Al-Jazeera interview with Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Gambari. Nigeria’s former representative to the United Nations. Al-Jazeera’s Folly Bah Thibault interviews Gambari about the United Nations UNAMID mission in Darfur and his meeting with Sudan’s leader Omar Al-Bashir.
There are currently over half a dozen United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa.
Good discussion by the Economist on the various United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa from Sudan, Congo, Somalia et al.
Liberia’s ex-President Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in jail by the UN war crimes court in the Hague (Special Court for Sierra Leone). Judge Lussick passed the sentence. Taylor is the first Head of State to be sentenced to jail by a war crimes court.
Interview with the recently retired former Nigerian army officer and peacekeeping adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon: Lt-General Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor. Obiakor was the longest serving Nigerian General and far senior to the current Chief of Army Staff Lt-General Azubuike Ihejirika.
Gosh, very hard to keep up with all the dramatic leaked info from the Wikileaks saga. So I have distilled some of the best leaks at the links below:
Leader of Burma’s Military Junta Tried to Buy Manchester United
Shell Oil’s Infiltration of Nigeria’s Government
Saudi Princes In Sex, Drugs and Alcohol Parties
Nigeria Feared Military Coup During Yar’Adua’s Illness
Saudi Arabian Funding of Al-Qaeda
Key Global Sites for Security/Terror
Al-Jazeera Used as Bargaining Chip by Qatar
US diplomats gathering intelligence and biomatric info on UN officials and foreign leaders:
US Referred to Russia as a “Mafia State”
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Urged America to Attack Iran
Gordon Brown an “Abysmal” Prime Minister
Interview with Julian Assange
Download key data on US Embassy cables
New British Conservative Party Government Offered “Pro American” Policies to Americans
Oh dear. I almost feel sorry for the foreign minister Ojo Maduekwe. After the savaging he suffered on the BBC’s Hardtalk programme, Maduekwe looked very uncomfortable again in a very combative interview with Sahara Reporters at a press conference at the United Nations. He got into a virtual slanging match when faced with some very forthright questioning by Sahara Reporters.
In a way I sympathise with Maduekwe. He is serving a President that has been AWOL for two months, probably does not know when the President will be back, and is being bombarded with questions while he gropes around in the dark without guidance from his President.
Watch and squirm.
For the past two years, Nigeria’s General Martin Luther Agwai has been the Force Commander of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). In September UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced that Agwai would be succeeded as UNAMID Force Commander by Lt-General Patrick Nyamvumba of Rwanda.
Nyamvumba’s appointment might cause a storm with Nigerian officers on the UNAMID mission. Nyamvumba trained at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and is now commanding Nigerian officers who enlisted before him and who have been in service far longer than him. Surprising that the United Nations made such a botch and did not do its homework on this. Even more surprising given that the UN’s Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations is the Nigerian officer Lt-General Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor.
In seniority terms, Nyanvumba is far junior to his predecessor. Agwai was already a Colonel when Nyamvumba was still a cadet training at the NDA!
The issue of seniority is a very pertinent issue and has an angry precedent. During the early stages of ECOMOG, a rancorous situation erupted when the senior Nigerian officers refused to work under the Guinean deputy force commander, Lt-Col Lamin Mangasouba. General Sani Abacha (then the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff) sent a letter to the Ghanaian force commander General Quianoo, ordering all Nigerian officers above the rank of Major to immediately return to Nigeria (including the Chief of Staff Brigadier Cyril Iweze). Even when Guinea promoted Mangasouba to full Colonel, the Nigerian officers still refused to serve under him.
Here is a video showing the handover ceremony from Agwai to Nyamvumba.