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As French Embassy in Bangui Attacked, UN Counts on Chad Process

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 26 -- As the rebels in Central African Republic have continued taking town after town, the UN Security Council has not met on CAR since a December 19 session called by former ruler France.

  Now with the French embassy in Bangui subject to violent protest, French president Francois Hollande has told his Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to take "all necessary" protective measures.

  At noon on both December 24 and December 26, Inner City Press posed questions to the top three spokesman of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the Central African Republic:

D24-1 In Central African Republic, what is the UN system presence if any in the rebel-taken towns of Bambari, Ippy and Ndassima? In light of the Secretary General's recent speech to the Security Council about the Peacebuilding Commission, what is his comment on the CAR Peacebuilding Configuration being without a chair?

Dec 26-3 What is the UN system presence if any in the rebel-taken towns of Kaga Bandoro (and, as asked before, Bambari, Ippy and Ndassima? Any comment on the violent protests at the French embassy in Bangui?

   None of these questions were responded to by 6 pm on December 26.

   At that time, however, Ban's office issued a statement, including that "The Secretary-General welcomes the conclusions of the Summit of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS) held in Ndjamena... The Secretary-General confirms the readiness of the United Nations to continue to support the Central African Republic in overcoming challenges to the consolidation of peace."

   But what has the UN done for the Central African Republic?

  It has an office there which, as shown, has been shot through with nepotism and corruption. It has allowed its Peacebuilding Configuration to wander aimlessly without a chair for months.

  Now, after attacks on the French embassy, it relies on a process in Chad, which supplies both most of the rebels -- according to the UN's own expert on sexual violence and conflict -- as well as the forces for Bozize to fight them.

   Arsonist and fireman: haven't we heard that before, about the Great Lakes? On this one, the UN is just phoning it in. Watch this site.

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