U.N. Me Reviews
- Showing peacekeepers on the beach and saying that this demonstrates that they are doing nothing: it is the same thing like showing people who hang out in the Christmas market in Hamburg and deduce that Germans are lazy. Why should people not go to the beach in their freetime? Or should peacekeepers work 7 days a week 14 hours a day? Anyway, Horowitz could have gone to Chad, Central Africa or Darfur, or, to stay in Cote d'Ivoire, to the Western region, instead than Abidjan. He would not have seen peacekeepers on the beach there. But the guy who blame the peacekeepers probably wanted to shoot his documentary in a place where he could stay in a 4 star Hotel and not risk to be shot by armed militias.
- There have never been "French UN peacekeepers" in Cote d'Ivoire. There were French soldiers, who were there since 2 years before the UN mission was set up, within the framework of the France-Cote d'Ivoire defence agreement. Mission Licorne got a UN Security Council mandate, but was never under the UN command.
- By consequence, if Horowitz wanted to know more about the Hotel Ivoire shooting, he should have talked to the Licorne commander or the French ambassador, certainly not with interim chief of UNOCI Abou Moussa. He does not know about UN peacekeepers shooting people because those were not UN peacekeepers, simple.
- Moussa was liked by some and disliked by others, but for sure he was a very approachable person. I was a 27 years old PhD student at the time and I managed very easily to set an interview with him. We talked for one hour or so. Why had Horowitz so many problems to meet him? Maybe because he did not appear serious when he put forward his request?
- The film conflates easily sexual exploitation (sex with prostitutes over the age of consent) and abuse/rape. There was surely a problem with prostitution at UNOCI, but 1) cannot be conflated with rape, which I have never heard about 2) before blaming peacekeepers, maybe remind that we are in a country where prostitutes who go with local clients are paid 500 CFA (less than 1 euro) for sex?
- In terms of interviews with the local, Horowitz talks only with supporter of the Gbagbo regime (let's remind that the guy is now in jail at the Hague), of course he does not say anything about the belligerents and their agendas, so the public does not know that these people have political motives to be against the UN.
- A UNV is paid around 2000 USD per month. A National professional officer is probably paid around the same. A professional expatriate more, but they are not very many in the mission. Military observers are paid more than UNV and NPO (3500 USD) but troops are paid less. Cars can be used free of charge for personal purposes but are shared among the civilian personnel (3-4 people per car). All civilian staff pay their house (a studio apartment in Abidjan costs around 500 USD) and food. We are surely well off in comparison to the local population, but sadly for me I have not have amassed the fortunes described in the documentary, nor have my colleagues.
I could continue but I stop here.
About Horowitz: "Although the United Nations's treatment of Israel is only a tangential issue in Horowitz's movie, the subject is crucial to him. "My mother's Israeli, and I have a lot of family there. And I'm Jewish. So it's a natural connection. It's unbelievable to me that a country like Israel, which really embodies all the things we want in a country - egalitarianism, pluralism, freedom - is demonized."". Bunch of Zionist anti-UN propaganda.
This movie is another propaganda garbage.