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UN Has Nothing on New Sudan Fighting, As IMF Welcomes S. Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 18, updated 4:28 pm -- As at least 22 more Sudanese and South Sudanese soldiers were killed by what the two sides call the Bahr al-Arab or Kiir River, respectively, the UN in New York had nothing to say about the fighting, despite having a "peacekeeping" mission in South Sudan.

  Meanwhile the International Monetary Fund held a ceremony to welcome South Sudan as its 188th member, with an initial IMF quota of $189.3 million.

   Only yesterday South Sudan's representative Agnes Oswaha told Inner City Press her country had offered to help Khartoum with the IMF, for debt reduction that has yet to take place despite the loss of oil revenue first to independence, now to the occupation of the Heglig oil fields.

   UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been away in Europe; his deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey at Wednesday's eight minute long noon briefing took only four question, none on Sudan or even Mali, where the military junta arrested two more civilian politicians.

   Ban was supposedly "closely watching" coups in Guinea Bissau as in Mali -- but before, he sent his envoy Oscar Fernandez Taranco to essentially give his blessing to the coup in the Maldives. So who is watching whom?

  The four questions put to Del Buey concerned Alexander Downer's recommendations to Ban on Cyprus (virtually no answer, Ban won't speak to press), Egypt barring multiple candidates based on their parentage (no real comment despite Ban "closely watching North Africa"), Iran and Syria.

   On Syria, questions will be answered by previously top UN Peacekeeper Jean Marie Guehenno and not the current one, Herve "The Drone" Ladsous. Why?

   Inner City Press has submitted to Del Buey and Ban Ki-moon's main spokesman Martin Nesirky three question and will report the answers as they are received:

Any Ban Ki-moon response to or comment on the Mali junta arresting the Democratic Alliance of Mali's Kassoum Tapo and Tieman Coulibaly of the Democracy and Development Union?

What is the UN's / UNMISS' knowledge of and comment on the deadly fighting between South Sudan and Sudan by the Kiir / Bahr al-Arab river, near Mairem?

On safety, is the UN Medical service physical present with an office in the Secretariat / General Assembly building and if not, why not? And, does the UN Medical Service cover contractors who work in the UN, like the audio technician who apparently had a seizure on April 16, Aramark, etc?

 Watch this site.

Update of 4:28 pm - Four hours after publication of the above, this was e-mailed out:

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Mali

        The Secretary-General expresses his concern over the renewed wave of arrests of high ranking public officials in Mali at a time when numerous efforts are being undertaken to assist the country in overcoming the various challenges it is facing.  The Secretary-General calls for the immediate release of all those arrested and urges the junta to refrain from any further actions that might undermine the effective restoration of constitutional rule in the country.  These arrests are in contrast to other welcome developments that constitute important steps towards the full return to constitutional order, such as the appointment of Mr. Dioncounda Traoré as interim President of Mali and his decision to nominate Mr. Cheick Modibo Diarra as the interim Prime Minister.   The Secretary-General calls for the military junta to promptly complete the full transfer of power to civilian rule.

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