms under which the UN, Gambari and UNAMID would turn over the five
to Bashir's government?
Click here to see
Gambari's and the UN's Additional Terms, as obtained exclusively by
Inner City Press.
Amazingly to some, under Gambari's
Additional Terms, “blood relatives of the victims of the alleged
crimes will be called upon to exercise their power to waive the death
penalty and seek payment of compensation in the form of 'blood money'
UN's Ban shakes with Bashir, Kalma Five and blood
money not shown
of an incident in Geneina, multiply described to Inner
City Press, in which UNAMID became involved in and even proposed the
payment of “blood money” by IDPs to janjaweed who came into the
camp beating up IDPs and demanding money for a person they said had
Terms of the Government's assurances for the transfer of the five
individuals from the Kalma CPC to the host country authorities”
ends with assurances that “UNAMID's Human Rights Division” could
visit the prisoners, and that Bashir's government will not “undermine
UNAMID's ability to conduct its activities.”
government has restricted the movement of UNAMID peacekeepers and
helicopters, as peacekeepers and civilians as in the Tarabat Market
early this money lay dying. The UN's human rights divisions in Sudan
have been accused by opposition leaders of failing even to come on a
timely basis to examine the body of a slain Darfuri student.
says it tried, but the Government stopped it -- even if true, hardly
a basis for replying on the assurances in the Additional Terms. On
September 27, Inner City Press asked a series of questions to Gambari,
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Georg Charpentier and Under Secretary
General for Field Support Susana Malcorra, click here for
this case of
the five, UNAMID would rely on “the Ajaweed traditional justice”
and, again amazingly, that “the President” -- indicted war
criminal Omar al Bashir -- “has the prerogative of mercy which he
has confirmed he will exercise in the event that the death penalty is
imposed on the accused.”
many, this is a
new low for the UN: accepting the promise of an indicted war criminal
not to kill again as a basis to turn over more of his enemies to him.
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.