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UN updates, and a kink fix

January 28, 2009

In case you were desperate to read the story I posted the wrong link for, here it is:

“Rwanda-Congo move isolates UN mission”

This story emerged out of nowhere, in conversations with people for a completely different story, about the arrest of Nkunda and what’s in all this for Rwanda.

No one at the UN knew anything about the troop movements. Last week, they even got blocked from bringing aid by a joint force. It looks, though, like they’re getting back on the horse, or at least behind the podium. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says things could get bad, and the alliance between militaries is making it hard for the UN to do its humanitarian work.

The Security Council is holding closed consultations on the situation today, one week after the Rwandan troops crossed the border. (Also on the agenda is Sudan; I can’t imagine how fun that meeting is going to be.) No doubt we can expect some blustery diplomacy soon.

Meanwhile, UNICEF asks for $1 billion in emergency aid. I’m not sure where that’s going to come from, since all the spare dollars, in my country anyway, are being injected back into banks.

What I want to know is how the UN plans to tackle its civilian protection obligations–or mandate, if you prefer–when it’s been so sidelined. It’s a real, complicated, important question, with no easy answer for either UN cheerleaders or naysayers. (Mr. Doss, I await your call.)

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