UN should investigate Michael Schulenberg : Latest bombshell by SLPP Fanatic and Bio supporter is very damaging

UN should investigate Michael Schulenberg : Latest bombshell by SLPP Fanatic and Bio supporter is very damaging

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If there was any doubt that the former Executive Representative of the United Nations Secretary General , Mr. Michael Von Schulenberg  likely compromised his neutrality in the Sierra Leone political landscape ,  the truth has come out, albeit too late , after the end of the ERSG’s tenure as head of the United Nation’s Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone. Mr. Shulenberg departed the shores of the country on Monday, two weeks after the UN confirmed that it had ended United Nations Integrated Peacekeeping Boss’ diplomatic tour.

 MR. SCHULENBERG : GBERIE HAS MADE IT KNOWN THAT HE WAS NOT NEUTRAL

Mr. Schulenberg left behind a thick cloud of controversies in Sierra Leone. He was bitterly criticised by the media for what it described as his lack of political neutrality and support for the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP )  and his  alleged sexual indiscretions.  Also, the Leader of one of Sierra Leone’s political parties, the United Democratic Movement ( UDM ) , Mr. Mohamed Bangura, last September during the UN General Assembly,  submitted a complaint to the UN, against Mr. Schulenberg, whom he accused of supporting one of the political parties.

Though it is now clear , based on assurances given by top UN officials to New York-based journalists, including  free-lance reporter Mr. Dennis Kabato  that the UN itself recalled Mr. Schulenberg and that,  contrary to opposition press reports,  he was not declared persona non grata by the Government of Sierra Leone, disturbing revelations by a leading SLPP fanatic , Dr. Lans Gberie have given  credence to the UDM complaint that Mr. Schuleng may not have been neutral in Sierra Leone’s turbulent political scenerio after all.

LANS GBERIE INADVERTENTLY EXPOSED SCHULENBERG’S LACK OF NEUTRALITY

 

Whether Gberie , who now holds a very sensitive position as an independent researcher for the African Union at the United Nations Security Council , was aware that he was  unwittingly letting the cat out of the bag on Mr. Schulenberg  or not is not clear but the man  who has widely  made himself known as a fanatic of the opposition SLPP and defender  of the party and its  presidential candidate in the local and international media ,  has revealed  in an article titled , A (Parting) Note on von Schulenburg that he was given an assignment by Mr.Schulenberg to  travel all over Sierra Leone , make a study and write him a report that would form the basis for a conflict-mitigation strategy ahead of the November elections. Why did Mr. Schulenberg call upon somebody who has not disguised his political leanings in all his articles and has been criticising the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) in the local and international media ? How objective and neutral did Schulenberg expect this report to be ?

It was not as if Schulenberg did not know Gberie’s political opinions. If he asserts that he had never read Gberie’s anti-APC reports in the media, Mr. Gberie did not disguise from him his political beliefs during their transactions related to the assignment he wanted the SLPP  supporter to perform for him. Gberie wrote in his article :

“When I moved to Sierra Leone after nearly two years in Liberia, Schulenburg asked me to travel around the country and write a report that could form the basis of a conflict mitigation strategy ahead of the 2012 elections. In my many meetings with him, I found him to be the most intellectually curious and engaging senior UN official I have ever met. He was interested in every detail, and constantly challenged my conclusions. I felt at the time that he viewed Koroma who he told me he liked and trusted, and with whom he was in almost daily contact much too favourably.  He had to, of course, have the confidence in the president and his government.

But he was also determined to learn more about the country from many different sources.

I told him at the time that Koroma was a politician and that since he was running for re-election, his motives and actions are likely to be as base as any politician desperate for power. In fact, in my research, I came to a conclusion that actually stunned me at the time.

Almost all the political violence since 2007 was initiated by people or groups linked to the ruling APC. I also found that the parties had very tenuous infrastructure outside of Freetown and the major cities, and so the initiative for any organised political activity or fission had to have come from the top leadership, mainly in Freetown. ”

If what Gberie wrote above is true, he has just provided clear evidence that Mr. Schulenberg did not handle  his assignment in Sierra Leone with diplomatic fidelity , especially with regards to his political neutrality.

Though Dr. Gberie, admittedly,  is a brilliant young man who  has distinguished himself creditably as a researcher of international repute, his alignment  with the SLPP should have rung the alarm bell that he was not the right man for the kind of assignment he wanted done : “ … travel around the country and write a report that could form the basis of a conflict mitigation strategy ahead of the 2012 elections ” .

Secondly, Sierra Leone does not suffer from a lack of competent intellectuals or researchers. Whatever could be written about our country, Sierra Leone is a nation blessed with a glut of intellectuals. If Schulenberg was a serious person, he could have assembled a more competent and neutral team to perform the study for him. From all indications, going by Gberie’s article, Schulenberg’s choice was based on friendship . This was wrong and it is the opinion of COCORIOKO that he was reckless with the job and showed an undiplomatic and unprofessional indifference for the neutrality and accuracy of the so-called Conflict-mitigation strategy he sought.

Now it is clear why there were rumours a few months ago that it was Lans Gberie who sent the erroneous report to the SLPP press that  during a Sierra Leone Country Specific PeaceBuilding Commission  Review Meeting  the UN had warned Sierra Leone about the press attacks on Mr. Schulenberg. At the time, the SLPP  newspaper, GLOBAL TIMES, which Gberie serves as a contributor, stated that they got the report from their Diplomatic Correspondent. People must have known about the relationship between Gberie and Schulenberg which he colourfully described in his article.

The only Sierra Leoneans present at the High-level meeting were the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Shekou Touray, the Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ,  the PBC Expert at the Sierra Leone Mission, Counselor Saidu Nallo and Dr. Gberie. The UN did enquire about the press attacks on Schulenberg but nobody warned Sierra Leone. During the furor over that patently biased story about the PBC Meeting  , somebody wrote an article to COCORIOKO  accusing Gberie of being the one who passed on the story to the SLPP  media but we dismissed the accusation  as false and did not publish the article because we did not think that Dr. Gberie would have condescended so low. It must be emphasized that  whoever sent the report breached protocol and confidentiality. The discussion at the meeting was not meant for public consumption .  The experts from the IMF and the World Bank and some PBC members whom we approached for their statements for publication made it known that their reports were not meant for  PUBLIC consumption.  Therefore  it is certain that none of them contacted the press. Only one of the Sierra Leoneans present, who had a vested interest, would have done so.

Though Mr. Schulenberg has completed his tenure in Sierra Leone, the UN must investigate the allegations made against him by the press, the UDM Leader and now these revelations by Dr. Gberie. Their findings will go a long way to help them better groom diplomats they send out to serve in post-conflict countries. It is  also hoped  that Dr. Gberie would be careful that he does DISGUISE  his political  bias for expert opinions at the UN Security Council. This will be a great disservice to the nation and would mar his career.

AWARENESS TIMES Publisher, Sylvia Blyden, also wrote an article in her paper, expressing concerns about the revelations unwittingly made by Mr. Gberie. She posted her article in her social networking FACEBOOK Page today and these were some of the concerns expressed by Sierra Leoneans :

Boyzie Gbanthkedie Kamara Damn!  I never knew Schulenberg was that naive. How could any UN rep. employ a well established partisan journalist to do an independent research?? Oops…! I forgot that the same Schulenberg has been an extension of the SLPP outfit. I trust that the UN will not be hoodwinked into making silly decisions concerning our country. we shall be watching…

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Claudius John Hummmm this is so serious HE take note if u are sleeping u better wake up.UN independent researcher what a monumental disaster. Now that this news is out HE must be very vigilant and pro active with regards the very UN involvement in this years elections  this nation have to be on red alert .

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Yema Bangura Thanks again Aunty Sylvia. I hope the Government is paying attention to this revelation.Lans Gberie is really providing LOPSIDED information. Read some of the last parting words in his parting exposure of his conspiracy to mislead the United Nations. He makes it to be that not for kidnapping was the SLPP councilor arrested but for winning elections. Listen to him please: “Political violence, meanwhile, has continued: a by-election for a local council seat in Freetown, which was won by the SLPP, was accompanied by violence, and Koroma’s government promptly arrested and detained the winner”. – http://www.globaltimes-sl.org/news2226.html

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Francis Trevor Samura Anybody who may have read the BBC Focus on Africa magazine for December to January 2012 edition,  in which LANS GBERRIE wrote an article on the current political dispensation and the status of the fight against corruption by HE EBK in S/L, will defenately justify Sylvia’s Analysis. Lans stated in his article that, the Defence Minister Paolo Conteh,  missappropriated 3m $ of Defid’s fund which was meant to support the RSLAF troops on peace keeping mission in Somalia, he futher stated that the Minister used the money instead to buy flat screen televisions

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Mohamed Sesay PSALMS 59 VERSE 5 to 7. 5. Even thou, O Jehovah God of hosts, the God of Israel, Arise to visit all the nations: Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. 6 They return at evening, they howl like a dog, And go round about the city. 7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth; Swords are in their lips: For who, say they, doth hear? 8 But thou, O Jehovah, wilt laugh at them; Thou wilt have all the nations in derision.   God will punish all the wicked people in the land. God knows a see all their plans, but the Lord that have the power to destroy and forgive will surely arise and smite the enemies of Sierra Leone.

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Kanji Daramy I have never met Michael von der Schulenburg, the outgone UN Secretary-General’s representative to Sierra Leone from 2009 to the beginning of 2012. Of course the reason being I was no longer working for government. However, the scanty info I knew of him was gathered mainly from newspaper stories on him, which in many instances portrayed him in not-so-positive light. After reading Lans Gberie’s parting note on him, the impression I have been left with is that Michael Schulenburg, an international civil servant, must have exceeded by far his official remit. May be, we need to understand that the UN itself is only an international inter-governmental body. That is, it was designed primarily to work with and engage governments.
The status of the UN and of its employees, from elective office holders such as the Secretary-General down to Senior Directors and professionals, cannot be equal to or comparable with the statuses of Heads of State or Government, regardless of the fact that the UN is a supra-national organisation. Heads of State and Government hold superior offices and carry much higher statuses. But in poor, developing and disadvantaged countries these mere ‘international civil servants’ carry themselves as if they are overlords and some of them get carried away because of the relatively huge budgets and other funds they control.
Unfortunately, many of our brethren either out of ignorance of the workings of the UN system or because they are looking for international jobs or assignment, tend to needlessly boost the egos of such misguided internationalists. Why must we sacrifice our patriotism, our nationalism on the altar of job-seeking enterprise? Schulenburg arrived in Sierra Leone in 2009 to replace Victor Angello, the UNSG’s representative during whose tenure UN activities in Sierra Leone had evolved from UNIOSIL to UNIPSIL. Mr Schulenburg’s previous post was a Deputy UNSG’s representative in Iraq, a war zone that was very much in contrast to then prevailing conditions here in Sierra Leone where hostilities had ended since 2002. With hindsight it was a mistake to have sent Schulenburg to Sierra Leone, given that his immediate past experiences in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Haiti where UN presence was anything but. You can’t equate the UN Secretary-General’s representative with your own Head of State.
His counterpart should be our Minister of Foreign Affairs or as it used to be the case before the rebel war turned things upside-down, the Minister of Development. But even at that it should never have gotten into Schulenburg’s head that he could attempt to demean the high office of President of Sierra Leone by leaking to journalists official written and oral transactions between himself and our President no matter the trauma he might have suffered in Iraq before being posted to Sierra Leone. But how for do? Nar trobul make monkey eat pepeh. Otherwise, can a UN functiory behave this in the Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon, Tanzania, without being booted out? This writer has an extensive understanding of the workings of the UN system and its specialized agency and had won a UN FELLOWSHIP in 1992 to study Public Enterprise Policy and Management at the Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University, Boston, USA
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Musa Kalawa Michael von Schulenburg was not only a disgrace for the United Nation in general, He was a moron for what the UN stand and hope to build upon…& that is world peace. Now Lans Gberrie will have to work harder than usual to sway the UN in the wrong direction against the able and earnest leadership of Ernest Koroma

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