By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, September 6 -- As in Gabon Jean Ping accuses Ali Bongo of stealing the election, in front of the UN on September 6 there was an anti Ali Bongo protest, Vine here, longer YouTube video here. Signs included 50 years is enough, a reference to Omar Bongo handing over the country to his son, Ali.
More than one person noted that the UN has become that way: on August 26, the day after Inner City Press first asked about it, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, without recusing himself.
Now Ban's spokesman won't say who was on the panel that supposedly picked Sid Chatterjee; Inner City Press is confined to minders when it seeks to cover the UN's second floor. This is censorship in the UN; in Gabon, the Internet is off (but Inner City Press' photos and Vine are getting hits, presumably from the diaspora or others concerned with democracy and human rights, lacking in Ban's UN itself).
On Gabon on September 1 in front of the UN Security Council French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the press that his country “has pronounced itself” and wants the Security Council to condemn looting and call to guarantee the transparency of the election. Inner City Press put the audio on Soundcloud, here.
But what does that mean? Is it a code word for more Bongo?
The US, meanwhile, said “we call on the Gabonese Government to release results for each individual polling station. This will help give the people of Gabon, as well as the international community, confidence the announced vote tallies are accurate.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on a two week junket through Asia, soon through his spokesman echoed the US: “The UN supports the call of regional and international observers for a transparent verification of election results.”
Given the long relationship of France with Omar Bongo and now his son Ali Bongo, who “holds the pen” for the Security Council on this? Watch this site.