Upbeat on Cote d'Ivoire Despite NY Weapons Purchase, Open
September 29, 2010 -- Long promised elections in Cote
d'Ivoire are now scheduled for October 31, UN envoy Choi Young-Jin
told the UN Security Council and Press on September 28.
relentlessly upbeat, that strongman Laurent Gbabgo and his two main
opponents Alassane Ouattara and Henri Konan Bedie are all committed
to a fair election without violence, “at least in the first round.”
asked Choi about the
arrest in New York two weeks ago of Gbagbo
colonel Yao N'guessan, trying to buy for $3.8 million 4,000 handguns,
200,000 rounds of ammunition and 50,000 tear gas grenades.
That is a
matter for the [Security Council] sanctions committee, Choi said. But
doesn't weapons purchase by a president who has already overstayed
his term draw the attention of the Council? And isn't the US, which
calls it Ivory Coast, concerned? Or does the US only concerned with its
new big embassy in Abidjan?
of Gbagbo, has drafted a Council resolution authorizing the
deployment of additional peacekeepers for the election. Nothing about
the abortive arms purchase; nothing about Gbagbo's invitation to Cote
d'Ivoire of Sudan's Omar al Bashir, indicted for war crimes and
genocide by the International Criminal Court.
One problem at
apparently. But aren't they all connected?
UN's Ban & Choi, Bashir, Gbagbo & NY weapons
purchase not shown
asked Choi how he and the UN Mission intend to build shelters for the
3600 outdoor polling places which must, under the rules, be covered
by October 31. Choi spoke of building tents, the nitty gritty
logistical details for which the UN receives too little credit. Rare
praise: remember it.
* * *
Sweden's Hit & Run Human Rights Attack Lambasted by Cuba in GA
September 29, 2010 -- As this UN General Debate reaches what
some call its garbage time stage, when all the heads of state and
attendant security are gone and the General Assembly Hall is largely
empty, the deep fissures in the international community become
a near empty
GA on September 28, Sweden delivered a high minded speech, barely
mentioning its own country but rather critiquing the human rights
records of at least ten countries. The speech followed the more
modest plea of Tuvalu, largely devoted to the right of Taiwan to
participate in the UN's specialized agencies. A cynical called this
Tuvalu “singing for its supper” -- saying what was necessary to
keep Taiwanese aid following in, as Burkina Faso also did on Tuesday
the end of the
proceedings, new GA President and international man of mystery Joseph
Deiss -- what are the outside business interests he mentioned
but did not disclose? -- opened the floor for the right to reply.
Most interventions were predictable.
replied to the
claims about three islands by the United Arab Emirates, a dispute
between oil rich and well armed states which never seems to end.
litany of complaint, including on behalf of Djibouti, against
Eritrea, which in turn responded that the so called international
community never enforced the boundary judgment it won.
beyond the parochial, lambasted Sweden's “arrogant” attack on
eight states in the Global South (somehow Cuba missed two). Most
compellingly, at least to Inner City Press, Cuba said that the Sweden
speaker had been asked to stay and hear Cuba's response, but chose
not to. Even at the UN this passes for bad form.
Cuba's foreign minister, bringing the noise in this GA, Sweden not shown
panned over to the Swedish set of seat, in which two young staffers
sat, looking outgunned. Neither of them chose to surreply. One
imagined the Swedish speaker out to dinner, having gravlax and
thinking big thoughts. But at the UN you have to engage. Score one
for Cuba, on these grounds alone. 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.