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After the bomb

The UN's inquiry into the Baghdad bombing was a farce

By Alexander Casella   September 2004

In the spring of 2000, Kofi Annan entrusted Lakhdar Brahimi, his current special envoy in Iraq, with conducting a wide report into improving UN peacekeeping operations. Brahimi, a former foreign minister of Algeria, pulled no punches. In his report he outlined three main issues. First, the UN should not accept unclear mandates. Second, the UN was not functioning as a meritocracy: staff were hired, assigned and promoted on the basis of personal and political contacts rather than on ability. Third, as a result of the above, a small number of outstanding officers were given “unreasonable workloads” to cover the shortcomings…

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