Chad's Landing Fees Ground Peacekeepers, Darfur 59%
Deployment Amid Double Standards
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 19 -- As in Chad a European
Union peacekeeping mission is slated to be passed off to the UN, the
of Idriss Deby is charging high landing fees for the planes and
the mission, effectively grounding them. This was disclosed by the
representative of Austria at a meeting of Troop Contributing Countries
UN in New York on Friday. The UN's response was that Under Secretary
for Field Support Malcorra has contacted the mission about the fees, in
of the UN's Office of Legal Affairs ruling on their permissibility.
Some ask, why hasn't the
Chad's imposition of these fees been as loud as complaints against
Sudan? At the meeting the representative
Chad's main backer, said nothing about the fees, but rather asked
Russia's commitment of helicopters. In response the UN said that
offered two Med-evac helicopters, and Poland has offered three. Some ask, why weren't these offered to the UN
Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur, Sudan (UNAMID)?
generally, as outgoing South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo put it
on December 18, the problems will only be solved if pressure is brought
to bear on both parties, not only Sudan but also Chad. Friday's quiet
complaint seem like part of the problem.
wanted to know if it could contribute police as well as troops, but was
that "MINURCAT is a Francophone mission," since the police will be
training Chadians one-on-one. Nepal
recently announced that 175 soldiers and officers up to the rank of
will be precluded from serving as UN peacekeepers due to their
the UN's High Commissioner for Human Right Navy
Pillay was last in New York,
and Inner City Press asked her about abuse
by peacekeepers, she said her Office had blocked
service by generals
UN's Ban and Chad's Deby, groundings caused
by landing fees not shown
When Inner City
her staff in New York for more information, the response was that an
would be sought from her. None being
provided, Inner City Press on December 18
asked the Office of Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson, who said to ask the
of Peacekeeping Operations. But it's High Commission of Human Rights
Pillay's claim that is being asked about.
Malcorra earlier on Friday told the Security Council that perhaps 59%
will be deployed by the end of 2008. As she came out of the Council
by Peacekeeping chief Alain Leroy, Inner City Press asked about the
(Sudan's Ambassador had told Inner City Press the UN's goals were
Ms. Malcorra insisted that more the 60% of the soldiers will be
less than 60% of the police. But we're
getting there, she said. How Chad will
respond about the landing fees remains to be seen. Watch this site.
Footnote: there is talk of the
U.S. preparing a detailed draft Security Council resolution for a UN
peacekeeping force for Somalia, which might be considered in the days
before Christmas or after. A Council source tells Inner City Press
that, as in this week's Contact Group meeting, the rift is between the
US and UK -- and reality.
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
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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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
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