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As MSF Describes UN Failure in CAR, Post Sri Lanka "Rights Up Front" In Question

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- Directly calling into questions the UN's new "Rights Up Front" promises, Doctors Without Borders has slammed the UN non-response in the Central African Republic in an open letter asserting:

"MSF has repeatedly asked UN agencies to deliver food, tents and soap to the more than 15,000 people displaced in the vicinity of Bangui’s airport, without any reaction; in Bossangoa, UN aid officials on security lock-down inside the FOMAC compound did not even provide assistance to the displaced sheltering inside the same compound, forcing MSF to intervene once more. Following the fighting in Bossangoa, the UN remained on security lock-down for days, abandoning the more than 30,000 displaced persons in the main Bossangoa camps, while MSF and ACF teams move through the city to provide emergency assistance."

  In belated response to its failure in Sri Lanka, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's administration came out with a "Rights Up Front" plan. Inner City Press obtained and published a leaked copy; Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky said it "may or may not exist."

  Now Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson has cited Rights Up Front in speaking of Central African Republic, as has UN Human Rights deputy Ivan Simonovic, vying to shift much of the UN's "rule of law" machinery into his office.

  But what MSF describes is hardly "Rights Up Front." Inner City Press intends to ask about it -- if, unlike December 12, Ban's spokesperson Nesirky allows it more than one question (while granting another fully four questions). Watch this site.


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