UN, Human Rights Sold Out in Sudan, Congo and Myanmar, Taking the
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 11 -- When letting down their hair with tequila, even
human rights true believers can be depressingly hard nosed. At a
recently soirée complete with lime and salt licks, the talk
to Sudan. "It was never genocide," said a senior NGO
staffer. "Save Darfur and the Enough Project better move fast to
declare victory and move on. Because with Khartoum taking over Jebel
Marra it is all over."
staffer, having spent five years in Sudan, disagreed, as least on
genocide -- "they burned down whole villages" -- but agreed
the war in Darfur was reaching end game. "And where did Save
Darfur's Jerry Fowler go? Back to the Holocaust Museum?"
ago, a UN
staffer with responsibility for the Sudan portfolio snarked to Inner
City Press that Fowler had send out an email not about Darfur "but
condoms," he said and laughed, seemingly with contempt for the
NGO. But what is the UN Secretariat's attitude toward human rights
NGOs? Toward human rights more generally?
is talk of
the move to fill the new human rights Assistant Secretary General
post. While the expert from the Security Council Report may be best
qualified, with outgoing Chilean Ambassador Munoz looking for a job,
blatantly trying out on the Bhutto investigation and recent
earthquake press conference with Fergie, the Secretariat is more
tempted to go the member state route, to get more bang for its buck.
rights staffers approached Inner City Press to register their disgust
with the UN's Congo envoy Alan Doss, on both nepotism and working
with war criminals. One recounted that finally head UN Peacekeeper
Alain Le Roy is mad at Doss. Before Le Roy's recent trip to Kinshasa,
Doss did not tell Le Roy that Congolese President Joseph Kabila
wanted the UN to begin pull out in one year.
UN's Doss preaches in DRC, feet of clay and tequila not shown
Roy thought it
would be three years, that had to backtrack once Kabila spoke to him.
Why didn't Doss know or give the heads up? "It's last time for
Doss to go," the staffer said. "His support is from the
UK." It was added the Kabila has already forward names of
acceptable replacements, including Le Roy's predecessor Jean Marie
Guehenno and "two Americans."
assessment was of Burma / Myanmar. A human rights staffer recounted
that the U.S. Mission to the UN's Burma expert said the Obama
Administration'spreference is for the UN to stay in stasis, with
"acting" envoy Vijay Nambiar in place. This is so that the
Administration's accommodative position on Than Shwe is not shown up
by any UN moves. And so are human rights sold out. Skoll!
* * *
Exposed Supporting Congo Criminals In 2010, Secret List, Using
Haiti as Defense
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 9 -- The UN and its Mission in the Congo have been
caught in a web on contradictory statements by and about Congolese
warlord Innocent Zimurinda.
special rapporteur Philip Alston charged Zimurinda with
responsibility for mass rape and murder. On December 16, Inner City
MONUC boss Alan Doss about the UN's logistical support to
a procedure," Doss said, "as needed we will suspend
support." Video here,
from Minute 4:09. Doss claimed that UN
support through the Kimia II operation to all Congolese units, not
only Zimurinda's, was being ended in 2009.
that support continued into 2010; his deputy Dieudonne
says that the UN is still willing to support
Zimurinda's units. Inner
City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky to respond to
Zimurinda's interview and explain Doss' December 16 claims.
disputing that it was "just an interview" by Zimurinda. He
spoke about the wider Washington Post article,
saying it gave "an
inaccurate impression." He claimed that the support Zimurinda's
units got in 2010 has already been "in the pipeline" and
couldn't be stopped. Video here,
from Minute 55:02.
accepted this, why didn't Doss disclose it in December?
UN's Doss in the Congo, Zimurinda not shown or disclosed
Doss was and
is under fire for nepotism, having been exposed by Inner City Press
urging the UN Development Program to show him "leeway" and
give his daughter a job. To escape pressure, Doss claimed that the
problematic support to Zimurinda was ending in 2009. But that turns
about to be false.
now, the UN
and MONUC split hairs. The Washington Post reports that even for the
new Amani Leo operation -- the Post puts it in the future, but it has
already quietly began -- two units of Zimurinda's command are on the
list to receive UN assistance. Nesirky claims not. Inner City Press
asked top peacekeeper Alain Le Roy to disclose which 18 battalions
the UN will support. Video here.
Le Roy said he would
look into if that could be done, implying he saw no reason why not.
I'm sure Mr. Le Roy
will answer your question, Nesirky to Inner City Press, adding
acerbically of Le Roy that "today he's had other things on his
mind." The reference was to Tuesday morning's memorial service
for UN staff who died in the Haiti earthquake. Nesirky cited to this
to explain Le Roy's or the wider UN's lack of response.
also told a
journalist his questioning of the UN in Haiti was "unfair."
The UN's top envoy to Haiti Edmond Mulet, when asked about the
condition and soundness of the Christopher Hotel, for which the UN in
Haiti paid $94,000 a month in rent, said that he didn't know about
the inquiry into the building's soundness, he was other things to
playing the Haiti earthquake trump card to cut off or not answer
questions was distasteful. But the misstatements on the UN working
with war criminals in the Congo is even worse. Watch this site.