Gabon Obame Seeks UN Support, Echoes of Cote d'Ivoire & UNDP
January 27 -- In Gabon opposition leader Andre Mba Obame
declared himself his country's real leader -- taking a page from
Alassane Ouattara in Cote d'Ivoire -- and sought both UN recognition
the latter, his
precedent may have been the UN mission in Guinea Bissau, where an
indicted drug kingpin enjoy UN protection for months a year ago.
Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the UN why it protected a drug
kingpin and was told, in essence, it was hard to get him to leave.
Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office what was
happening in Gabon, and some hours later received the following back
Spokesperson [at] un.org
Date: Wed, Jan 26, 2011
Re: Press questions: Gabon, withholding, 99% public financial
disclosure, Somalia, Cote d'Ivoire, CAR elections (5th time)
we have the following: Mr. Andre Mba Obame, Leader of the
“Union Nationale”, is in the UN compound, along with party
leaders. Obame handed a letter to the Resident Coordinator
requesting UN protection, stating that they fear for their lives if
they step outside of the UN office. The Resident Coordinator is
consulting with authorities on the ground and with UN Headquarters.
Ali Bongo has dissolved Obame's party and blocked his TV station.
Street calls for democracy: UN double standards not shown
difference in how this will play out, a cynic opined, is that Gabon
happens to be on the UN Security Council and could make its voice
heard. Watch this site.
and his band of 20 sought refuge in the UNDP building in
Libreville. In terms of UNDP's position on democracy, while
protesters in Yemen are now calling for Tunisia
style changes, Helen
Clark was just in Yemen for days, praising the government. Maybe the
Yemeni government used her and the UN?
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Tunisia, Pillay Considers Visit But Ban Does Not, Double Standard
-- While in Tunisia Ben Ali's foreign minister
Kamel Morjane, who served for years as deputy to the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees, still remains in his post, in New York on
Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman
Martin Nesirky if there is any discussion of sending a UN team to
“Not to my
knowledge,” Mr. Nesirky said. Video here,
Press that the UN Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights contacted Ban Ki-moon's office to say that it is
considering sending a mission to Tunisia and wanted to know if Ban's
Secretariat is also making such plans, in order to coordinate.
sources within it subsequently answered no, no plans for
a mission to Tunisia.
sources describe a background memo to Ban about Tunisia, urging that he
support efforts to override a two month Constitutional period to form a
new government, granting six months so that "Communists and Islamists"
don't have an advantage over "moderate forces."
briefing Nesirky was asked why Ban has been so weak in his response
to Tunisia. While Nesirky contested this, some compare the response
to that in Cote d'Ivoire, where Ban urged the UN General Assembly's
credentials committee to remove recognition for Laurent Gbagbo's UN
President of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss if any similar
move is afoot in the GA's credentials committee regarding Tunisia.
“Not so far,” Deiss answered, explaining that the Ambassador
appointed under Ben Ali had yet to be contested. Video here,
UN's Ban & Mohamed Ghannouchi, still Prime
Minister of Tunisia
Press questioned Tunisia's Ambassador in press conference at the
UN after he bragged about human solidarity and banking in his
country. Inner City Press asked about the youth conference Tunisia
had said that it would hold. The Ambassador blamed other states for
not coming through on financial pledges.
New York over
the weekend, while there was rally in Union Square, Tunisia's elegant
Mission just north of the UN was not targeted. Watch this site.
* * *