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On US Power Trip, MSF Slams UN in CAR, Chad's Adam, Juba Next?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 19 -- Two days into a three day Africa trip by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, the State Department has issued a December 19 Media Advisory about the December 17 - 20 trip, to Central African Republic, Nigeria and Chad.

  The latter two countries are coming onto the UN Security Council on January 1, and the Advisory says "during stops in Nigeria and Chad, the Ambassador is meeting senior government officials and civil society leaders to discuss cooperation on a range of issues from promoting human rights and good governance to coordinating on regional security."

  On the chess board of crises in French colonial interests, Nigeria pulled soldiers out of the UN Mission in Mali -- but Chad is there, and prospectively in CAR as well, over the objections of Cameroon.

  Why is Cameroon opposed to Chadian involvement in the CAR? Sources at the UN tell Inner City Press that because Chad has been a supporter of France's CAR semi-strongman Bozize, overthrown by the Seleka rebels, Cameroon and others are concerned Chad would help Bozize return.

(On the other hand, the sources say, Chad hedged its bet with Nourdine Adam of the Seleka coalition, one reason that Samantha Power's French counterpart Gerard Araud was so adamant that France had not "arrested" Adam.)

  So in Chad, one wonders, did Samantha Power look into the gang rape charges against Chad's UN "peacekeepers" in Mali?

To her credit, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Samantha Power did raise the Congolese Army's rapes in Minova to DRC president Joseph Kabila, as another member of the Council trip told Inner City Press, which reported it first.

  This trip is "solo" or all-American, including new Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield who had just been in Somalia.

Inner City Press on December 17 asked if Power was, in fact, going to the CAR, in light of Medecins Sans Frontieres' report of UN inaction while people were killed and suffering just outside the gates of their compounds. The question was not answered at that time.

  Now one might wonder if Power might head to or in some way address the crisis in South Sudan, a country in Africa in which the US has more responsibility. One also wonders: is it true that the UN, whose Ban Ki-moon told Inner City Press he had not reached out to or spoken with Riek Machar, asking Uganda to mediate? Watch this site.


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