Sierra Leone Rep Charged With Hitting Staffer, Council Colossus Gives
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 17 -- UN representation in Africa is riddled with
abuse of power. Beyond the misconduct
of Alan Doss in the Congo,
confirmed this week by the Office of Internal Oversight Services,
Inner City Press has learned that Michael Schulenburg, the
Secretary-General's Executive Representative in Sierra Leone, has
been formally accused of physically abusing a staff member.
from various parts of the UN system have brought this to Inner City
Press' attention, as another example of the UN's abuse of Africa. But
what will be done?
April 16, the
Security Council canceled its already devalued trip to the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. It had been shortened from a week to four
days, with the Rwanda and Uganda legs cut off.
Then, with the
in Iceland as excuse, it was canceled in full. Later that day a
Moroccan diplomat laughed that he was already to get a flight to
Central Africa via Casablanca "like that," he said,
snapping his fingers.
be fair, at
least one Security Council member is nevertheless making his way to
Africa. Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, the chairman of the Somalia
Sanctions committee, has embarked on a two week, six country tour to
"raise consciousness" about the sanctions on Somalia.
visa to Asmara, Eritrea was not easy to obtain. Accompanying him are
experts from the U.S., UK and elsewhere. Whether the vaunted
"humanitarian window" to allow the resumption of food aid
to southern Somalia can be opened remains to be seen.
UN's Ban and Schulenburg,
physical abuse of UN staff not shown
responsible for the freeze on funding to the World Food Program in
Somalia, the United States, is said by a number of diplomats to have
been most responsible for the shortening and devaluing of the
Council's Africa trip, in order to focus and to be seen to focus on
nuclear sanctions on Iran.
coverage of these priorities, and of Ambassador Susan Rice's decision
to skip even the shortened Africa trip, press staff of the US Mission
emerged onto 45th Street on April 14, where the press corps staked
out a meeting about Iran, and fed reporters cookies.
mind you, but pastries. "This never happened under the
Republicans," one reporter quipped. The remark could be taken
any number of ways.
* * *
UN's Doss Hit by OIOS, Council Tries to Save MONUC, Rice Defended,
NGOs on Tap
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 14 -- The day after the UN's top envoy to the Congo
Alan Doss dodged the Press by canceling a scheduled question and
answer session, it emerged that Doss is named as a wrongdoer in the
long delayed Office of Internal Oversight Services probe of his
e-mail urging the UN Development Program to show him "lee-way"
and give his daughter a job.
first published Doss' nepotism e-mail, and reported on the macing and
arrest of the UNDP staffer whose job was given to Rebecca Doss,
Nicola Baroncini. Mr. Baroncini remains waiting for his day in court.
Inner City Press asked chief UN spokesman Martin Nesirky how it could
take nine months to investigate Doss' six line e-mail, and Nesirky
did not explain. Now Nesirky's associate Farhan Haq has said to
Turtle Bay that "There is a draft investigative detail, provided
only to Mr. Doss for his comment before a report is finalized. Once
finalized, the report will be sent to the secretary-general."
has in the past asked both Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his top
Peacekeeper, Alain Leroy, about l'affaire Doss. Now with the Security
Council headed Friday to Kinsasha to try to save the peacekeeping
mission Doss has overseen, the negative finding against Doss hurts
not only him but the UN.
UN's Doss pensive at last stakeout, which he now skips: it's over
this trip, the
French mission has said that eight of the Council's 15 members are
sending their top representatives, five are sending "Deputy
Permanent Representatives" and two, only advisors. While the
U.S. seems to qualify for this last designation, since DPR Alejandro
Wolff is not going, it emerged on Wednesday that France was
considering the U.S. Brooke Anderson as a DPR, despite her current
"number four" (at best) status in the U.S. Mission.
and Chinese were targeted by France as only sending advisors, from
these quarters came a cry of double standards, that the U.S. would be
let off the hook. China has no sitting DPR at present, unlike the US.
And Mexican Perm Rep Heller is in fact going to more countries in
Africa at the same time, for the Somalia Sanctions Committee.
Austria has pushed to have Congolese NGOs flown from Goma to Kinshasa
to brief the Council. A US Mission representative, reflexively
defensive of Susan Rice's non attendance on family issues grounds,
nevertheless trashed the Council for not traveling to Goma. But
others asked, if you send your Number Four, who are you to criticize?
Watch this site.