It Urges All Ivorians to Halt Fight, Choi Speaks of Destiny
30 -- On Cote
d'Ivoire, moments after the UN's envoy
to that country Choi Young-jin was on Al Jazeera television saying
that in the advances of military forces supporting Alassane Ouattara
the Ivorian people are taking care of their own destiny without
outside military intervention as in Libya, Inner City Press asked the
UN for clarification.
asked Haq, yes or no, if the UN is calling on Ouattara forces to stop
military advances. Haq replied he has no information about
General Ban Ki-moon and the UN calling for a stop to military action
or rooting Ouattara's forces on? Haq said, contrary to what Choi has
just said, that “we urge all sides to halt fighting.”
television, did not issue such a call. Inner City Press asked Haq if
he could understand that a lack of impartiality by the UN is seen by
some people --
demanded of Inner City Press, "By 'some people' you mean yourself?"
podium, Haq and main Ban spokesman Martin Nesirky have repeatedly
complained of protests against the UN by Ivorians, always
characterizing them as supporters of Gbagbo.
apparently to even
ask a question of the UN about these critique of objectivity,
impartiality and primary concern with civilians leads to the above.
Ban & YJ Choi, "destiny" talk not shown
about what Nesirky had said on March 29. Here's from the UN's
Amnesty International has come out saying that there is a
UNOCI base, three kilometres, I guess, from the town and saying that
the peacekeepers should do more to protect civilians. It’s
obviously, it’s a fight that the Ouattara forces are winning, some
people are fleeing and I am wonder… when you say it was a
reconnaissance helicopter, what exactly is UNOCI’s role as these…
the two… the supporters of the two camps clash in these towns, how
are civilians being protected? And is UNOCI calling for the Ouattara
forces to… what is UNOCI’s call on the Ouattara forces, as
regards protection of civilians?
call is the same, regardless, and that is that innocent
civilians need to be protected. And what we are alarmed about is
that, with each successive move from whichever side, I mean armed
move, we are seeing displacement of people, either inside the country
or into another, particularly into Liberia. And, as you know, inside
the country, people are also seeking shelter. They are desperate,
they are frightened, and it’s the mission’s job within the
mandate it has, as much as possible, to protect those civilians. And
I know that they are actively engaged in that. In some cases, it is
easier said than actually done. If I have an update on precisely the
location you are referring to, I’d be very happy to give you that.
I want to follow up on this, because, in variants of the
announcements made from this podium, there is sort of running count
of civilians killed by, generally associated with the pro-Ouattara
forces, and how it is described. And I just wondered, the number may
be lower, but does the UN have any estimate of the number of
civilians killed by the pro-Ouattara sides, and also of the number of
people displaced, the relative causation factor of the people that
have been chased into Liberia or into other places?
on the casualties, those people who have lost their
lives, there is a very strict way of handling this within the
mission. They need to be able to verify the location, the name, the
identity of the person and the age of the person. And that is a very
important part of the process. It isn’t always feasible to
ascertain who was to blame. The fact remains that you, very sadly,
have civilians who have lost their lives. It isn’t always possible
to ascertain. And where it is, I am sure that the mission will be
seeking to log that, not least because, if you are trying
subsequently to hold people accountable, you do need to have that
kind of material at hand. On the broader question, if I have
anything further from the mission, then I’d be happy to share that
Tuesday evening across from the US Mission to the UN, Inner City
Press spoke with Ouattara's UN envoy Yousoufou Bamba, who jovially
predicted that it will all be over by the weekend "and we'll have a
coffee together, you and me."
type of talk is one thing for Ouattara's envoy. But the
celebratory talk of YJ Choi is something not before seen in the UN
system. So too the hiring of UN envoy who are allowed to continued to
be paid by outside governments. More on that to follow.
* * *
Cote d'Ivoire, UN Silent Until Asked about Ouattara's FRCI in Duekoue
-- As forces supporting Alassane Ouattara announced
they have taken over the town of Duekoue and moving in on Guiglo, the
UN in New York had Cote
d'Ivoire announcements only about Abidjan:
shelling by Gbagbo forces, stoning of UN vehicles, presumably by
supporters of Gbagbo. What kind of reporting is this?
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if he
could confirm the fighting in Duekoue and if, as he had just done in
calling for both sides in Libya to stop shooting, the UN is watching,
reporting on and calling for restraint by both sides in Cote
piece of paper and read that the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire, UNOCI
or in French ONUCI, confirmed “fresh fighting” in Duekoue as the
FRCI forces “continue to push forward.”
no comment on
this “pushing” by Ouattara's Ivory Coast Republican Forces.
Nesirky said that local people are seeking UN protection. From whom?
of civilians displaced by fighting, it strongly implies that this
displacement is entirely attributable to actions of Gbagbo
supporters. But some are questioning that, saying that the one sided
nature of the UN's reporting undermines its credibility. We are
seeking further information.
about the UN's investigation of the leak of the UN Mission in
Cote d'Ivoire's military plans to use its attack helicopters. He
confirmed there is an investigation, but wouldn't say more about it.
One wag asked, could the UN have its own Bradley Manning? Watch this
* * *
Cote d'Ivoire Takes 7 Questions on Video, France Partners with
Nigeria, Invisible Commandos
-- At Friday's UN Security
Council meeting on Cote
d'Ivoire, the Ambassador sent by Alassane Ouattara to replace
Gbagbo's Djedje spoke in the Council for the first time. Yousoufou
“Joseph” Bamba, now Permanent Representative to the UN, came
afterward to take questions on camera from Inner City Press. Click here
for YouTube video.
Bamba a range of question, from comparisons to the military
enforcement action in Libya to reported killings by Ouattara
supporters and the lack of medicine in Abidjan due to EU sanctions.
the impact of sanctions, saying only that if Ouattara were
allowed to act as president these problems would not exist. He had
said that the energy put into Libya, compared to that in Cote
d'Ivoire, made up a form of “bias.” But he backed away from that.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin walked into the Council for the
meeting, he was asked about requests for more action by the UN
mission in Cote d'Ivoire, ONUCI. “Another big war,” he said
sarcastically. “Just what we need.”
Churkin's remarks to India's Permanent Representative
Hardeep Singh Puri. who said, “You want another war? With clear
Ban & Bamba, action on Invisible Commandos not shown
Bamba said that the helicopter ONUCI says Gbagbo forces are repairing
is one of those destroyed by France in the past. He said that both
Gbagbo and Ouattara have asked for International Criminal Court
intervention and investigation.
a draft resolution including the ICC, new sanctions and a
call for Gbagbo to leave. Despite saying it was a joint submission
with Nigeria, the French draft does not include things that Nigeria
and ECOWAS want, like authorization for intervention.
back story is
the while the French mission at the UN had intended to confer with
South Africa on elements of a resolution, South Africa was not going
to join in at least until the African Union meeting. Since President
Nicolas Sarkozy had announced on Thursday night that France was
drafting a resolution for Friday, a new partner had to be found.
Whether this serves Nigeria is unclear. Watch this site.
Click for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
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
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.