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After Attack on FPI Supporters, UN's Koenders Speaks of Investigation

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 26 -- After the UN's new envoy to Cote d'Ivoire Bert Koenders briefed the Security Council on Thursday, Inner City Press asked that he come to the UN Television stakeout to answer several questions. The response to this was negative, so Inner City Press asked that he at least answer a few questions outside the Council, in an area that could be filmed.

Ultimately Koenders only stood directly in front of the Council; Inner City Press asked him about his Mission's actions when a rally of supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) was attacked with rocks. Video here.

Koenders called on "those responsible, whatever side," to go before a judge. Most accounts of the incident make clear that rocks were thrown at an FPI rally.

Inner City Press asked if ONUCI has any oversight or critiquing role, something the UN of late seems to have abandoned. Koenders said he is just carrying out his mandate. Indeed.

Koenders said he'd asked for an investigation, [followed] "by France and the US." Inner City Press said that given action in the Security Council such an investigation might not give the appearance to all of objectivity.

Koenders then insisted he and the UN are calling for an "independent" investigation. But despite questioning, he refused to say by whom. Could an investigation of alleged government impropriety, by the government, be considered independent? We'll see.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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