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UN Happy Talk from Ban & Spokesman, No Sudan, No Sri Lanka or Congo Accountability

[Inner City Press, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 07:50 No Comment]

Ban Ki-moon and his team, trying to manipulate the media, will attempt to use the upcoming UN General Debate to nail down a second term for “Mister Ban,” UN sources observing Ban’s recent behavior say.

On Monday, Ban and his spokesman Martin Nesirky chose and answered questions, none of them on such topics as the UN’s inaction in Darfur, Myanmar, on the rapes in the Congo, or corruption and dissension in Ban’s own administration.

Rather, Ban positioned himself a something of a spiritual guru, opining on the state of relations between Muslims and the West, telling the media not to cover planned Koran burnings, which Ban said “cannot be tolerated.”

But these are issues over which the UN, and Ban in particular, have no power at all. What about Sudan, where despite two $1 billion peacekeeping missions, Darfurians are slaughtered without the UN coming to their aid before they get permission from Khartoum?

How about Eastern Congo, where hundreds of women were raped within short distances of UN Peacekeepers? Ban’s envoy to the Congo, Roger Meece, blatantly misspoke to the UN press corps, saying that the first his Mission heard of the rapes was August 12. Disproved by a July 30 e-mail sent out by the UN, there has been no retraction, much less accountability.

The only vaguely pointed question Nesirky accepted for Ban on Monday concerned a drunken toast by the director of DESU, Sha Zu Kang. “He has apologized,” Ban said smugly. “Let us move on.”

But what about the critique of Inga Britt Ahlenius? No questions on that, none of the promised follow up briefing. At Ban’s last press conference, he said that the Ahlenius critiques, of corruption and weak leadership, were “too small,” and would be the subject of a separate briefing – which has yet to occur.

An issue which seems to have entirely fallen off the table, with the Ban administration’s push, is the panel of experts on the war crimes in Sri Lanka. Ban announced his panel in March, but its work — and four month time clock — has yet to begin. No questions on that, no answers: issue disappeared.

UN’s Ban and Spokesman, Qs or As on Sudan, Sri Lanka, corruption not shown

Ban’s trip to Rwanda is now viewed as an attempt to keep the issue of genocide in the Congo under wraps until after the General Debate, at which Ban will attempt to be omni-present in a highly controlled way, with critique questions screened out by Nesirky.

  Likewise, the top post in UN Women will be used in this way, sources say: either Michelle Bachelet to ward off a challenge for Ban’s second term, or less likely now Rwanda’s foreign minister, in an attempt to forestall untimely hypocrisy criticism from Rwanda. So it goes in Ban Ki-moon’s UN.

[Full Coverage]

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