15 OCTOBER 2009


When was the last time an investigation was published on a U.N. Peacekeeping plane crash?

Since over a decade one crash after another brought out expressions of sorrow and regret, even ceremonial remembrances. Yet, no serious investigation was made; no one held accountable.

The most recent death of U.N. people in Haiti while flying over the Dominican borders raised the same question. The aircraft, a "Casa 212," was described to have been "on a reconnaissance flight at the time of the accident before hitting a mountainside."

Lack of accountability in Peacekeeping has become so brazen that no explanation is necessary anymore.

A few years ago, the Special Representative of the Secretary General was killed in a helicopter crash while traveling to the Congo. The Secretary General at the time, Kofi Annan (a former Peacekeeping official), issued a very impressive statement. A Special Commemoration was held, with many friends and colleagues sobbing opening at the loss. Yet, until this day, no clue was given upon what caused the crash. Similar crashes occurred with similar results.

There were always questions of corruption in the procurement process. In one case at least, a notorious gunrunner was involved in chartering U.N. Peacekeeping planes in Africa. We mentioned it several times, to no avail.

It is by now common knowledge that regardless of reform claims or appearances of oversight, procurement of Peacekeeping remains in the hands of a very tight knit few who exchange posts and remain in senior positions years after retirement age, because they know where the skeletons are buried. All you have to do to find out is look at a list of names that keep shifting from one spot to another but within the same contracting authority. We are not accusing anyone in particular but suggesting that with so many recurring crashes some may be more involved -- or to say the least, informed -- than others. What do they know? Were there reports made? To whom? What did they conclude? Anyone responsible -- other than the mountainside?!

It is noted that in so many statements about these catastrophic events, there is a hint that it was most likely a technical failure, rainfall, or some unforeseen difficulty.

In fact, helicopters are built to fly. As we reported over the years, it is CORRUPTION that kills.