Nigeria Mutes Critique of Shell, UNEP & Campbell, But Equal Pay for
September 21 -- Standing in for Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan, Foreign Minister Henry Odein Ajumogobia took questions from
the Press on Tuesday and answered, not surprisingly, diplomatically.
civil society and local officials in the Niger Delta have
lambasted the UN Environment Program and Shell for what is viewed as
a white wash of Shell's destruction of the area, when Inner City
Press asked Minister Ajumogobia to speak on the issue, he referred
only to clean up efforts in the Delta. One wag asked, clean up of
has publicly criticized the book of former US Ambassador John
Campbell, “Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink,” when Inner City Press
asked if Ajumogobia would raise the issue to Susan Rice, Hillary
Clinton or any other US official while in New York, Ajumogobia
instead recounted his good relations with Campbell around the Gulf of
Guinea, when Ajumogobia was the Attorney General of River State.
asked what Nigeria's position is on Sudan, including the
International Criminal Court's indictment of President Omar al Bashir
for war crimes and genocide. Let me not preempt what President
Jonathan will say at Friday's
meeting, Ajumogobia said, adding that
Nigeria is “fully engaged in Sudan,” particularly in Darfur.
Ajumogobi at the UN, critique of UNEP and Shell not shown
Ajumogobia's predecessor Ibrahim Gambari is now the joint UN
- African Union representative in Darfur.
Ajumogobia's answer was clear and to the point. Inner City Press
asked him to elaborate on the statements of Nigerian Permanent
Representative to the UN Joy Ogwu, that African Union peacekeepers in
Somalia should be paid similarly to UN peacekeepers.
remuneration for equal work,” Ajumogobia replied. Hear, hear. As to
Nigeria's position on Sudan and participation in the September 24
meeting, watch this site.
foreign minister Ajumogobia's press conference started 10
minutes late because the participants in the previous session,
including the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological
Diversity Ahmed Djoghlaf, were still in the room taking photographs
including of a model Japan Air Lines plane with some murky
biodiversity connection. It looked more like an advertisement for an
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UN to Name Panel This Week, Obama's 5 Minutes on
Darfur & Bashir Photo Op?
September 20 -- Before the Sudan meeting on September 24,
which will include US President Barack Obama and Rwandan President
Paul Kagame among others, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is trying
to name the three members of his Panel to monitor the referendums set
for January 9.
UN says it is
trying to name a former African head of state as the panel's
chairperson, but has received push-back from the National Congress
Party of Omar al Bashir and from the SPLM. The UN privately admits
that it will not open the 80 monitoring sites it has announced, but
perhaps only as few as fifty five.
Darfur, joint UN - African Union mediator Bassole wants to announce a
new set of talks in Doha for September 28-29 with “a movement,”
believed to be the relatively pro government Liberation and Justice
Movement, which is headed by a former UN staff member.
staff member who served with the Mission in Western Sahara which has
yet to hold the referendum promised there is now in charge in Sudan
of the Referendum Commission, with the UN trying to provide
assurances to the SPLM that this does not portend delay.
on September 20 asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm that
previous service with the UN in Western Sahara. Nesirky, who often
tried to shirk off such questions from Inner City Press to the UN
Department of Peacekeeping Operations or Department of Political
Affairs could not do so in this instance, and promised to revert.
should also explain how it is legitimate for the UN to use UN
Volunteers for most of the 600 new posts in its UNMIS Mission.
Nesirky's office has previously claimed that the UN's humanitarian
coordinator Georg Charpentier does not show his press releases to the
Sudanese humanitarian affairs minister, something of which a more
senior UN official has since said that Nesirky's answer was not true,
that the releases ARE being shown during this “tense” period.
the September 24
meeting itself, the UN has already circulated the elements of the
statement it hopes will issue, and says that Ban Ki-moon will
restrain himself to five minutes, hoping that other participants
will. But President Obama's advisor Samantha Power, on a September
20 conference call, said that Obama will be delivering “substantial
remarks” in the meeting.
Ban, Obama, Pascoe, Menkerios: focus on Darfur not shown
was not called on to ask Ms. Power or Ambassador Susan Rice to
describe the current status of the UN Security
Council's trip to
Sudan, which has been stalled based on the desire of the US, UK and
France to avoid a photo op with Omar al Bashir, indicted for war
crimes and genocide. There is a dinner on Monday night hosted by
Sudan at which this may be discussed. Or will the trip be among
Obama's “substantive remarks” on Friday?
the White House
conference call, very little was said of Darfur. The UN has accepted
restrictions on its freedom of movement so that it does not even
leave its bases while civilians are being slaughtered, as happened
earlier this month in the Tarabat Market. President Obama, it seems,
will not be mentioning this. And the UN, retaliating for coverage of
its inaction, speaks only to its friends. Some diplomacy. Watch this
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