the guardian,From Laolu Akande New York
NIGERIA’S donation of a whopping $500,000 to the military junta in Myanmar few weeks ago is raising questions at the United Nations Secretariat in New York. An official of the Presidency arrived New York two days to Christmas to deliver the check at a hurriedly put together bilateral meeting between the Nigerian Ambassador, Prof. Joy Ugwu, and her Myanmar counterpart at the UN building.
But for the invitation to few members of the UN press, the event would have passed unnoticed and branded a secret deal. Even Nigeria’s former Foreign Affairs Minister who is a UN’s top official on Myanmar was not aware of the donation. A source at the Nigerian mission disclosed that even top Nigerian diplomats at the UN could could not explain the transaction any better than, that the whole affair was an “order from the headquarters (Abuja).” continue
READ also UNITED NATIONS, December 25 — Two days before Christmas, Myanmar’s mission to the UN got a gift with no strings attached. In the dimly-lit Indonesia Lounge next to the General Assembly chamber, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative Joy Ogwu handed her counterpart from Myanmar Kyaw Tint Swe a check for $500,000. This was Nigeria’s response to the UN’s plea for funds to continue to respond to Cyclone Nargis, which hit in May.
The UN has been exposed, first by Inner City Press, for allowing the military government of Myanmar to take 25% of aid funds through currency exchange. Nigeria gave its money directly, in U.S. dollars, and apparently with no requirement to report back on how the funds are used. This is the type of hard currency for which Senior General Than Shwe is desperate. continue http://www.innercitypress.com/joy1myanmar122508.html