Bamba of Cote d'Ivoire Takes 7 Questions on Video, France Partners with
Nigeria, Invisible Commandos
March 25 -- 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
for YouTube video.
asked 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.
dispute 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.”
conveyed 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.
circulated 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.
* * *
France's Brief Humility Ends, Sarkozy Seizes Le Pen for
25 -- The enmity between France and Laurent Gbagbo,
the defiant leader in former French colony Cote
d'Ivoire, is long
during the post-elections moves in the UN Security
Council, the French Mission to the UN has tried to take slightly more
of a back seat, engaging -- or some say hiding behind -- the African
members, spending time to try to get them on board before unveiling
new proposals in the Council.
so this time.
Council members in New York that France would share, even devise,
“elements” of a new resolution on Cote d'Ivoire with African
members, particularly South Africa which has been accused, unfairly
the South Africans say, of supporting Laurent Gbagbo, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy on March 24 just couldn't hold back.
“The French are
drafting a resolution to ban heavy weapons,” Sarkozy told the press
in Brussels Thursday night. He was answering questions about Libya,
specifically the United Arab Emirates' second about face, in which
the UAE now says it will give planes, seemingly in exchange for some
secret anti-Iran deal regarding Bahrain.
said he would only answer on Cote d'Ivoire “tomorrow,” March 25,
when he said that the Security Council was meeting on the subject.
But he went on, saying that Gbagbo is using heavy weapons, and that
“the French are drafting a resolution.”
one wag snarked
in real time, so much for France not holding Le Pen.
Sarkozy and Ban, military planners?
the country which drafts resolutions on a particular country or topic
is said to “hold the pen. Le Pen is, well, Le Pen.
military talk by the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire, known by its, yes,
French acronym ONUCI, is said to respond to criticism by the
supporter of Alassane Ouattara that while Ban Ki-moon's envoy Choi
Young-jim is sufficiently hawkish on Gbagbo, ONUCI's military
commanders have not been.
Now they are
jumping into action, speaking
against and essentially threatening to shoot down a helicopter they
say Gbagbo's forces are repairing.
it a de
facto no fly zone imposed by Ban and Choi Young-jin, without a clear
mandate. But France now drafts the mandate. Watch this site.
* * *
UN Speaks Again of Gbagbo Helicopter, No
-- Has the UN Mission in Cote
d'Ivoire declared a
no fly zone over Abidjan?
in attack helicopters from
Ukraine, and accusing defiant leader Laurent Gbagbo of trying to
bring in attack helicopters from Belarus, the UNOCI Mission has now
accused Gbagbo of “repairing” an MI-24 helicopter, and has warned
it should not be used.
forces see this has just another example of the UN taking sides. The
pro-Ouattara force, including his diplomats at the UN whom Inner City
Press has spoken with, see UNOCI's action as too little, too late.
Ki-moon's envoy Choi Young-jin is “sufficiently pro-Ouattara”
for them, but they don't think the UN's military force commanders
have done enough.
the March 22
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked:
Côte d’Ivoire, there is the mission there, UNOCI
has apparently put out a statement saying that they believe that
[Laurent] Gbagbo forces are, quote, repairing an MI-24 attack
helicopter, and that any attempt to use this will not be allowed, or
not be accepted... is it illegal for them to fly a helicopter? What
exactly is the mission’s statement? Where did this helicopter come
from, given the past statement that they were coming in from Belarus?
And is there a no-fly zone in essence over Côte d’Ivoire? How
seriously do they take this and do they agree finally with Mr.
[Alassane] Ouattara’s side who says that 832 people have been
killed by the pro-Gbagbo forces since the beginning of this stand-off
in the election?
considerable number have certainly been killed,
and I am sure that my colleagues who are carefully monitoring this in
Côte d’Ivoire would be able to provide an update on figures. As
you know, they have been… human rights colleagues, humanitarian
colleagues who monitor this, have been fastidious in providing
detailed figures. So, I would anticipate that we would be able to
provide more. On the helicopter, its exact provenance, I would need
to ascertain. I do not have that information. The mission in Côte
d’Ivoire, as you know, has a Security Council mandate to protect
civilians. And it will do all that it can within its mandate and
with the resources it has to protect civilians in the country.
that the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire,
UNOCI, had put out a statement stating that “recently, the mission
has observed that this camp is repairing an MI-24 attack helicopter
in the military wing of Abidjan airport and is also getting BM21
multiple rocket launchers ready in Abidjan”.]
UN"s Ban gets out of a copter, explanation not shown
what I couldn’t tell from the statement is whether
they are saying to the Gbagbo forces “don’t fly the helicopter at
all”, or “don’t use it to kill civilians”, which obviously
is, I mean, what are they saying? What is their current status? What’s
the, what message are they seeking to send with this
is that the mission is there to protect
civilians in the country. And that it is doing under a very clear
mandate from the Security Council.
you remember this previous question about there was a
particular, you know, killing of civilians that was attributed to the
pro-Ouattara side by Human Rights Watch and others? And you, I mean,
I don’t mean to… has UNOCI actually, did they report that in real
time or have they said anything on that? I know that they are very
fastidious, but on that one, I still haven’t heard anything back to
show that they reported that as equally as they do the other side.
said and the Office for the High
Commissioner for Human Rights has also been quite clear on this. Any
human rights abuses on either side would need investigating and
should be condemned. And if I have any further information on that I
would let you know.
later and counting, there was no further information. Watch this