Friday, June 10, 2016

Ban Ki-moon Meets Uganda's Rugunda, Cites Burundi, Critique UNdermined

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, June 9 -- Ban Ki-moon's meeting with Uganda's Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda was announced, at least to the press, only hours before it happened. Inner City Press, remembering Rugunda from his time as Ugandan Ambassador while the country was an elected member of the Security Council, went for the photo-op. Periscope video here, pre photo herestaged handshake here.
   With Ban were only two other UN officials, compared to four on the Ugandan side, including the Deputy Permanent Representative who helped a Ugandan videographer get to the photo op. More than three hours later, Ban's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric issued this read-out:
“The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the continued sacrifices made by the Ugandan troops of AMISOM in Somalia, and emphasized the critical importance of AMISOM staying the course against Al-Shabaab for the sake of Somalia and regional security. He also commended Uganda’s efforts to address the situation in Burundi, underlining that Burundi remains a continuing priority concern for the UN.

“Regarding South Sudan, the Secrurity-General urged regional countries to stay fully engaged with the two leaders and impress upon them the need the implement the peace agreement fully and without delay. The Secretary-General conveyed his concerns about recent allegations of serious human rights violations, including sexual exploitation and abuse, involving Ugandan forces in the Central African Republic. He also raised the case of the opposition leader, Mr Kizza Besigye.”
  What about Western Sahara, a topic on which Rugunda spoke passionately while on the Security Council? The reference to Burundi rings hollow; the criticism tacked onto the end is inevitably seen in light of Ban's decision to drop shame-listing of Saudi Arabia after financial threats. Are only poorer countries to be criticized? 
It must also be seen in light of Ban's UN's pretextual targeting and eviction of the Press, New York Times here, petition with 1500 signatures (ignored by UN so far) here"Aide Memoire" here.
 This is the dynamic, the erosion, that Ban Ki-moon has opened up. Watch this site.