S. Sudan Post, UN Mulled Hilde Johnson and Khare, Menkerios
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 22 -- How did the UN settle
on Haile Menkerios as
its top envoy to South Sudan? Inner City Press has been told, by an
extremely well placed source, that the UN put forward other names:
UNICEF's Hilde Johnson, Indian diplomat Atul Khare who served in
Timor L'este, as well as "a Tanzanian." That Ms. Johnson's hat was in
the ring implies she already knew she would not get the top post at
UNICEF, for which the U.S. has nominated Anthony Lake.
the UN for the Sudan post was former South African ambassador to the
UN Dumisani Kumalo. Sudan let it be known that it would only accept
so, the source
said, Ban Ki-moon decided on Menkerios. "He is from Eritrea, but
he was given the job as South African." Some say that means he
cannot differ with Thabo Mbeki, former South African president and
now Sudan intermediary. It also shows that the UN has very few people
who understand anything about Africa, said the source.
Atul Khare and Dumisani Kumalo, Menkerios not shown
Ibrahim Gambari is installed in the joint African Union - UN Mission
in Darfur, finally the Enough Project chimes in with questions, in a
column by Colum Lynch, the UN blogger at Foreign Policy. But when
Inner City Press asked the Enough Project for any comment on Gambari,
after he was offered but had been been confirmed for the job, the
Project had no comment. On November 30, 2009 we asked
for Enough Project's position on the UN giving Ibrahim Gambari the
UNAMID SRSG post, as we've exclusively reported earlier today
position, on Mr. Gambari and how he was reportedly selected, as soon
as you can for inclusion.
Re: Press Q re Darfur appointment of Gambari, past deadline
From: eread [at] enoughproject.org
To: Inner City
Sent: 12/1/2009 12:32:55 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
for your query. I'm sorry that most of my policy team is travelling
or on vacation. We won't be able to provide anyone for an interview.
co-founder belatedly chimes in of Gambari, "it's still to be
seen whether he will be able to have any impact or whether he will
simply be another placeholder in a long line of people who have had
almost no impact on the situation in Sudan."
one observer snarked, waiting two
and a half months to comment undermines an NGO's possible impact on
the situation in Sudan...
* * *
Chad Says UN Destroys Airstrips, Logjam on Shakedown Street
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 17 -- In Chad, the "traffic" of the UN's
peacekeeping mission is "destroying our infrastructure,"
Chad's Ambassador to the UN Ahmad Allam-mi told the Press on
Wednesday. Inner City Press asked him about landing and other fees
that Chad's Idriss Deby government had been charging international
peacekeepers, and to respond to the idea that Deby's threat to throw
the UN out is just a ploy to get more money. Video here,
Allam-mi replied that there are "taxes for services rendered by
state companies." He called these a "royalty" and said
that "there is an agreement that we signed."
the UN, like
the European Union force before it, has never wanted to disclose how
much it agreed to pay Deby. Even at Wednesday's UN noon briefing,
when Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe, she
did not provide an answer, or even promise one in the future. Video here.
briefing, when the Security Council suspended their meeting on Chad
for a lunch break, Inner City Press asked top UN Peacekeeper Alain Le
Roy about the alleged "destruction" of Chad's
infrastructure, and whether the UN might now agree to pay more in
order to keep the MINURCAT mission in place.
there yet," Le Roy said. But are "we" getting
Inner City Press exclusively
covered a closed door meeting of Troop
Contributing Countries at which European countries with notable
exception of France, Chad's former colonial power, complained about
high landing fees charged by Deby. Click here
for that Inner City
the mission was
handed over from the European Union to the UN, it was said, Deby
tried to charge the UN for infrastructure built by the EU. Now,
informed sources say, Deby is at it again.
UN's Ban and Deby, payments for MINURCAT not shown
groups are demanding that MINURCAT stay in place to protect their
operations and civilians. As top UN Humanitarian John Holmes told the
Press on Wednesday, while some NGOs won't accept escorts from armed
peacekeepers, others do.
asked Holmes if it would be possible to keep the mission in the
Central African Republic, which it also serves, even if Chad kicks it
out. No, Holmes answered. It would have to be a separate mission. He
said he thinks the Central African Republic wants to keep the UN
Deby's gambit results in higher payments from the UN, the Central
African Republic and other hosts of peacekeeping missions would be
foolish not to also try the shakedown. Watch this site.
in mid 2008 when Inner City Press and other UN correspondents
accompanied the Security Council to Chad and elsewhere in Africa,
Deby skipped a scheduled meeting with the Council. Many questioned
why Deby would rebuff France, whose then Ambassador Jean Maurice
Ripert was in charge of the Chad leg of the trip. Sources tell Inner
City Press that Deby was four sheets to the wind, en flight back from
briefing, Ambassador Ahmad Allam-mi told Inner City Press, you try to
get me in trouble by quoting my president to me. But President Deby,
it appears, contains multitudes.
conference was stopped for two minutes as the headphones for
translation did not work. Video here, from Minute 25:53. Echoes
of French Ambassador Gerard Araud's melt down at the beginning of
February when the translation headsets weren't available. He demanded
to konw, where are the helmets? Now some question, as Chad shakes down
the UN as it did the EU, where is France?