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UN Said to Give Boko Haram Post to Onanga-Anyanga, Burundi Trip Controlled

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 9 -- When the UN gives out high positions it announces them -- usually.

  Sometimes Inner City Press is contacted by whistleblowing UN staff or diplomats who say they cannot believe that the UN gave a job without disclosing it. So it was with Augustine Mahiga being quietly named an adviser to the UN Department of Political Affairs, here. Now this:

   Parfait Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon, out of a UN job since December when the UN's Mission in Burundi shut down -- and a nice guy, by the way -- has been made the UN's coordinator on Boko Haram, sources exclusively tell Inner City Press, with the UN having made no public announcement.

   Inner City Press learned this two weeks ago, and waited at each day's noon briefing for the announcement to be made. On March 9, the announcement was of a new head of OCHA, Stephen O'Brien of the UK, analyzed here. With the Security Council now on its way to the Central African Republic, Addis Ababa and then Burundi, Inner City Press runs this story.

   As noted, the Security Council's French-drafted “Terms of Reference” for the trip to Burundi -- which Inner City Press put online here -- didn't even mention the extrajudicial killings in Cibitoke.

  For all previous Security Council trips, UN resident correspondent were told if they were interested in covering the trip to contact the UN Spokesperson's Office (although as reported, the French mission then exercised a veto on which journalists could go).

  This time it was said journalists had to directly contact the French Mission to the UN, and only that mission. There seemed to be no point. Now after that, it is said that Angola is a co-sponsor, with the US tri-sponsoring the Burundi leg. Inner City Press was asked, “Have you seen the US embassy in Bjumbura?” We'll have more on all this.


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