of US Thinks "Highly" of Menkerios, Ghost Tweets by UN
Council, Bosnian Chaos
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 1 -- It's a new month and a new day at the UN. With
France taking over the presidency of the Security Council from China,
on the morning of February 1 other Council members met one by one
with the presidency to discuss the month's agenda or program of work.
It was not a formal or even listed Council meeting, and therefore the
stakeout area was dark, with no other journalists present.
Ambassador told Inner City Press, "You're all alone out here." U.S.
Ambassador Susan Rice, on her way out, slowed and took a
question from the Press.
U.S. think of Mr. Menkerios, the new chief of the UN Mission in
Sudan, UNMIS?" (Click here for
Inner City Press' story over the
weekend about the nomination.)
Ambassador Rice said. Inner City Press asked, "Haile?" --
it is Menkeios' first name. There was laughter in the half light.
Ambassador Rice had been taking fire of light, including for not
being present and accessible enough at the UN and Council in New
York. Perhaps this is a new beginning.
Susan Rice, Stevie Wonder and UN's Ban: faux
response to the
criticism, signed by Ambassador Rice's spokesman Mark Kornblau, has
online. After Mr. Kornblau unleashed buckshot at flock of
"canards" -- a l'orange? one
wag wanted to know -- a snarky
"How much do you get paid to 'pump up' her
IMAGE! obviously she isn't doing anything. if she was, then reporters
would write what she was doing. instead, she has her assistant write
a PR piece."
with Ambassador Rice's exit from the Council, two tweets were posted
in her new Twitter feed, noting two resolutions passed in January,
and the handover to the French. Does she tweet and walk at the same
time? Or, like Ban Ki-moon, is someone tweeting for her?
Other Ambassador greeted going in to consult with the French were
those of Austria and Russia -- one wanted to ask about portions of
Henry Paulson's memoir, more on this soon -- but not Croatia. The
Mission of Bosnia is embroiled in controversy. The new Ambassador
Ivan Barbalic is said to have requested the removal or reprimand of
his deputy, Mirsada Colakovic.
Ms. Colakovic pulled rank, and
made her putative boss withdraw the request. Meanwhile the Bosnian
Mission pays more rent in New York than its Balkan counterparts. If
you can't run your Mission, how will you be effective on the Council?
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.