Coup and Famine in Niger, Voting Fraud in Guinea and
Bissau Narco State, 4 Reporters Not Enough
updated Oct 21 & Nov
1, 2010 --
military government and famine in Niger, an
emerging narco state in Guinea Bissau and ever allegations of ballot
box stuffing in Guinea, the UN's envoy to West Africa Said Djinnit
told the Press on Tuesday that all is going well. In a belated stake
out with four reporters, Djinnit sung the praises of his office,
which is based in Senegal.
about the allegation of elections fraud in Guinea, which have
forced the postponement of the second round of voting from July 18 to
August 1. Djinnit replied that “we were not surprised” by the
the control of
Niger by coup leaders, he said said this would end in March 2011, and
praised the coup leaders for being more willing to work with the
international community about the famine than the previous president
questions on Guinea Bissau, saying that the UN's
direct envoy to that country would be speaking on the topic soon.
he came to the stakeout. When he emerged from the
Security Council at noon, he stood by the microphone, as if prepared
to speak. But seeing only Inner City Press present -- as had been the
previous afternoon for the Security Council Press Statement
on the bombings in Uganda which the President had read out --
walked away from the microphone. “Come back at 12:30,” Inner
City Press was told.
other reporters appeared: one to ask about Guinea Bissau, the other a
well known Nigerian correspondent who, along with Inner City Press,
told Djinnit's seeming
spokeswoman that he might was well take questions,
since and and three reporters were present. The spokeswoman told the
UN TV cameraman, if more reporters don't come, he won't speak.
City Press said, if Djinnit is still cashing the UN system's checks.
Djinnit with rose colored glasses, # of reporters not seen
correspondent was more forceful. Our editors want
stories, he told Djinnit, expressing outrage that he wouldn't speak.
Djinnit remarked archly, you must be from a trade union background,
and went to the microphone, where all three reporters asked
approached the reporters, hissing criticism of the
Nigerian reporter's “tone of voice.” What's her name, the
reporter asked Inner City Press. While the UN Office on West Africa's
web site last updated its “News” in 2007, has not press releases
from 2010, and no contact name on its last 2009 press release, according to actual
spokespeople, it was a particular individual with the UN Department of
Political Affairs. This was denied on October 21, 2010, on the
margins of a press conference at which Mr. Djinnit provided a less than
satisfactory update on actions against the Guinea mass rapists of
September 2009. Now no one at the UN wants to say who it was: so much
last interaction with Djinnit involved asking him
to confirm that he had applied for a UN envoy job in Sudan. He smiled
but would not answer. Apparently he didn't like the question, or
subsequent article. It just gets worse and worse.
* * *
Bombing, UNSC Statement Does Not Assign Blame, Even After Al
Shabab Takes Credit
updated -- A day after the Kampala double bombing which
killed more than 60 people, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had yet
to issue any kind of statement. In front of the Security Council on
Monday morning, one non-permanent member's spokesperson wondered
under what agenda item the Council might issue a statement: Somalia?
were afoot for the issuance of a press
statement, later in the day. Would it say who is responsible? After
the bombing of trains in Madrid, the Council issued a statement
blaming it on ETA. When Al Qaeda later took responsibility, the
Council's statement was never retracted.
including Uganda authorities are pointing the finger at
Islamist Somali insurgents. They had vowed retaliation for the
Ugandan and Burundian AMISOM peacekeepers' shelling of a market in
Mogadishu. Others pointed out the targeting of "Ethiopian Village,"
given antagonism between irridentist Somalia and Ethiopia. Motive is
certainly there-- and, the media pointed out,
As the draft
text of the press statement was distributed to members, a Council
diplomat told Inner City Press it did not assign blame, only the
Council's "standard terrorist attack language." Might that change?
-- Nigeria's Ambassador, the Council's president for
July, read out a four paragraph statement. As Inner City Press
predicted this morning, it did not assign blame. But in the interim,
Shabab has taken credit for the bombings, saying
they were months in the planning.
Press asked Nigeria's
Ambassador on camera why blame was not ascribed, and if this might
not discourage countries from sending peacekeepers to Somalia. She
declined the first, and to the second question said “there is a
peace to keep in Somalia.” Video here.
was told that Al Shabab's confession came after the
statement was circulated and concurrence obtained. They didn't want
to delay it. But wouldn't it have been stronger if more specific? An
Ethiopian diplomat spoke about Eritrea. If ten Taliban are coming off
the 1267 Al Qaeda sanctions list, does that mean there's room for
Al-Shabab? Watch this site.
In Kampala, the Ethiopian Village - UN statements not yet shown
Somalia, Tanzania's former Ambassador Mahiga, spoke to Inner City
Press at the UN in New York last week, including about the
peacekeepers' use of “long range artillery” and the civilian
casualties caused. Will Mahiga take this so-called “collateral
damage” more seriously than Ould Abdallah did? Watch this site.
on Monday morning, there was a minute of silence
for the dead of Srebrenica. What there thought of the UN's role?