Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal

There is mounting evidence that the United Nations Oil-for-Food program, originally conceived as a means of providing humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people, was subverted by Saddam Hussein's regime and manipulated to help prop up the Iraqi dictator. Saddam's dictatorship was able to siphon off an estimated $10 billion from the Oil-for-Food program through oil smuggling and systematic thievery, by demanding illegal payments from companies buying Iraqi oil, and through kickbacks from those selling goods to Iraq--all under the noses of U.N. bureaucrats. The members of the U.N. staff administering the program have been accused of gross incompetence, mismanagement, and possible complicity with the Iraqi regime in perpetrating the biggest scandal in U.N. history. (More)

Apart from embezzling millions for himself, the UN under secretary-general is said to have allowed Saddam Hussein to do business with French, Russian and Chinese contractors, funneling the kickbacks offered in return, to Hussein's personal accounts, totaling more than $10 billion.
Charged with nepotism and cronyism, Annan, 64, has been emasculated into announcing an independent commission to investigate the theft that has invited vicious catcalls against him for "an open bazaar of payoffs, favoritism and kickbacks." He has now named the former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker to head the probe. (More)

High-level U.N. bureaucrats and even Secretary General Kofi Annan’s son have been implicated. Iraqi investigators have compiled a damning international list of suspects, with Russian and French names all too prominent. Russia and France, through their intelligence services -- and, for that matter, the secretary general’s office -- had to know Al Wasel & Babel was not merely purchasing food and medicine. (More)