still more on the GoE report
Colum Lynch has the most in-depth coverage of the Group of Experts interim report annex fiasco to date at Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog. From it, we learn that:
- The US mission to the UN (USUN) denies that it is blocking the report, but rather is "carefully studying" its findings "in anticipation of council discussions on June 26."
- On June 13, the Group of Experts told the Security Council they would only publish the annex if its results were made public out of concern for protecting informants because publicity would make it more difficult for the government of Rwanda to retaliate against suspected informants.
- Anneke von Woudenberg of Human Rights Watch told Lynch, "I haven't seen the annex but I'm told that it names top officials in Rwanda who are allegedly involved in the effort to back the mutineers, and it goes to extremely senior levels."
- Last week, USUN signaled that it wanted to block the report, apparently in the face of objections from some at the State Department. However, since that time, the mission appears to agree that the annex should be released, but that it should be delayed to give Rwanda time for right of reply to the annex's allegations.
- "U.S. officials deny there was a division between the U.S. mission in New York and the State Department."
- Per the compromise on the annex reached in a meeting between the Sanctions Committee and the Group on Tuesday, the interim report will be released next week. The annex should be released in a couple of weeks.
- A spokesperson at USUN denied the claims about Rice's preference to not release the annex being contra to the desires of State officials in tweets by HRW head Ken Roth, which I mentioned in yesterday's post.
For what it's worth, based on information from multiple reliable sources, I believe there really was a dispute between Rice and some at State's Africa bureau. What's important, however, is that the annex will apparently be released in full. While, as Lynch notes, it is highly unusual to allow countries accused of violating sanctions to have right of reply on a report, I don't think it's that big of a deal. The Rwandan government is going to have an hysterical fit over the annex one way or the other. If USUN wants to let them do so in a United Nations forum, so be it.