UN, Reports Withheld by Ahlenius of OIOS Are Put Online,
Congo Cover-up Alleged
Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
1 -- The UN's culture of secrecy and impunity has been
week by a one-two punch. After reporting
on UN Peacekeepers involvement in the
trading of gold and guns in Eastern Congo, which the UN denied and
dismissed but only off the record,
now there is more support for the underlying reporting, including two
of the Office of Internal Oversight Services which OIOS chief Inga-Britt
Ahlenius told Inner City Press she owned and would not release have been put online
by Inner City Press, here (1st) and here (2nd).
The reports are damning. The first,
Grimstad, states among other thing that
suffers from an
ineffective and unclear structure, lack of independent budget and
limited to no
administrative support (check in and separating procedures, travel
arrangements, etc.), poor management, conflicts at the senior
lack of communication inside ID/OIOS as well as with stakeholders and
of ID/OIOS, lack of standard operating procedures and constant
with regard to the scope of some of the investigative procedures of the
This has obviously resulted in instability, high turnover rates and
working conditions for investigators."
report, on the "culture" of OIOS and compiled by Michel
Girodo, states for example that, "secrecy and central control of
information facilitated independence but also insulated managers from
The fact that Ms.
Ahlenius refused to release these on her
own is, if anything, more troubling. The refusal to disclose would not
blamed on member states. She told
Inner City Press, "It is my document."
On the road, Jane Holl Lute and Clooney, reports
on DPKO not shown
Earlier this week,
in a briefing in which the
speakers insisted on being identified only as "senior UN officials,"
Inner City Press asked who had paid for the report. "The UN budget,"
the senior UN official replied. So how is it Ms. Ahlenius' report? Now
it and a
companion report are available for the world at large. While the UN
about moving away from impunity, who will be held responsible for all
this? We'll have more on this Friday,
from the United Nations.
Footnote: UN insiders are
wondering about the timing of
BBC's report early in the week, without any quotes from HRW, and HRW's
follow-up punch, put online early Friday. Did the UN's two "off the
record" briefers earlier in the week know the second punch was coming?
They certainly have their sources, including inside HRW. We'll see.
* * *
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here for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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