Menkerios Sent to Juba from UN's Shallow Bench, Sudan's Acceptance
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 31 -- Speaking at a meeting on Sudan in Addis Ababa
on January 31, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced
Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari has started his intensive
work. And I have the intention to appoint Haile Menkerios as head of
UNMIS as of the end of February with a view to facilitate the
As Inner City Press reported
in June 2009 with sourcing inside
Sudan's Mission to the UN, Khartoum was less than enthused by Ban's
proposal of Menkerios (and Said Djinnit) to replace Rodolphe Adada in
Darfur. Finally, after extensive delay, Ibrahim Gambari was given
job, with Khartoum's support.
The UN's "shallow bench" is reflected by its
continuing recycling of a small number of UN insiders to job after
job -- the list would have to include Staffan de Mistura, recently
given the UN's top Afghanistan post despite being called a faceless
bureaucrat by the New York Times but having given a job while he was
in Iraq to Ban's son in law Siddarth Chatterjee.
Why would the Al Bashir government accept
Menkerios at this
time? For one thing, he resists speaking to the press. For example,
when confronted with a
pattern of his underling Mr. Buo hiring his
relatives in the UN's Central African Republic mission, Menkerios
told Inner City Press this was a management issue only.
UN's Ban and Menkerios, action on BONUCA
irrregularities not shown
"It will be responded to in a management
way," Menkerios said. But
in the six months since, nothing has been done. How does this relate
to Ban's confidence that Sudan would accept Menkerios? Watch this site.
Haiti, UN of Two Minds on China, No Guidance on Bullets, Florida
Football Games Blocking Medical Flights
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 29 -- Two days after the UN's spokesman in Haiti
David Wimhurst denied knowing about UN Peacekeepers shooting even
rubber bullets to control crowds of aid seekers, detailed reports
emerged of "UN troops" shooting 50 caliber guns over
asked the UN's humanitarian coordinator John Holmes about these
reports, and what the UN considers the best practice in crowd control
while aid is distributed. "There is no set standard in the
humanitarian lexicon," Holmes said, adding that the main focus
is that nobody gets hurt. Video here,
from Minute 26:03.
okay? Tear gas? Electrified fences? Are these decision left up to
each country's contingent adopting the UN's blue helmets in Haiti,
including a battalion from Sri Lanka, accused of war crimes?
in the statements of David Wimhurst and Holmes was also raised but
not resolved. On January 27, Wimhurst confirmed to the press that the
Chinese search and rescue team, once it dug out the Chinese diplomats
from the wreckage of the UN's rented Hotel Christopher, left the
Chinese diplomats told Inner City Press to check with John Holmes,
who they cited as on record about additional Chinese work in Haiti --
a country with whose government China has no diplomatic relations,
since Haiti recognized Taiwan.
asked Holmes to square this with what Mr. Wimhurt said. "I don't
know what to add," Holmes said. "That's my understanding,
the Chinese information as well." But was he a witness? Video
from Minute 15:34.
UN's Holmes, UNDP's Helen Clark behind:
paying $5 or just $3 a day in Haiti?
that the flights evacuated injured Haitians to Florida have
stopped, due to the upcoming Super Bowl and Pro Bowl of the
Football League. Inner City Press asked Holmes about this. "I
have no idea," he said. "Ask the Americans."
reporter whispered, "Touchdown!" -- referring also to
Holmes "touchdown" space in the UN compound, now that
others in his office have been moved full time to Madison Avenue.
Football is only simulated war. But the UN in Haiti is shooting with
real bullets. Watch this site.