Guinea Peul Targeted, UN “Does Not Wish to Comment,” Rwanda Echoes?
By Matthew Russell Lee
October 31 -- As in Guinea the Peul people are targeting and
fleeing, the UN's Dakar-based envoy to Guinea Said Djinnit
City Press he would “prefer not to comment at this time.” To
some, it was a small echo of Rwanda, the UN waiting for the right
time, invariably too late.
the UN's October
29 noon briefing in New York, Inner City Press asked Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about the mounting
violence in Guinea:
Press: maybe you’ll have a statement on this, on the fleeing
of the Peul ethnic group in Guinea in the run-up to the elections. Have
you seen… I know that Mr. [Said] Djinnit has made statement
that he was glad of the rescheduling, but there is now this report of
1,800 of the Peul ethnic group basically forced to flee violence in
the run-up to the election. I’m wondering, is that something…?
Does Mr. Djinnit or the UN have any comment on this? Does it impact
on the elections?
There may be something more specific in a little while. I
will ask my colleagues. But you rather selectively quoted from what
Mr. Djinnit said. As you know, he also called for there to be the
right conditions for elections to take place, and not simply that it
was good that they were going to take place.
was what had
earlier been said.
Tears in Guinea, UN "does not wish to comment"
to some, later Nesirky's UN office
sent the following to Inner City Press in response:
question on the Peul in Guinea
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not
To: Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com
received the following from UNOWA:
is informed that the UN team will conduct a joint assessment
mission next week and does not wish to comment for now. He reiterates
his call to the two candidates and other Guinean leaders concerned to
do everything to defuse tension and create conditions conducive for
“Does not wish
to comment for now”? When, then? Watch this site.
* * *
Oversees Coup and Famine in Niger, Voting Fraud in Guinea and
Bissau Narco State, 4 Reporters Not Enough
13, updated Oct 21 & Nov 1, 2010
military government and famine in Niger, an
emerging narco state in Guinea Bissau and ever allegations of ballot
box stuffing in Guinea, the UN's envoy to West Africa Said Djinnit
told the Press on Tuesday that all is going well. In a belated stake
out with four reporters, Djinnit sung the praises of his office,
which is based in Senegal.
asked about the allegation of elections fraud in Guinea, which have
forced the postponement of the second round of voting from July 18 to
August 1. Djinnit replied that “we were not surprised” by the
the control of
Niger by coup leaders, he said said this would end in March 2011, and
praised the coup leaders for being more willing to work with the
international community about the famine than the previous president
questions on Guinea Bissau, saying that the UN's
direct envoy to that country would be speaking on the topic soon.
before he came to the stakeout. When he emerged from the
Security Council at noon, he stood by the microphone, as if prepared
to speak. But seeing only Inner City Press present -- as had been the
previous afternoon for the Security Council Press Statement
on the bombings in Uganda which the President had read out --
walked away from the microphone. “Come back at 12:30,” Inner
City Press was told.
other reporters appeared: one to ask about Guinea Bissau, the other a
well known Nigerian correspondent who, along with Inner City Press,
told Djinnit's seeming
spokeswoman that he might was well take questions,
since and and three reporters were present. The spokeswoman told the
UN TV cameraman, if more reporters don't come, he won't speak.
City Press said, if Djinnit is still cashing the UN system's checks.
Djinnit with rose colored glasses, # of reporters not seen
correspondent was more forceful. Our editors want
stories, he told Djinnit, expressing outrage that he wouldn't speak.
Djinnit remarked archly, you must be from a trade union background,
and went to the microphone, where all three reporters asked
spokeswoman approached the reporters, hissing criticism of the
Nigerian reporter's “tone of voice.” What's her name, the
reporter asked Inner City Press. While the UN Office on West Africa's
web site last updated its “News” in 2007, has not press releases
from 2010, and no contact name on its last 2009 press release, according to actual
spokespeople, it was a particular individual with the UN Department of
Political Affairs. This was denied on October 21, 2010, on the
margins of a press conference at which Mr. Djinnit provided a less than
satisfactory update on actions against the Guinea mass rapists of
September 2009. Now no one at the UN wants to say who it was: so much
Press' last interaction with Djinnit involved asking him
to confirm that he had applied for a UN envoy job in Sudan. He smiled
but would not answer. Apparently he didn't like the question, or
subsequent article. It just gets worse and worse.