d'Ivoire, As UN Speaks Again of Gbagbo Helicopter, No
March 22 -- Has the UN Mission in Cote
d'Ivoire declared a
no fly zone over Abidjan?
After bringing in attack helicopters from
Ukraine, and accusing defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo of trying to
bring in attack helicopters from Belarus, the UNOCI Mission has now
accused Gbagbo of “repairing” an MI-24 helicopter, and has warned
it should not be used.
forces see this has just another example of the UN taking sides. The
pro-Ouattara force, including his diplomats at the UN whom Inner City
Press has spoken with, see UNOCI's action as too little, too late.
Ki-moon's envoy Choi Young-jin is “sufficiently pro-Ouattara”
for them, but they don't think the UN's military force commanders
have done enough.
the March 22
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked:
Press: On Côte d’Ivoire, there is the mission there, UNOCI
has apparently put out a statement saying that they believe that
[Laurent] Gbagbo forces are, quote, repairing an MI-24 attack
helicopter, and that any attempt to use this will not be allowed, or
not be accepted... is it illegal for them to fly a helicopter? What
exactly is the mission’s statement? Where did this helicopter come
from, given the past statement that they were coming in from Belarus?
And is there a no-fly zone in essence over Côte d’Ivoire? How
seriously do they take this and do they agree finally with Mr.
[Alassane] Ouattara’s side who says that 832 people have been
killed by the pro-Gbagbo forces since the beginning of this stand-off
in the election?
Nesirky: A considerable number have certainly been killed,
and I am sure that my colleagues who are carefully monitoring this in
Côte d’Ivoire would be able to provide an update on figures. As
you know, they have been… human rights colleagues, humanitarian
colleagues who monitor this, have been fastidious in providing
detailed figures. So, I would anticipate that we would be able to
provide more. On the helicopter, its exact provenance, I would need
to ascertain. I do not have that information. The mission in Côte
d’Ivoire, as you know, has a Security Council mandate to protect
civilians. And it will do all that it can within its mandate and
with the resources it has to protect civilians in the country.
later confirmed that the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire,
UNOCI, had put out a statement stating that “recently, the mission
has observed that this camp is repairing an MI-24 attack helicopter
in the military wing of Abidjan airport and is also getting BM21
multiple rocket launchers ready in Abidjan”.]
UN"s Ban gets out of a copter, explanation not shown
Press: But what I couldn’t tell from the statement is whether
they are saying to the Gbagbo forces “don’t fly the helicopter at
all”, or “don’t use it to kill civilians”, which obviously
is, I mean, what are they saying? What is their current status? What’s
the, what message are they seeking to send with this
The message is that the mission is there to protect
civilians in the country. And that it is doing under a very clear
mandate from the Security Council.
Press: Do you remember this previous question about there was a
particular, you know, killing of civilians that was attributed to the
pro-Ouattara side by Human Rights Watch and others? And you, I mean,
I don’t mean to… has UNOCI actually, did they report that in real
time or have they said anything on that? I know that they are very
fastidious, but on that one, I still haven’t heard anything back to
show that they reported that as equally as they do the other side.
We’ve consistently said and the Office for the High
Commissioner for Human Rights has also been quite clear on this. Any
human rights abuses on either side would need investigating and
should be condemned. And if I have any further information on that I
would let you know.
later and counting, there was no further information. Watch this
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UN's Allegations Were Not "Read Out" on March 18, Only a Call
to 1 Media, UN Stonewalls
21 -- Weeks after the UN
belatedly apologized for
announcing that Cote d'Ivoire's defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo was
illegally importing attack helicopters from Belarus , the Office of
the Spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Press on
the night of March 18 that another statement on Cote d'Ivoire had
been “read out” by the Deputy Permanent Representative of China,
the president of the Security Council for March.
has been closely covering
the Security Council all Friday afternoon,
including when Ban's spokeperson's Office announced that there would
be a stakeout and statement read about Cote d'Ivoire, then when both
were canceled. Inner City Press remained at the UN until 9 pm,
hearing no announcement to the contrary. Then at 9:50 pm Ban's
Spokesperson's Office sent the Press:
find below the press elements read out by Mr. Wang Min, Ambassador
and Deputy Permanent Representative of China :
press by the Security Council on the situation in Côte
The members of the Security Council express their indignation at the
UNOCI reports over brutal attacks against unarmed civilians
alledgedly committed by the Ivorian Defense and security forces
(FDSCI) at a market in Abobo yesterday [etc].
since the stakeout with UN TV for the statement to be read
was canceled. (Coucnil members told Inner City Press there was
dissatisfaction, particularly after Ban Ki-moon's mis-speaking about
the Belarus helicopters, with his statement's, then the draft's, use
of the word “allegedly”).
same night, Inner City Press
asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky, as well as his Deputy, to
re Cote d'Ivoire [etc]
From: Matthew R. Lee [at]
Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Martin Nesirky, Farhan Haq
questions on deadline, having just received from your
Office “press elements read out by Mr. Wang Min, Ambassador and
Deputy Permanent Representative of China," sent by your Office
at 9:50 pm --
the Security Council from 3:45 to past six o'clock, when the
UN TV stakeout announced for a Council statement on Cote d'Ivoire was
canceled, including by a MALU email. Thereafter I was working and
would have heard any squawk. And so questions:
actually “read out” by the Council presidency?
was no notice given, resulting it in being unable to ask any
read out, why did your Office say it was?
spokesmen Nesirky and Haq did not answer.
Ban and Nesirky, basic answers not shown
sending out press releases, Inner City Press reiterated the Cote
d'Ivoire questions on March 19; again, no answer.
to the UN
on March 21, more than 60 hours after Ban's Spokesperson's Office's
announcement that the Cote d'Ivoire statement had been read out, that
Office made a public address system announcement that the Chinese DPR
would be making some presentation to the press at 11:30 am. No topic
Council stakeout, it turned that only now was the Cote d'Ivoire
statement being read out -- the DPR had to explain that the word
“yesterday” meant, in fact, four days ago.
asked if there had been a stakeout late on Friday: no, was the
answer. Inner City Press reported this on Twitter:
NOT read out, Chinese Mission tells Press. Still no answer from
OSSG.” Inner City Press was told that only one media organization,
Chinese, had been called on Friday night.
the UN noon
briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky to explain -- as had been
requested more than 60 hours previously by email -- and if in the
last three days the UN Mission had been able to move past
“allegedly.” Nesirky said he had nothing on that second part of
the first, he
(tw?) insisted that Inner City Press had just gotten the answer from
the Chinese spokesman. (On another question about compliance with UN
rules and Charter, he told Inner City Press to “ask Jordan. This
seems to be the new strategy to not answer questions about the UN:
tell journalists to ask a particular member state.
it was Ban's
Spokesperson's Office which put out a mass email on March 18 that the
Cote d'Ivoire statement had been “read out.” Inner City Press
asked if Ban's office defines a phone call to one media, from China,
to be a “read out” of a Security Council statement. Nesirky would
not answer, saying again and again, you spoke with the Chinese
spokesman. Yes, we did.
last week, Nesirky acknowledged that his Office made an error in
emailing out a Ban Ki-moon statement estimating that one half of rubble
in Haiti will be addressed by the end of 2011, and then issuing an
"amended" statement dropping the estimate. Unless Ban's Spokesperson's
Office defines a single phone call to Chinese media as a "read out" --
an argument Inner City Press repeatedly but unsuccesfully invited
Nesirky to make -- another error was made. Why not acknowledge it?
the night of March 18, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman
you (Mr. Nesirky) were at the March 17 noon briefing with
the Humanitarian Coordinator for Cote d'Ivoire and heard him answer
that restrictions result in the denial of medicine to Ivorians,
please for the Secretariat look at the UN press release at
is the video of the March 17 press conference
UN Secretariat do you explain the omission of any reference
to Ivorians lacking medicine due to restrictions on ships, and please
state what you will do to have this UN (mis) statement corrected?
answer on that. None.
* * *