Monday, October 10, 2005

Bolton to the UN: You want to actually do something?

UN: This is why I like Bolton up there in the UN.

Bolton, joined by China, Algeria and Russia, prevented Juan Mendez, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser for the prevention of genocide, from briefing the council on his recent visit to Darfur, despite pleas from Annan and 11 other council members that Mendez be heard. "I strongly regret and deplore that Mr. Mendez ... was not authorized to brief the council today as Mr. Kofi Annan had asked," French Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told reporters outside the council chambers. But Bolton said he had objected to the briefing to make the point the council should be "talking more about the steps it can take to do something about the deteriorating security situation" in Darfur. He gave no new proposals. "How many officials from the secretariat does it take to give a briefing?" he said, noting the council had just concluded a briefing on Darfur from Hedi Annabi, the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. Mendez, who visited Darfur for a week in late September, later briefed reporters on his findings. He said Sudanese officials were taking only cosmetic steps to prevent systematic human rights abuses there that might amount to genocide. crimes against humanity or war crimes.
Then someone accuses Bolton of being dumb enough to play along with those who don't want anything to happen in Sudan.
Council diplomats who wanted to hear from Mendez said it was a council tradition to give the envoy a platform when Annan called for a briefing from his adviser on genocide. They noted Bolton had lined up with the three council members -- Algeria, China and Russia -- which have watered down action against Khartoum. "He's playing into the hands of people who don't want to do anything," said one council diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to irritate Washington. The Security Council met for a briefing on the latest developments in Darfur after rebels in the western Sudanese region abducted a number of African Union peacekeeping troops and killed some of them.
While those three don't want anything to happen, Bolton actually stopped the briefing because he rightly pointed out how many do you need for the same damn thing to be said? So another briefing comes and goes, anything of substance being done? That is what Bolton has a problem with.

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