Sunday, December 19, 2010

UN chief underlines warning against attacking peacekeepers in Côte d'Ivoire

Source:   UN News Center
    
    UNOCI peacekeepers
    on patrol


     19 December 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized his warning against attacks on the United Nations peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire or attempts to obstruct their work, saying there will consequences for those responsible, as the UN human rights arm reported “massive violations.”


    “Any attack on UN forces will be an attack on the international community and those responsible for these actions will be held accountable,” said a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary-General, which added that Mr. Ban was aware of statements by the Laurent Gbagbo's spokesperson calling for the withdrawal of the UN force.

    “Any continued actions obstructing and constricting UN operations are similarly unacceptable,” the statement released late on Saturday added.

    The UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) will continue to fulfil its mandate and to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on UN peacekeepers, Mr. Ban said.

    In Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed deep concern over the growing evidence of massive violations of human rights taking place in Côte d'Ivoire since 16 December, and reiterated her determination to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

    “When people are victims of extrajudicial killings there must be an investigation, and there must be accountability,” Ms. Pillay said, noting that in the past three days there has been more than 50 people killed, and over 200 injured.

    “However, the deteriorating security conditions in the country and the interference with freedom of movement of UN personnel have made it difficult to investigate the large number of human rights violations reported,” she added in a press release on Sunday.

    Côte d'Ivoire has been plunged into political uncertainty after the incumbent president refused to concede electoral defeat recently. The UN has endorsed the victory of opposition leader and President-elect, Alassane Ouattara, in the run-off presidential elections held on 28 November, despite outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo's claim to have won.

    In the early hours of Saturday, armed men in military uniform fired at a UNOCI patrol vehicle and at sentries standing guard at the headquarters of the peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire commercial capital, Abidjan.

    Mr. Ban said those attacks were perpetrated by elements of the Ivorian security forces apparently loyal to Mr. Gbagbo, adding that a separate attack on UN military observers by Young Patriots, a group linked with the outgoing president, on Saturday left two military observers wounded.

    “There will be consequences for those who have perpetrated or orchestrated any such actions or do so in the future,” the statement said.

    The Secretary-General said the Security Council will meet once again on Monday to discuss the situation in Côte d'Ivoire and the renewal of UNOCI''s mandate, which is due to expire on 31 December 2010.

    “The international community has spoken with one voice regarding Mr. Gbagbo's attempt to hold onto power. The statements issued by the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union in this regard have shown that the African Continent is united in its commitment to respect the democratically expressed will of the Ivorian people and have recognized Mr. Ouattara as the President-elect,” the statement added.

    Ms. Pillay said UNOCI has received reports from hundreds of victims and members of their families about the abduction of individuals from their homes, especially at night, by unidentified armed individuals in military uniform accompanied by elements of the defence and security forces or militia groups.

    Abducted people are reportedly taken by force to illegal places of detention where they are held incommunicado and without charge. Some have been found dead in questionable circumstances.

    “I call upon all parties concerned to respect the human rights of all Ivorians, without discrimination,” Ms. Pillay said. “UN human rights officers in Cote d'Ivoire are on the alert and will continue to closely monitor the situation across the country.”

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    Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

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    If Liberia must move forward ...

    If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

    Liberia's greatest problem!

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    What do I think should be done?

    The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
    Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
    Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

    Liberia's Natural Resources
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    Liberia needs a proper system
    If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

    Solving problems in the absence of war talks

    As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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