Defends Use of Haiti Love Boat, Belated Moratorium on Evictions, No
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 28 -- When the UN's top representative in Haiti Edmond
Mulet emerged from the Security Council on Wednesday, only one
journalist was there. One of his staffers asked Inner City Press,
what happened to the interest in Haiti? What indeed.
to take questions. Inner City Press asked about forced evictions from
the soccer stadium on Port au Prince on April 9, and from at least
two schools. Mulet acknowledged these had happened, but said that he
and others met with Haitian authorities "last Thursday" --
that is, April 22 -- and that going forward there would be a
moratorium. But what about the 7000 evicted from the stadium?
asked about the so-called Love Boats, two luxury ships rented by the
World Food Program and one sub-contracted to Mulet's mission
MINUSTAH. Mulet said this was only temporary, that a camps is being
built to house up to 500 people. Currently 200 are housed on board.
At what cost, he said, he did not know.
UN DSG Migiro, watched by Edmond Mulet, April 9
eviction not shown
April 1, Kim
Bolduc left after a mere four months as UN Resident Coordinator in
Haiti. Inner City Press, which exclusively reported the departure,
asked Mulet to explain it. We "discussed her reasons for
leaving," Mulet said, without disclosing them. Video here,
notes: Inner City Press asked Mulet about the day's front page New
York Times story on seemingly forgotten parts of Haiti, assuming he
would have read it. "I haven't," he said. Does this reflect
on UN media readiness, on pay walls or that the Paper of Record is
not what it once was? Last week, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said he
would seek guidance on a New York Times editorial pillorying the UN's
performance in Afghanistan. But a week later, no response. Does the
UN feel no need?
some in the UN are thinking of further limiting press availability. A
UN press aide, seeing only this reporter waiting for Mulet, said that
maybe the stakeouts should be canceled. Or not be televised, so
reporters had to come. Or televised on a delay. Serve sandwiches and
liquor, one wag suggested. Then the press will come. And so it goes.
Silent on Haiti Evictions, Says Rented Love Boat is Not a Luxury
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 15 -- While the UN speaks of the humane relocation of
Haitians, on April 9 the Haitian National Police summarily evicted
over 7000 people from the Sylvio Cator soccer stadium in
Port-au-Prince. The stadium's managers said that "the Taiwanese
are planning to repair the bleachers and replace the artificial
turf," which the earthquake survivors had reportedly damaged.
UN had send
Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro to Haiti for the three
month anniversary of the January 12 earthquake. On April 15, Inner
City Press asked DSG Migiro if the UN had planned any role in the
eviction, if the UN had been informed by the HNP, which UN officials
have described as a "partner," prior to the evictions.
that despite her visit, she was unaware of the eviction. She said
that some relocations are involuntary, but are intended to move
people to higher ground before the rainy season. Those in the soccer
stadium, however, were merely given one small tent per family, and
were otherwise left to fend for themselves.
contrast, the UN
system has rented luxury cruise ships on which to house its
international staff. Inner City Press asked Ms. Migiro about these
ships. She disputed that they were luxury liners, despite the ship's
owner's own photographs. She said she had been aware of the
controversy, but had not visited the ships.
UN rented Sea Voyager- not luxurious? Piano honky tonk?
conference, several correspondents remarked how her presentation
style has improved since the halting and hurried MDGs presentations
earlier in her tenure. The Secretariat's communications arm, on the
other hand, seems to be moving backwards. Wednesday that Office said
it would explain why Ms. Migiro's predessessor Mark Malloch Brown was
at the UN Chief Executives Board meetings last week in Vienna. But a
day later, no answer has been provided.
Later on Thursday, as SG Ban Ki-moon marched with his entourage into
the Security Council, Mr. Ban asked Inner City Press about the new
press arrangements. We still have less access that before, Inner City
Press replied, but pointed out that after a fight, the press was
allowed in a pen in front of the Council entrance. Mr. Ban indicated,
seemingly joking, that this made him more vulnerable. But there are
questions to be answered.
them is why
the UN said nothing when it learned that its U.S. staff member Louis
Maxwell and other colleagues in Kabul were quite possible killed by
Afghan National forces and not the Taliban. Already this week Mr. Ban
has said he was unaware of the case of Al-Tijani Al-Sissi Ateem, who
was recruited as a pro-government Darfur rebel leader by the UN-AU
mediator Djibril Bassole while Ateem was being paid as a UN staffer.
(Inner City Press has been promised both contact information for Mr.
Bassole, and a further answer about his activities, neither of which
has yet been provided).
Ban say he is
unaware of the troubling case of Louis Maxwell? Watch this site.