UNITED NATIONS, November 30 -- Amid human rights abuses in Burundi and the Central African Republic, on November 23 Inner City Press exclusively reported and documented that the United Nations has told the Burundian government of Pierre Nkurunziza it must replace, and cannot deploy to CAR, nine officers.
Inner City Press exclusively obtained and published the UN's confidential Note Verbale with the nine names, below. Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople questions about the note verbale in writing on November 25: no answer. On November 28, Ban's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press he would “take a look at it.” On November 29, he had nothing - but the paperwork for more deployments by and payment to the Nkurunziza government emerged.
So on November 30, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, YouTube video here, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you on Burundi, on Burundi, you gave the readout of Prince Zeid's statement in Geneva about the pos… the problems in Burundi. And both… I… he and the panel of experts seem to both… to believe that the UN peacekeeping should… should stop using Burundian peacekeepers given the human rights issues both in CAR [Central African Republic] and in Burundi.
So given that I've now seen a deployment order for flights beginning on 10 December to… to, in fact, send more Burundian troops to CAR than are currently there, up to 800, and it's dated 28 November, I'm wondering, either from this podium or sometime today, can you… can the UN explain why the Secretariat and DPKO are… are… are rejecting this human rights recommendation to not take the peacekeepers and how that's consistent with Rights Up Front and consistency of the system?
Deputy Spokesman: Well, regarding that, following consultations with all relevant offices within the UN system, the Secretariat has decided to continue with the deployment of the Burundian battalion in the Central African Republic.
The deployment of the Burundian troops will remain under close review based on the evolving situation in Burundi and cooperation with the UN. The conduct of the Burundian troops in the Central African Republic will also be closely monitored.
And regarding what, what you've been asking about people's individual records, one thing I can say is that, following a review of the CVs of the proposed incoming battalion, nine individuals were excluded from the rotation.
ICP Question: And I… just one follow-up, because I've seen that letter on the nine and published it. But I wanted to ask you, I've also… since you've gone this far, since the letter, the note verbally, says it's based on cooperation by the Government of Burundi with the UN system, given this week… this past weekend's demonstration against the UN, and allegation by the ruling party that the UN is distributing weapons, and a memo that's come out showing that government employees were required to protest the UN, is that cooperation? And who… who's reviewing it under what time frame, given that they're going to fly 2 December?
Deputy Spokesman: We will evaluate all these developments, but regarding the weekend events, of course, you're aware of what my colleague Stéphane said at the start of this week.
In front of the UN Security Council on November 29 Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre about the protests. midtown Manhattan. He replied that Burundi was one of the topics discussed by new Secretary General Antonio Guterres when he was in Paris. Video here. From the French Mission's transcript, this time included by them:
Inner City Press Q: What about the Burundi protests against the UN? Do you intend to do anything on Burundi, there were major protests against the UN. They said that the UN is trafficking weapons in the country, pretty much ignored the call...
Amb Delattre: We remain completely mobilized on Burundi. This was one of the topics of discussion when Antonio Guterres and then Ban Ki-moon went to Paris a few days ago. Thank you for mentioning it, this remains for us a key priority. And as we speak we work on the implementation of resolution 2303.