De Mistura “Not Giving Up” on Maxwell, Mazar
July 6 -- After UN Envoy to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura
finished briefing the Security Council on Wednesday, he glanced at
the media stakeout and, apparently deciding there was not enough
interest for him to speak, headed out of the building. Inner City
Press pursued him to the resolving door then swiped him and a
the other side
Inner City Press asked, what follow up has there been on the murder
of UN staff member Louis Maxwell, as well as on those of UN staff
Mazar e Sharif in April?
“thank you for asking. I am not giving up. We are still urging a
follow up, from the FBI... and on Mazar we are preparing our own
report and asking the Afghans to follow up... we are urging,
pushing... we didn't get the final response from the Afghans about
their own response.”
asked, “Does the impending pullout make it more likely --
likely,” Di Mistura cut in. “There are certain issues that we
De Mistura in the mist, Afghan action on Maxwell
& Mazar not shown
the murder of Louis Maxwell is that Afghan national forces did it.
Wednesday, Inner City Press asked UN Women chief Michelle Bachelet
what the UN has done on women's
rights in Afghanistan. Her answer
veered from leadership capacity to “supporting and funding safe
houses and shelters.” We'll see.
* * *
Afghan Human Rights, Strategic Speech in Pakistan
4 -- As the US prepares to pull back from Afghanistan,
moving at the UN to make it easier to take Taliban off the sanctions
list and encouraging Hamid Karzai to negotiate with them, what is the
place of women's rights and human rights more generally?
there is much telegenic hand-wringing on the topic -- for
example, last month Af-Pak czar Douglas Lute had himself filmed
providing assurances of US commitment to a delegation of professional
Afghan women some of whom worked for the UN -- the US embassy in
Kabul is surprisingly quiet.
just diplomacy, of a decidedly realist bend: don't highlight Western
of human rights in a country where the US wants to say that its
massive military spending has resulted in enough improvements to
leave. Some contrast this with the US
in Pakistan's June 26
LGBT event. Why not hold that in Kabul? Or Baghdad, for that
And why not actually offer US asylum to those facing imprisonment and
death due to discrimination?
Lutes in Congress, Af and Pak contrast not explained
international community, too, seems quite prepared to let bygones be
bygones in Afghanistan. After UN staff member Louis Maxwell was
executed, by Afghan national forces, the UN has never pushed the
Karzai government to conduct the investigation a UN panel called for.
staff were killed by protesters in Mazar-i-Sharif in
April, there has been very little follow-up by the UN. And where is
the new head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, on the topic of women's
rights in Afghanistan as the US and other powers pull out? We'll see.
* * *
updated -- The UN
has for a second time offered a free UN
flight in Sudan to Ahmed Haroun, under indictment by the
International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur, the UN
admitted Friday in response to questions from Inner City Press.
March 3 the UN
Security Council met about renewed fighting in the disputed Abyei
region. Back in January, Inner City Press got the UN to acknowledge
they had flown ICC indictee Haroun from South Kordofan, where he
serves fellow ICC indictee Omar al Bashir as governor, to Abyei.
UN has defended
this controversial flight by saying that Haroun and Haroun alone
could stop violence in Abyei. The UN never explained why the
government of Sudan, which has an air force currently bombing civilians
in Jebel Marra in Darfur, couldn't itself fly Haroun.
UN said it was
a scheduled flight, then UN Mission in Sudan chief Haile Menkerios
Inner City Press that it was a special flight. Inner City Press is
told such flights cost $40,000, and the UN has confirm no
reimbursement has been sought from the Bashir government.
violence has continued, making the UN flight of ICC indictee Haroun
harder to justify even by the UN's own argument.
Li Baodong of China if the UN Peacekeeping official who briefed
the Council, Atul Khare, had mentioned if Haroun would again be flown
in a UN helicopter. Li Baodong did not directly answer.
the March 4 UN
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's
spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm or deny that that the UN would
once again fly ICC indictee Haroun to Abyei, even now that his work in
connection with the first flight has proved ineffective.
all UN correspondents that yes, Haroun attended today's
meeting in Abyei, and yes, “he was transported” by the UN.
the ICC. Meanwhile Ban Ki-moon brags about the Security Council's partial
referral of the situation in Libya to the ICC -- a referral that Ban
Ki-moon did not even call for until after the Council voted to make
of 3:48 pm -- Human Rights Watch, via Richard Dicker, submitted
is the second time in recent weeks the UN has transported Ahmed
Haroun who is charged by the ICC with war crimes in Darfur. We have
real concerns because the U.N. should not be in the business of
transporting Haroun. There needs to be an extremely high threshold of
urgency for such action by UNMIS.”
with the latter two asked if they knew in advance of the UN's new
flight of ICC indictee Haroun. Given her
media, & after hours of non-response by the US Mission
to the UN,@AmbassadorRice
has been asked directly as well. Watch
spokesperson, I would only reiterate the message that my two
Ambassadors have both said on the record (and published by Inner City
Press) first time around: that we aren’t going to second guess how
UNMIS fulfills its mandate to provide good offices to the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) parties in efforts to resolve
differences through dialogue and negotiations. I’d only add that
this work is particularly important at this sensitive time, to
contain any potential escalation after the recent Abyei violence.”
again that violence has persisted despite the UN flying ICC indictee
Ahmed Haroun in the first time, and that it is the role of UN member
states to oversee the UN Secretariat, not to defer in this case to
what some see as its promotion of impunity - but at least the UK
would put its position on the record.
Subject: Haroun and Abyei
To: Matthew.Lee [at]
unaware of who is causing the violence in Abyei.
And yet "diplomatic sources" report seeing the burial of 33
bodies - all southerners.
similar ploy to invade Poland) - and today thousands
of civilians fled Abyei fearing another crisis like in June 2008. The
Dinka Ngok villages north of Abyei, such as Maker, have been
burnt to the ground. The end explains the means. There is a
creeping ethnic cleansing going on in the Abyei region despite the
agreements of 2005 and the Court of Arbitration ruling in 2010.
out, that of arming arab militias to burn villages. I hope to see
more of your questions pinning the UN to the responsibility to