of Uganda Bombing, UNSC Statement Does Not Assign Blame, Even After Al
Shabab Takes Credit
July 12, 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?
said moves 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.
speakers 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?
3:20 p.m. -- 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,
the spokesman for Al Shabab has taken credit for the bombings, saying
they were months in the planning. Inner City 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.”
City Press 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
on 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.
the Council on Monday morning, there was a minute of silence
for the dead of Srebrenica. What there thought of the UN's role?
* * *
of Eggs and Tobacco, Dodges of Fadlallah Trap of UK
and CNN, France Denies Camera Issues
9, updated -- When eggs are thrown at peacekeepers in South
Lebanon, the Security Council in New York is summoned into action. At
the request of France, whose peacekeepers also got stoned, the
Council convened on Friday afternoon to consider a draft press
statement. The “H word,” a diplomat told Inner City Press, would
not be in the statement.
Hezbollah, just as these days F is for Fadlallah. Already, CNN editor
Octavia Nasr, a Maronite Christian, has been fired for Tweeting her
condolences for the death of Mister F. The UK Ambassador to Lebanon
Frances Guy had her Fadlallah blog blocked and removed from the web.
raised at the UN's noon briefing, is whether the UN will be sending
anyone to pay their respects. Some wondered if the UN shouldn't have a
designated lightening rod,
or Liaison to Controversial Figures (LCF). Michael Williams released a
the Council met
behind closed down on France's draft press statement, in the press
pen a pro-Hezbollah television journalist -- we've called him
Hezbollah TV -- spoke heatedly about the French UNIFIL peacekeepers
destroying fields of tobacco with their tanks, destroying a
motorcycle and reportedly pulling its rider into their tank. This, he
said, triggered the stoning and throwing of eggs.
UN's Ban at UNIFIL, French, eggs and Fadlallah-gate not shown
no friend of Hezbollah, nevertheless called Fadlallah a
huge and “respectful” figure. Did he mean “respected”? Both.
Inside the Council the consultations continued.
were to receive a briefing from DPKO's head of
Peacekeeping for Asia and the Middle East, Mr. WWW Wolfgang
Weisbrod-Weber. Watch this site.
Footnote: after the
Press Statement was read out by Nigeria's Joy Ogwu, Inner City Press
asked if for example the peacekeepers' taking photographs had been
raised. No, she said.
Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud, who denied connection to
the "incidents" of June 29, July 3 and July 4. The pro-Hezbollah TV
journalist asked about tobacco and "atrocities," leading the French
spokesman to urge the UN TV microphone man to swing his boom in another
direction. "Have a good weekend," another journalist said. Indeed.
* * *
Dark Press Area
-- North Korea's Ambassador Sin Son Ho came late to
the UN press area, 20 minutes after Susan Rice of the U.S. and her
Japanese and South Korean counterparts had spoken and left.
Inner City Press, asking where the other reporters were. They
had left, but following tweets from @InnerCityPress and
returned. But there was no UNTV crew, and therefore no sound.
Son Ho sat in
the penned in press area, sweating. Inner City Press offered him a
fan, one handed out in June at a largely Japanese march from Times
Square to the UN. “NO! Nuclear Weapons” were the words on fan.
Sin Son Ho declined.
him if he has seen the photo exhibit in the UN's entrance about
the De-Militarized Zone. He nodded. “My country very beautiful,”
he said. “Very beautiful.”
did he come
so late to the stakeout, after Ambassadors Rice, Takasu and Park had
already spoken. He didn't want to mixed with them, was the answer.
arrive. Some wondered how the UN Secretariat could be
treating North Korea and its Ambassador this way. The emphasis,
however, was on getting him to speak and take questions before he
left. Inner City Press plugged the lights in. The microphone stand
arrived, and Sin Son Ho began. He denounced the Security
Council, which he said “failed to bring the correct judgment or
conclusion to this case.” He said the Peninsula was now at a
“trigger point” and could “explode at any moment.”
Sin Son Ho, at earlier press conference, "NO Nukes"
fan not shown
question was in Korean, but Sin Son Ho answered in English. This was,
he said, a great diplomatic victory. Inner City Press began asking
about his statement, in an earlier press conference, that he would
lose his job if the Council took action.
shouted, “Will North Korea take military action?” Sin Son Ho
replied, “Thank you for coming,” and walked away from the
A swarm of TV
camera people, mostly from Japanese media,
ran after him and up the stairs. A long time UN Security officer
tried to stop the camera people, who surrounded Sin Son Ho as he
passed through the turnstile. And then he was gone.
* * *
But Not Attacker Condemned, Faster Action on
At the UN Security Council, it's hurry up and
wait. The sinking of the Cheonan ship was suddenly put on the agenda
for consultations Thursday afternoon at 4:30. Some media reported
that a statement condemning the sinking, and presumably North Korea,
would be issued that same afternoon.
told the Press that the meeting was only for the purpose of finally
distributing the draft Presidential Statement to the other members of
the Council, beyond the P-5 Plus Two. At least for appearance's sake,
the pretense of non P-5 agreement must be kept up. Therefore no
statement will issue until Friday.
And when it does, it
will not squarely blame North Korea-see below
Council condemns the attack
which led to the sinking"
a “quick and dirty” press statement in support of France's
peacekeepers, heroically fighting rock throwers in South
Lebanon. France has drafted what it wants, and thinks it will get
Cheonan, responsibility not shown
barricaded into their offices in Sri Lanka by a mob led by
a government minister, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was
burned in effigy, belatedly blamed it on the government, the Security
Council has not, and in all probability will not, take up the issue.
Until a ship gets sunk. And yet then.... Watch this site.
Update of 5:01 p.m.
-- the draft, as obtained by the Press, does not squarely blame North
Korea. Nevertheless, US Ambassador Susan Rice said it speaks for
itself. No, one wag mused, it speaks the Council's new (post) flotilla
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
permission, e-contact Editorial [at]