Troops Use Blue Helmets, UN Belatedly Protests, But Only in
August 11 -- As India bragged that its soldiers use blue UN
helmets and shields “all over the country” and not only in
Kashmir, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky about
this misuse of UN equipment, and whether it will be returned. Video
from Minute 19:25.
a prepared response, saying that UNMOGIP immediately contacted those
using the UN helmets in Kashmir,
and now understands that directions
have been issued so that they not be used there anymore.
asked, But what about elsewhere in India?
same comment again. It is unclear if it applies to all of India, or
UN blue helmets in Congo -- use in Kashmir and
elsewhere in Indian not shown
From the UN's
August 11 transcript:
Press: There are quotes both by the Indian military and then by
an unnamed UN military observer group about the use, by Indian
troops, of UN blue helmets and shields while they’re essentially
performing Indian military functions and quelling protesters, leading
some to ask whether the UN is, in fact, firing into, doing charges
against crowds. So I wanted to know, the person who is quoted from
the UN said he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media, so I’m
asking you, can the UN confirm that there’s a concern by that
mission of the use of UN equipment, visible equipment, by the Indian
I am authorized to speak. Following the use of UN-marked blue
helmets by Indian Rapid Action Force personnel in Srinagar, the UN
Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) immediately
brought the issue to the attention of the Indian Army authorities. We
understand that directions have since been issued by the Indian
authorities to prevent its recurrence. UN-marked items can only be
used by personnel serving in United Nations operations during their
service under the blue flag and can not be used for other purposes,
including by national armies in the conduct of their operations.
Press: So that’s… because there’s also, I’m sure you’ve
seen the quote by the Spokesman for the paramilitary force, Mr.
Tripathi, saying these are used elsewhere in India, by Indian troops.
Is this a comprehensive…?
UN-marked items can only be used by personnel serving in United
Nations operations; that’s what I just said, Matthew, during their
service under the blue flag and cannot be used for other purposes,
including by national armies in the conduct of their operations.
Press: Do they now return them to the UN?
We understand that directions have since been issued by the Indian
authorities to prevent its recurrence.
other troop contributing countries take and later use and misuse the
UN blue helmets? What about the removal of peacekeepers' weapons from
the countries at war where they are stationed? We'll have more on
this - watch this site.
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Email was Drafted by DPA from its "Morning Prayers," Watered Down by
Nambiar, Blamed on Haq
August 5 -- When the UN made a statement on Kashmir, then
stepped away from it and blamed it on an Associate Spokesman, there
was more than met the eye. Inner City Press has inquired and finds
the following: the initial response on the violence in Kashmir
was produced by the UN Department of Political Affairs, in what is
called it “morning prayers” meeting, chaired by DPA chief Lynn
the statement was released, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief
of staff Vijay Nambiar, a former Indian diplomat and intelligence
operative, edited the statement, “watering it down” as one senior
UN official puts it.
Spokesman Farhan Haq emailed the statement to four journalists and
was published, the Indian Mission to the UN protested. They came to
meet with the UN, Mr. Nambiar, for more than two hours. Apparently,
Nambiar did not fully disclose his initial role in editing the
Martin Nesirky stepped away from the statement, emphasizing
that Ban Ki-moon never said it, and it was mere “guidance from the
Secretariat,” and claiming that it had been misinterpreted. How?
UN's Nambiar and Pascoe, Kashmir statement and morning prayers not shown
August 4, Inner
City Press asked Nesirky to think it through: if he could walk away
from this statement attributable to the Office of the Spokesman for
the Secretary General, how can any of his future statements be taken
seriously? I have said all I am going to say, Nesirky replied.
that DPA's "morning prayers" quote Pascoe, for example that "Hillary
Clinton is going to Colombia, what does she think she can
accomplish?" While some attendees conclude from this that Pascoe
is aligned with US Republicans who appointed him, others say it
establishes his "street cred" as an internaional civil servants. But is
this what HRC and Obama want? Watch this site.
3 noon briefing transcript:
Press: a controversy has arisen around a statement that Farhan
Haq had put out, talking about Indian-occupied Kashmir and calling
for restraint. And, basically, it says that the Indian Foreign
Ministry or Ministry of External Affairs has taken issues with it,
that your Office has clarified that the Secretary-General never made
those comments. Have you seen that story, and what can you do to
clarify the seeming discrepancy between the Indian Foreign Ministry
and your Office?
The Spokesperson’s Office released to the media guidance
which was prepared by the UN Secretariat, and that seems to have been
taken out of context. This was not a statement of the
What was taken out of context? This was a formal statement.
Let me repeat what I just said: the Spokesperson’s Office
released to the media guidance which was prepared by the UN
Secretariat, and it seems to have been taken out of context. This
was not a statement of the Secretary-General. That’s what I have;
I don’t have anything to add.
But the statement said the Secretary-General calls for restraint,
and is there concern about it?
As I said, I don’t have anything to add to what I’ve just said.
August 4 noon briefing transcript:
Press: Some think that the way that it was answered yesterday —
it’s hard for them to take; what weight should statements by the
Spokesperson for the Secretary-General be given if they’re later
characterized as mere guidance and the Secretary-General didn’t
mean them. For your own purposes, how do we — is this a one-off,
or does this somehow change; you get a statement today about Tanzania
— is that a statement of the Secretary-General, or is it mere
guidance, and from who — who gave the guidance on Kashmir?
You know very well what it said [on Tanzania]: it said “a
statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the
Secretary-General”, and that clearly is a statement. But I don’t
have anything beyond what I’ve already said on this topic. Okay?
No, not okay.