The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has been accused of sexual abuse and exploitation among its military personnel. It has announced that it is investigating the allegations, and adding additional preventative procedures to ensure that the UN’s zero-tolerance policy against abuse and exploitation is followed.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the John Lennon-Yoko Ono classic, “Give Peace a Chance.” To commemorate the event, the Plastic Ono Band and its record label are re-publishing the song through Itunes, and donating the proceeds to the UN Peace Building Fund.
This is a truly terrible development. Suicide bombers used white cars with UN markings to gain entry to an AMISOM base in Mogadishu. Dozens of people, including 17 African Union peacekeepers and the deputy force commander were killed in the attack. AMISOM is a force of about 5,000 troops from mostly Burundi and Uganda, which is the only international force trying to bring a semblance of stability to Somalia.
Here is Ban Ki Moon’s statement:
I am shocked and outraged by the reported suicide attack against AMISOM Force Headquarters in Mogadishu today. The attack has reportedly killed or wounded a number of AMISOM troops including at the command level.
AMISOM is in Mogadishu to help end the conflict that has ravaged the country for the last 20 years, and for a better future in which all Somalis can live in peace and security.
We – the United Nations – remain committed to continuing to work with the Transitional Federal Government and the Somali people to facilitate reconciliation and the political process, build Somali security and rule of law institutions and provide humanitarian assistance. The United Nations stands by the African Union and AMISOM and will continue to support AMISOM’s deployment and operations. UN resources from neighboring peace operations are on standby to assist the African Union to respond to the incident today as required.
I condemn in strongest possible terms this entirely unacceptable attack on those who are there to help foster peace and I call upon all Somalis to renounce violence and to work with the Transitional Federal Government towards national reconciliation.
I express my sincere condolences to the families, the contingents and Governments of those who lost their lives and my sympathy for those who have been wounded.
Electric power is scarce in rural areas and the cutting of trees to make charcoal has led to deforestation in Haiti.
As an example of projects rife for further investment, Clinton described a recycling program that turns paper and sawdust waste into cooking fuel that sells for one-fifth the cost of charcoal.
Seriously, though. Clinton’s role promoting international development and stability in Haiti might even be more difficult that freeing hostages taken by the equally impoverished — but decidedly less hospitable — regime in North Korea.
And while there may not be imprisoned journalists in Haiti, there is still some dangerous tension between Haitian protestors and UN peacekeepers, who have done much to calm and rebuild the country, but have again found themselves in the midst of demonstrations turned violent. If Bill can mediate between a hostile regime and innocent Americans, then surely he can soothe animosities between everyday Haitians and the peacekeepers who, after all, are trying to improve their lives.
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.