Blame Game, UN's Jenca Claims Progress, Water War Looms
13 -- After attacks on ethnic Uzbek communities in
Kyrgyzstan last year, what has the UN done? This month's Security
Council president Ivan Barbalic of Bosnia painted a positive picture
in a press statement he read out on January 13.
asked him if UN envoy Miroslav Jenca, in his closed door briefing,
had mentioned continued charges of torture in Kyrgyzstan. Video here,
Jenca portrayed “a lot of progress achieved in Kyrgyzstan” but
that it would be better to ask Jenca himself. That has not
always been easy. As other Council
members came out, Jenca walked by. Inner City Press asked, “Are
you going to speak at the stake out?”
“No, I am going
to UN Radio,” Jenca said. Inner City Press repeated Barbalic's
statement, and asked about Kyrgyz torture.
“We are looking
closely,” Jenca said, “attracting attention to the problems in
the south.” Some would that a UN envoy who is seeking to attract
attention to human rights problems would probably speak on camera at
the stakeout. Kyrgyzstan is run by a former UN staff member, Rosa
official inquiry into the clashes that pushed Uzbeks out of
Kyrgyzstan blamed the incidents on the Uzbeks themselves. Inner City
Press asked Jenca whether the UN took part in what's called the
international inquiry headed by Finnish MP Kimmo Kiljunen.
Spokesperson's Office never answered Inner City Press repeated
questions about what role, if any, the UN would play, just as it did
not answer Inner City Press' questions of January 13 and before about
Ban Ki-moon's Panel on Sri Lanka, whether it will in fact travel to
that country and make any public report.
close contact,” Jenca said, “we provide technical assistance.”
He said the work “on the ground” will be finished by the end of
January, and a report out in February or March. We'll be waiting.
UN's Ban and Jenca, follow
through on pogrom and
water wars not shown
also asked about the water wars between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, an
issue on which it is not clear if the UN Regional Office is doing
anything. Jenca responded by referring, as before, to an different
water issue, an organization to Save the Aral Sea.
with the Tajiks and Uzbeks, you know how it is,” Jenca said. “We
need to keep impartiality.” He mentioned the dam at issue, and an
World Bank risk assessment. “Both sides are looking at us,”
Jenca said. “We cannot just be there and do nothing.” We'll see.
* * *
Swept Under UN Carpet of Jenca's Boilerplate, Franco-American
& P-5 Indifference
updated -- The UN's and its Security Council's temporary
interest in the ethnic cleansing of Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan
appears to have dissipated. The UN's Central Asia envoy Miroslav
Jenca, only behind closed doors, is briefing the Council this
Press Statement, little different than the one
issued like clockwork every six months, has been circulated, as if
nothing happened in Osh and Jalalabad. Never again?
pushing back, trying to get more substance into the Press
Statement. One which held the Council Presidency during some of the
violence is particularly interested. But not only this month's
Russian presidency, but also the U.S., which has appeared publicly to
call for accountability, seem to prefer not using the UN on this
issue, leaving the Council's statement vague and “decaffeinated,”
as one non Permanent member put it.
to include France,
whose minister called the pogrom a crime against humanity. A French
diplomat leaving the Council at 10:45 am predicted the Press Statement
will be adopted "as is." What about follow through on the crime against
already a statement about that, back when it happened, he answered. But
what about follow through? And what
about such non P-5 speakers on human rights as Austria? Even with the
Permanent Representative away, the positions should not change.
questions is what role the UN will play in investigations into the
causes of the pogrom. Inner City Press has been asking about this for
From the UN
noon briefing transcript of July 26:
the OSCE [Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe] Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative,
Kimo Kiljunen, he said there’s going to be an investigation
conducted by his organ… by a commission, international commission,
of the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan. And he also said that the
United Nations would be involved in the commission. So, I wanted to
know, is that the case? What will be the United Nations role in an
international investigation of the causes of violence in southern
find out. Just a general point, the OSCE
Parliamentary Assembly is not the same thing as the OSCE itself, as
I’m sure you understand. So we would need to see precisely what
the composition, the intended composition, would be. But the other
more general point is that we’ve said already that there should
be an independent investigation into the events that took place in
Osh and Jalalabad and in the south of Kyrgyzstan. So let me get
back to you on that, okay?
City Press asked
you would find out, and I wanted to ask
whether you have. One is, what is the UN’s role in any possible
investigation into the causes of violence in southern Kyrgyzstan?
mentioned to you, that is a work in progress
amongst different international organizations. It is being actively
looked at, and I know that my colleagues in the Department of
Political Affairs are keeping a close eye and talking to their
colleagues, as is Mr. Jenca, the Special Representative for Central
Asia, Miroslav Jenca. No firm words yet. But, as I’ve said to you
before, this is an area where we have been very closely watching. And
not just watching, but involved in bringing people together,
monitoring and reporting what’s been happening...
On August 3, Inner City Press asked incoming Council
president Vitaly Churkin if the August 5 consultations would include a
discussion of UN involvement in an investigation, and if Russia
believes that Council blessing would be required for the UN Secretariat
to do that, as Russia as argued in the case of Sri Lanka war crimes.
Let's see, Churkin answered. Yes, let's see. Watch this site.
Update of 11:09 am -- the US, it seems, is happy with
the boilerplate, saying it will "support Jenca" who has "worked hard."
Even the main proponent of caffeinating the Press Statement with more
substance about human rights and accountability for the Kyrgyz pogrom
appears to have given up. They raised it, the P-5 shrugged, they left.
If it was an egg attack on P-5 peacekeepers, though, the Council would
act. And so it goes.