Facile on Burkina Faso, Ban's Djinnit Underplays a Coup or Mutiny
July 8 -- Months ago amid a soldiers'
munity in Burkina
Faso, Inner City Press asked
the spokesperson for UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon what the UN thought and was doing about it.
was no comment, then Inner City Press was told that
Djinnit of the UN Office for West Africa was “monitoring” the
filed in the run up to the Security Council's semi-annual meeting
Friday about UNOWA did not mention Burkina Faso, despite having
sections on Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Niger and the Cameroon -
Nigeria Mixed Commission. Why not?
supposed to be the guest at the UN's noon briefing on Friday, and had
finished his closed door briefing to the Council before noon. But he
did not appear for the briefing, nor back at the Council stakeout.
later in the
UN's North Lawn building, Inner City Press spotted Djinnit by the
Vienna Cafe, and asked him, “What about Burkino Faso? Why is it not
in your report?”
goes in the report, he said cryptically.
Ban takes Burkinabe award from Campaore, comment on
unrest not shown
Later still it
confirmed to Inner City Press that in Friday's closed door
consultations, several delegations asked about Burkina Faso and
Djinnit said he followed it closely and was in touch with President
Blaise Campaore and “key stakeholders.”
not put it in
the report, then? Burkina Faso is known to not want to be discussed
in the Council. The country and its diplomats are used by the UN, and
US and former colonial power France, on Darfur and Cote d'Ivoire.
Press is told that Djinnit routinely praises the long-serving Campoare.
openly discuss mutinies in the country is inconsistent with all this
-- and so it is not in the UN report, and is confined to closed door
consultations. And so it goes at the UN.
* * *
Unrest, UN & Djinnit Stay Silent, Under France's
4 -- Now that the fighting in
Burkina Faso has killed
civilians, the UN's long silence seems all the more strange, when
contrasted to its comments on unrest in other countries.
June 1, Inner
City Press asked the Office of the Spokesperson for Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon what the UN had to say about the ongoing mutiny in
Burkina Faso, which resulted in 24-year rules Blaise Campaore
dissolving the government and calling home UN Darfur mediator Djibril
Bassole as foreign minister.
From the UN's
just wonder if anyone at the UN is tracking these mutinies in Burkina
Faso where the army has been for several months rebelling against the
Government. There is just now a recent outbreak of shooting in the
main town, and I just wonder, does the Secretary-General have, you
know, I don’t know… is there… Burkina Faso is a big contributor
of peacekeepers, a big player in peace initiatives in Africa — has
there been any statement at any point by the UN about this ongoing
turmoil in Burkina Faso?
Spokesperson's office had no comment, merely saying that Ban's
Department of Political Affairs was watching and would be checked with.
City Press was told that Ban's envoy for West Africa Said Djinnit was
“of course monitoring,” but chose not to say anything.
forces have rumbled into the second city of Baso Dioulasso and at
least seven have been killed, including a young girl. Colonial
France is said to be watching. Some wonder, watching to make sure
the UN doesn't criticize? We'll see.
* * *
Minister Is UN Face in Arab World, UNDP Yemen Website
4 -- Amid news that Ali Abdullah Saleh is leaving Yemen,
under the immunity deal he has three times before rejected,
the United Nations' engagement with Saleh's thirty year rule has come
has repeatedly asked the UN Development Program about its director
for Arab states, Amat Al Alim Alsoswa, who previously served as a
Saleh minister and has since “been the UN's face” in the region,
according to UN sources critical of
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's
performance during the Arab Spring.
City Press asked UNDP:
Yemen, please state whether former Saleh minister Ms. Amat Al Alim
Alsoswa has recused herself from consideration of Yemen programs.
Please also state, on deadline, whether Ms. Amat Al Alim Alsoswa or
any family member... would be covered by the immunity deal negotiated
between Saleh and the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
spokesman responded that
staff are all international civil servants who act in accordance with
the United Nations’ standards and norms. Ms. Amat Al Alim Alsoswa
assumed her post as Assistant Secretary General and Director of the
Regional Bureau of Arab State in 2006 after leaving her official
functions with the Government of Yemen. Ms. Alsoswa is not part of
any political discussion or agreement taking place in or on Yemen.”
Yemen, I wanted to know if she is involved in UNDP's program for
Yemen, if she or her brother are covered by the immunity negotiated
by the GCC.”
that she had not recused herself:
Bureaux perform an oversight function over country programmes. They
review the programme and the evaluation plan, based on the quality
criteria, to provide in-house quality assurance of the programme. The
Director of the Bureau endorses the quality of the evaluation plan
prior to the submission to the Executive Board. Ms. Alsoswa and her
brothers are not part of any immunity deal.”
some say was developed with the input of the US Embassy in Sanaa,
doesn't specifically name all of the Saleh associates who would be
covered by it.
Former Saleh minister Alsoswa in Yemen 2010, recusal not shown
even as Saleh has started ordering the use of life
ammunition against protesters in Sanaa, UNDP's Helen Clark visited
the country accompanied by Amat Al Alim Alsoswa. In UNDP's
statements, democracy and the right to peaceful protest were absent.
joint visit of Helen Clark and former Saleh minister Amat Al Alim
Alsoswa on UNDP's Yemen web site.
visit to the site on June 4 found
that it had not been updated for a month, and said virtually nothing
about the killing of protesters.
website has been fun of happy talk -- until it disappeared
the Internet on June 3 as part of Assad's crackdown on the 'Net. But
why block access to the UN when it is aligned with the dictators? Watch