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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] Two former UN Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq have been punished pursuant to the report of the Security in Iraq Accountability Panel. Tun Myat (who stepped from the Humanitarian Coordinator role into the top security slot) was fired. Humanitarian aid expert Ramiro Da Silva was demoted and will return to his former job at the U.N. World Food Program. I'm inclined to view the UN's action as scapegoating -- as punishment for Da Silva and Myat's justifiable yet tragic decision to work with a minimal security presence to better integrate with the local population (a strategy adopted by many aid organizations). The Red Cross/Red Crescent bombing some weeks after the UN attack amid a heightened security presence argues the risks to such organizations were endemic and without easy remedy. Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck are among the former Humanitarian Coordinators (see http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2003/msg04710.html). Note that all Humanitarian Coordinators served under the head of Oil-for-Food Benon Sevan, whose name surfaced in INC-linked documents that prompted the UN's forthcoming OFF investigations (and much more on this later). The UN's SIAP report is here: http://www.un.org/News/dh/iraq/SIAP-report.pdf, and news summaries follow. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA === http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A34518-2004Mar29?language=printer Annan Fires Top Security Adviser Over Iraq Bombing By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, March 30, 2004; Page A13 UNITED NATIONS, March 29 -- Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday ousted his top security adviser and punished several other U.N. employees for failing to provide adequate security at the United Nations' Baghdad headquarters before the Aug. 19 attack that killed 22 people there. The U.N. chief's action marked the largest shake-up of senior staff members in over a decade. It followed the completion of a confidential 150-page report by a panel headed by a retired U.N. official, Gerald Walzer, into personal accountability for the security breakdown before the terrorist attack, which killed the United Nations' top envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil. The move was aimed at putting to rest months of criticism of the United Nations' failure to anticipate the worst terrorist attack against the organization in its history despite mounting evidence that it was a potential terror target. Instead, it sparked fresh criticism from some within the organization who noted that Annan and some other senior officials who hastily led the United Nations back into Iraq in May went unpunished. According to a summary of the report prepared by the U.N. secretary general's office, the United Nations -- facing mounting international pressure to address Iraq's humanitarian needs -- recklessly rushed back into the country without conducting a proper assessment of the worsening security conditions. After the U.N. return, senior U.N. officials in New York and Baghdad, including Vieira de Mello, routinely dismissed reports from U.N. intelligence officials indicating "a very real danger to the safety of UN staff" from an increasingly violent insurgency, the summary said. "They ignored the warning signs which were becoming more obvious each day," the summary noted. "They failed to respond effectively to the recommendations and advice which were coming from their own security advisors." The panel leveled its most serious charge against Tun Myat of Myanmar, the United Nations' security coordinator, who was described as "oblivious" to the worsening security situation in Baghdad in the weeks leading up to the attack. Myat, a veteran U.N. official with little prior security experience, resigned Monday. The summary concluded that Myat and the top U.N. security officials in Iraq "appeared to be blinded by the conviction that U.N. personnel and installations would not become a target of attack, despite the clear warnings to the contrary." "I am the security coordinator. I cannot shirk responsibility for what has happened," Myat said by telephone. "I think it is only correct that I tender my resignation." Annan also demoted Ramiro Lopes da Silva of Portugal, a highly regarded humanitarian relief expert, who served as the United Nations' top humanitarian coordinator in Iraq. Lopes da Silva, who will return to his former job at the U.N. World Food Program, was charged with putting "forward a flawed concept of operation" for the organization's return to Iraq after the U.S.-led war that included "no prior security assessment." Lopes da Silva and a U.N. security official, Robert Adolph, who was also ordered reassigned to a new job, will be barred from taking on new assignments with responsibilities for the security of U.N. staff members. Lopes da Silva's security plan was later approved by a senior U.N. advisory panel, the Steering Group on Iraq, and endorsed by Annan. The panel cleared Annan of personal responsibility, saying that he "had acted in a proper manner" because he was acting on the recommendation of his top advisers. Annan charged two mid-level officials -- Paul Aghadjanian of Jordan, chief of the U.N. Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, and Gambia's Pa Momodou Sinyan, the U.N. agency's building manager -- with misconduct and initiated disciplinary proceedings against them. The two officials were sharply criticized in the report for acting too slowly to respond to requests to install anti-blast film, a move that "would in all probability have saved lives." The panel faulted the 15-member steering group, which was headed by U.N. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette of Canada, for failing to exercise "due care or diligence" in weighing the security situation in Baghdad before the U.N. return. Annan declined Frechette's offer to resign, noting that the entire steering group shared responsibility. Annan also chastised the heads of several U.N. agencies, including the U.N. Children's Fund and the U.N. Development Program, for ignoring restrictions designed to limit the number of U.N. relief experts stationed in Baghdad before the Aug. 19 attack. The summary did not address the controversial question of whether Annan himself had acted responsibly by urging U.N. staff to remain in Iraq after the attack despite nearly unanimous calls from his top security and political advisers to pull out. The U.N. headquarters staff union said Annan was letting his own inner circle off too easily. "The punishment for most doesn't fit the crime," said Guy Candusso, the vice president of the U.N. Staff Union. "We have 22 people dead, and the U.N. Secretary General lets most senior officials keep their jobs and their pensions." === http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/30/international/middleeast/30NATI.html?pagewanted=print&position= March 30, 2004 Five Penalized by U.N. Chief in Iraq Bombing By WARREN HOGE NITED NATIONS, March 29 — Acting on a damning report of United Nations security failures in the bombing of its Baghdad headquarters last August, Secretary General Kofi Annan fired his chief of global security, demoted a second senior official, penalized three staff members and received — but did not accept — the resignation of his own deputy, his spokesman said Monday. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette of Canada offered her resignation in response to a letter to her from Mr. Annan expressing disappointment over the security lapses, said the spokesman, Fred Eckhard. But Mr. Annan declined it, deeming the failures "collective and not the responsibility of any one individual." Tun Myat of Myanmar, the global security chief, was dismissed and Romiro Lopes da Silva of Portugal, the deputy to the Baghdad mission head, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who died in the blast, was reassigned to a lesser post in the World Food Program and barred from ever again serving in a security capacity. On Aug. 19, 2003, a car packed with explosives destroyed part of a hotel in Baghdad that was serving as headquarters for the United Nations. Twenty-two people died in the attack, which had a devastating effect on the world organization. The report, produced by an outside panel commissioned by Mr. Annan, said United Nations officials were "blinded by the conviction that U.N. personnel and installations would not become a target of attack, despite the clear warnings to the contrary." It cleared Mr. Annan himself. The blame lay with security officials advising him, Mr. Eckhard said. Two of the three lower-level officials, Pa Momodou Sinyan of Gambia and Boulos Paul Aghadjanian of Jordan, face internal punishments and are accused of "profound lack of responsibility and ineptitude" for not having installed blast-resistant film over windows. Most injuries were caused by flying glass. The third staffer, Robert Adolph, is to be reassigned to a nonsecurity position. The bombing led to Mr. Annan's removing all foreign staff members from Iraq in October. The organization has been conducting its operations from Jordan and Cyprus and is only now beginning its return to help rescue stalled plans for the political transition set for June 30. _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk