An unfortunate glitch in a story from the UN News Center*:
Mr. Ban will begin his official visit [to Central Asia] in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, where he will tour the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, according to information released by his spokesperson today.
UNRCCA, which is headed by Miroslav Jenca, was launched at the end of 2007 with the aim of helping the five governments in the region to increase their capacities to peacefully prevent dialogue, facilitate dialogue and respond to cross-border threats and challenges such as terrorism, drug trafficking and environmental degradation.
Well, it’s better than forcefully preventing dialogue I suppose…
* If the UN clears this up, you can find the original story reprinted here.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: Very shortly after Ban left Kyrgyzstan on his Central Asian tour, the country descended into chaos. Today, the opposition seems to have taken control of the security services, although the President has yet to resign. Two questions arise. First, did the UN Secretary-General consider rushing back to help mediate the situation? He had, after all said he sensed tension “in the air” while he was there. Second, is it conceivable that his visit stimulated an up-tick in violence that might otherwise have been avoided? Colum Lynch has a nice take on Ban’s visit here, arguing he was just unlucky.