d'Ivoire Chaos, UN Ignores Questions, of Jack Lang &
December 6 -- Amid the chaos in Cote d'Ivoire, the UN in New
York puts out statements but refuses to answer questions. What some
praise as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's rare decisiveness in
dismissing the country's Constitutional Council's pro Laurent Gbagbo
ruling, others see as mere following of the US and French line, with
a eye toward nailing down both votes for a second term as Secretary
Lang, while still the deputy leader of a political party in France,
to a UN post on piracy. Now Lang has written
a letter to Gbagbo. In
morning of December 5, Inner City Press sent questions to Ban's
spokesman and deputy spokesman, including “on deadline for UN
confirmation or denial that Joint UN-AU mediator for Darfur Bassole
is going to Cote d'Ivoire to work on the crisis there. If so, who has
sent him, and how will it impact his work for the UN (and AU) on
later, no answer at all, to this or reiterated questions, some of
them ten days old, about North Korea, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Iran and
that while US President Barack Obama put out a statement on the
afternoon of December 3, when he spoke to China's president Hu on
Sunday night, he listed as topics only North Korea and Iran. So how
important is Ivory Coast -- or for that matter Sudan -- to the Obama
administration, if they talk foreign policy with China and don't
mention either one?
Bassole is similar to one raised about Thabo Mbeki: how can those
charged with mediating the conflicts in Sudan find time, a month
before the slated referendum, to jump across the Continent into
another cauldron? Is the bench of mediators so shallow?
of Political Affairs is known to be soliciting funds for its own
mediation machinery -- but what successes can it show?
diplomats have asked Inner City Press, what good is this UN if it
couldn't even foresee this standoff in Cote d'Ivoire? What can be
expected of this UN in Sudan? Watch this site.
UN's Ban & Gbagbo, Jack Lang, Bassole & answers not shown
3 noon briefing transcript:
Press: is Mr. Choi going to brief the Council later today on
this announcement by the Constitutional Court turning back… turning
yesterday’s results over? And also, does Mr. Choi and UNOCI, do
they have the raw numbers the election as has been reported? And if
so, what are they… when do they intend to announce their count of
who won, Mr. Ouattara or Mr. Gbagbo?
Nesirky: Well, I can tell you that the Special Representative
of the Secretary-General has just finished a press briefing in
Abidjan, where he has delivered a statement on the certification of
the result of the second round and I would hope to be able to bring
you that as soon as possible. And as I say, in addition to that —
maybe you had not yet entered the room — I would expect a statement
from the Secretary-General quite soon in fact, on the same topic.
Press: Has been asked to brief the Council, do you know?
Press: Mr. Choi.
I think I would prefer you to check with the Security Council
presidency — with the [United States] Mission — on that. What I
can tell you is that the Secretary-General, as I was saying just a
little while ago, did speak to Ambassador Rice this morning, along
with a number of other leaders in the region and elsewhere. So, this
is obviously something that is moving quite fast and we expect to
issue the statement from the Secretary-General quite soon. I can
tell you that on the ground our Mission has increased patrols and
it’s tense, but there have been no major security incidents of
concern today. That’s what I can tell you, for now.
Press: I was just speaking to an Ivorian, I guess diplomat, who
is… their argument is that in the north the vote was deeply flawed
and ballot… I just… it made me wonder, what was ONUCI’s sort of
presence in the north? Maybe you can answer it now or sort… file…
find later in the day, but if that’s the argument by the Gbagbo
camp, I just wonder what percentage of UNOCI was deployed there,
whether they had any sort of knowledge of the type things that are
being alleged, it seems important to figure that out.
Well, as you know, the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General and the mission have a very specific role, which is
to provide this certification. And as I say, that statement by Mr.
Choi has just been read out by him in Abidjan. I am expecting to be
able to pass that on to the media here. You will have seen the media
reports I am sure, yourself. I am expecting to be able to pass that
on to you. And that does give I think quite a lot of detail that
would help you.
* * *
d'Ivoire, Gbagbo Prefers UN Abou Moussa to Choi, UNSC Unlit
December 3 -- On Cote d'Ivoire,
the lack of planning by the
UN, France and US became evident on Friday as in New York the US,
even as President, was unable to get a Security Council statement or
meeting, as UN envoy Choi was threatened with expulsion from Ivory
Coast by Laurent Gbagbo.
Inner City Press was told by Ivorian diplomats that Gbagbo will
inaugurate himself as president on Saturday. Meanwhile, UN sources
say that all electrical source will be turned off in the Security
Council over the weekend, with provisions to move any emergency
meeting to Conference Room 3 in the UN's North Lawn building, where
the Council has never met.
Permanent Representative explained to Inner City Press that all
along, Gbagbo has wanted to replace Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's
envoy Choi with his deputy, Abou Moussa from Chad. Now may be the
African Perm Rep told Inner City Press that the African Union had found
many more flaws in the voting in the North of Cote d'Ivoire than found
by the UN or other observers, and said this would become known "in
diplomats Inner City Press spoke with, as well as several African
Permanent Representatives, questioned Choi's and Ban Ki-moon's and
“even” Obama's “rush” to coronate Ouattara. “The UN didn't
do that when the (Republican - leaning) US Supreme Court decided for
Bush over Gore,” one of them pointed out.
“We will fly
flag of sovereignty!” exclaimed an African Permanent
Representative, linking the UN's “lack of planning” in Cote
d'Ivoire with its being ejected from Chad and, mostly, from the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. “We will throw the UN out!”
UN's Abou Moussa, Ban & Stoudmann- was Choi a
senior staff consulted by Inner City Press lamented the way it was
playing out, and blamed some of it on Choi, saying that an SRSG more
experienced in UN peacekeeping would have been better. “This will
blow back on Ban Ki-moon,” one of them said.
ran from these interviews to the press area to write, skipping the
Cuban Mission party. But in the UN press area a sign announced “This
area will be closed from Saturday, 4 December 8:00 am UNTIL Sunday 5
December 6:00 am.” So if they want press coverage, the Security
Council meeting or stake out if they want one will be on Sunday.
Watch this site.
* * *
Moves to Eject UN Choi from Ivory Coast, No UNSC Action
Under US, Only Obama Statement
December 3, upstead -- In Ivory Coast,
Laurent Gbagbo's adviser and
Ambassador to the UN Alcide Djedje has threatened to throw out of the
country UN envoy Y.J. Choi after Choi rejected the decision of the
Gbagbo dominated Constitutional Council that Gbagbo won the run off
election, 51% to 49% over Alassane Ouattara.
hours after the UN Security Council, led this month by the US, had
begun to call a meeting, then stood down. Inner City Press observed
and reported the preparations for the meeting.
City Press can now report
that a video link was established, and a UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire
official appeared on screen, ready to speak to the Council.
the US never
convened the Council to meeting. Another Permanent Five ambassador
told Inner City Press on Friday afternoon that the US had said, only
a press statement, no meeting.
fairly or unfairly even wondered
if the US decision not to call a meeting despite the “crisis” in
Ivory Coast was related to Permanent Representative Susan Rice not
being in New York.
11:50 am, Inner
City Press asked the US Mission to the UN to confirm or deny by
e-mail that there would be a Council meeting. Not having any response
for an hour, Inner City Press asked again, including a question on
Sudan, and was told that it would be called.
that time, apparently more friendly press was told that there would be
meeting, but rather a press statement read by Brooke Anderson.
as 6 pm has
passed, no meeting, and no UN Security Council press statement read by
Brooke Anderson. (Also, no answer on 12
SPLM soldiers killed in Sudan.)
Mission had not informed UN staff still in waiting that they could go
home (perhaps to return this weekend).
African diplomat told Inner City Press at the stakeout that some
countries, like his, wanted to check that all had been done correctly,
including in Choi's statement.
UN Choi & Gbagbo in 2007, threat to eject not shown
5:15 pm e-mailed out a copy of a statement by US
President Obama, hailing Ouattara's win and calling on Gbagbo to
respect the result.
has Barak Obama
become the Security Council? What explains the Council's failure to
meet, and failure to even issue a press statement?
Some of those
surrounding the Council have been told to be "on alert" for a Council
meeting, or at least read out of a UNSC statement by some US
Ambassador, over the weekend...
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.