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To S. Sudan, UN Confirms 350 Ghana Troops from Cote d'Ivoire, NGO Attacked

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 27 -- After the UN Security Council met on January 27 about one of the many former French colonies on its agenda, Cote d'Ivoire, no one came to the UNTV stakeout to speak.

 New UN envoy Aïchatou Mindaoudou Souleymane, who replaced Bert Koenders when he shifted to Mali, did not come to New York, instead briefing by video. Inner City Press went to the noon briefing and asked, video here:

Inner City Press: it seems like the [Special Representative of the Secretary-General] is probably not going to give stake out – she is not here — so I thought I’d ask you. There was a reported ransacking of a group called Alternative Côte d’Ivoire, which is the biggest gay rights group in the country and it was done today. So I am wondering, does she or the UN have any comment on that? Also, Ghana has said it would move some troops or send some troops to South Sudan. I’m told this would actually come from UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire). I am wondering if you can confirm that?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq: On the question of Ghanaian troops, I can’t confirm that just yet. We’ll have to see what we can say about further troops to UNMISS. As you know, we’ve been trying to redeploy some troops, but I don’t have any announcement to make on that just yet. Regarding the question of the ransacking of the gay rights group, we’ll check with UNOCI whether they have anything to say about this reported incident.

  By day's end, the UN still had no comment on the ransacking of the NGO. But Haq's office sent this:

Subject: Your question on UNMISS
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question on the UN Mission in South Sudan, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has the following information: Preparations are underway to transfer 350 Ghanaian troops from ONUCI to UNMISS under inter-mission cooperation in the coming weeks.

  Another 500, Inner City Press is told, would come from the UN's mission in Darfur...

 After the Security Council finished with Cote d'Ivoire on January 27, there was another session that was not on the public schedule. Inner City Press staked it out and was told that questions had been asked, on Central African Republic, about how the European Union forces will work with the African MISCA mission.

  Assurances were given; a scrum of diplomats including France's continued out to the stakeout. But no one spoke on camera. This is the UN.


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