The Latest Scandal At The United Nations

I Know, I Know . . . It's Hard To Keep Count

By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in | Comments (16) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

As if things in the Democratic Republic of Congo were not bad enough absent any other external factors that would tend to make life worse, we now have this:

The UN says it will seek to discipline anyone who has compromised peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo by trafficking in gold or guns.

The vow came after the BBC found that an inquiry into claims that Pakistani UN troops were smuggling may have been blocked for political reasons.

The UN said it could not comment on an ongoing investigation, but would recommend action once it was complete.

So what is the nature of the allegations and the investigation?

Read on . . .

The BBC's Martin Plaut has found that the UN began an internal investigation in early 2006 into allegations that Pakistani peacekeeping troops had traded in gold and sold weapons to Congolese militia groups they were meant to disarm.

The Pakistani battalion at the centre of the claims was based in and around the mining town of Mongbwalu, in the north-east of the country, two years ago.

They helped bring peace to an area that had previously seen bitter fighting between the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups.

But witnesses said Pakistani officers had also supplied weapons to notorious militia commanders in return for gold.

As the trade developed, the officers brought in the Congolese army and then Indian traders from Kenya.

When the UN was eventually alerted to the allegations by Human Rights Watch in late 2005, it instituted a major investigation by the Office for Internal Oversight Services.

Get ready for the kicker:

However, a UN official connected with the inquiry told the BBC there seemed to have been a plan to bury its results, in order to avoid alienating Pakistan - the largest contributor of troops to the UN.

So, to recap:

  1. Pakistani peacekeepers undermined the very disarmament procedures they were responsible for overseeing in return for gold.
  2. The UN was made aware of the problem in 2005.
  3. An investigation began in 2006.
  4. The investigation is not yet complete, which conveniently means that the UN cannot comment on it.
  5. The UN may simply sweep the results of the investigation under the rug because it fears that the Pakistanis--who lead in terms of peacekeeper contributions by a country mile (a BBC news report that I heard earlier today indicated that the Pakistanis have contributed 10,000 troops to peacekeeping operations, compared to 300 troops contributed by the United States and Great Britain together)--might get offended.

I feel great about this state of affairs. How about you?

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The Latest Scandal At The United Nations 16 Comments (0 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Let them move their operations to Darfur.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

I'm about as rough as they come, but your comments have gotten a little rough even for me lately. You're better than this -- cool it down a bit.

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Move the UN operations out of NYC to somewhere not so "glamorous". Since most of the membership comes from third world countries, and most of the "services" are aimed to be delivered to third world countries, put the organization on the front lines. Let them see the people they're supposed to be helping on a daily basis.

Turn the organization from an bureaucratic and administrative HQ operation "sending" people to far off lands into a prototypical "missions" organization where they are among those they are supposed to be serving.

The point wasn't to ship them out to be killed and eaten, it was to get them out of the sewer of "high-life" and into the streets of "real life".

This conversation has gone on before, and when I typed out the above I was in the midst of work stuff, waiting for a fax and shorted out to stupid assumption that everyone would naturally pick up where my thought choo choo train left off.

Sorry.

And I'd consider rotating the Congress around amongst the states for similar reasons.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

as a good ol' boys network anyway, where third world nations without a lot of power scratch the backs of other third world nations while they all try to find new and not so new ways to condemn Israel.

Honestly the UN overly legitimzes thugs and dictators by giving them a forum to feel powerful.

The UN seems to be riddled with corruption at the moment. What I can't tell is if this is something that was born during Kofi's tenure or if it just bubbled to the surface, and has always been there. But considering a quarter or more of the UN budget comes from the US taxpayer, there should be some accountability.

The only two story building in the country! Standing majestically above the rubble that the UN has allowed to take place!

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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Actually Thomas, I think he has a good point. I'm not sure that Darfur is the best place but I think one of the countries in Africa or the ME would be a great place for the UN to be relocated. The bureaucracy would be much closer the real issues and problems.

I have been a crotchety old fart lately.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

I hadn't noticed the difference. :-)

I mean, as a labor-saving device?

So...the UN doesn't want to alienate the Pakistanis because they want to be able to get these kinds of results in other peacekeeping missions? That's like the French in 1941 saying they didn't want to speak ill of the Maginot Line.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

1) Ummmm. Well there's.... Hummmm. Not getting much there.

Done. You're right. That wasn't hard at all.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100 percent.

where does the United States Department of Treasury send the check? I can't really tell whether it will be the Congo, Pakistan, or both in this instance. I'm sure the State Department will tell them, and the president will sob a little more than usual if he catches the video.

I'm actually laughing here.

Because how could the situation possibly be otherwise.

The institution is disfunctional by design, and Yo-Yos think it will work.
Yeah, international law. That's the ticket.

The self-proclaimed big brains run around for years to set up the Orange Revolution and then leave in place the spiral parlimentary system and wonder why power runs to the top so fast.

Oh, lets run a socialized health care system. The bluebirds will land on our shoulders.

Oh no, the earth is warming - not at all because of an external input with 333000 times our mass fluctuating a few percent. Hey, I've got an idea. Let's use that to set up a monsterous international scam. Forget about the actual damage to the environment the disinformation will cause - I want to go to Davos.

Oh, lets definitely make Belgium the seat of power of the EU. They have such robust internal systems and a history of liberty.

Oh, wait, you Iraqis actually want a representive system based on geographic location like the US. No, lets just talk you out of that and put in a party list parlimentary system. It helps disparate people integrate. You know, like Venezuela.

Hey, let's trust a commie dictatorship to stick to an Agreed Framework.

Ahhh. I never liked existentialism, but I think I might revist Waiting for Godot.

I'm laughing at both your post and the blog as I type.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

from the RICO law or similar statutes? There is a large and growing body of evidence that, by hosting the UN in New York and paying dues to it, the federal government is aiding and abetting a corrupt organization.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

 
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