In Ban Ki-moon's UN, Defense of Gambari, Withholding
of Massacre Reports
-- “Mister Gambari has been working very hard
with the Sudanese government,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
told the Press on Friday of his envoy in Darfur.
asked why the UN peacekeepers under Ibrahim Gambari's UNAMID
command did not leave their base when dozens of civilians were
murdered in Tabarat in September, and whether Ban would at least make
UNAMID's report on the killings public.
“We will have
see,” Ban answered. But UNAMID has answered requests for copies of
the report by saying it is up to the Secretary General.
of Ban's end of year press conference, run by acting Deputy Spokesman
Farhan Haq, there had been no questions or answers about Sudan, where
the UN has two $1 billion peacekeeping operations. After a protest,
Haq allowed the Sudan question from Inner City Press:
it was one of your priorities. As the year ends, the
government of Omar al Bashir is attacking the one rebel group it
supposed made peace with, the Minni Minawi group, UNAMID has no
access to Jebel Marra and ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo says that
UNAMID doesn't report attacks on civilians because it is threatened
by the government. You summoned Ibrahim Gambari to meet you... about
the massacres in Tabarat, after the UN peackeeepers didn't even leave
their base in Tawila to do to the site. Even the report on these
Tabarat killings is being withheld. What will you do differently in
question, Ban responded largely about the Southern Sudan referendum.
He said, “The situation in Sudan will be one of the top concerns of
international community starting January 9... There are sticking
issues, to establish a commission in Abyei.” Video here,
briefing to Darfur, saying that “the security situation in
Darfur a serious concern. The recent bombing by the Sudanese
government of the north and south boundary of southern sudan... [We
are] making demarches that
the Sudanese government should be
cooperative. This afternooon I meet the Minister for Peace and the
CPA for Southern Sudan to discuss this matter.”
Doha process, Ban answered that the “peace negotiation has not been
progressing well. Except that government of Sudan and the Liberation
and Justice Movement LJM have agreed to a negotiation text. That can
be done, but without participation of all other rebel movements --
JEM, SLA and Abdel Wahid -- without their participation this
negotiation will not be sustainable. Joint mediator Bassole is
asserting his best efforts.”
Gambari, saying that “Mister Gambari has been working very
hard with the Sudanese government... to have freedom of movement of
peacekeepers in Tawila for example tried to go to the Tabarat or
Tabra site but were stopped by the government. But internal UN
communications obtained by Inner City Press show that the UN
Peacekeepers told relatives of those being killed and injured that
they had come to late, to come back in the morning.
UN's Ban & Gambari, report on Tabarat massacre not shown
the report on
the incident is being withheld, with UNAMID saying it is up to the
Secretary General, who when asked would not released, instead
speaking of “consultations.”
asked if the report on Sri Lanka war crimes inquiries by Ban's
three person Panel of Experts will be made public. Ban did not answer
this either. Watch this site.
dissatisfaction in the UN press corp about how
acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq ran the press conference, and
about lack of question and answer opportunities with Ban Ki-moon
throughout 2010. Ban said he will make an announcement in early 2011
about seeking a second term as S-G. We'll see.
* * *
That It Bombed, Council Largely Ignores
Fighting continued in Darfur
on Thursday, as
the UN Security Council met about Sudan, mostly South Sudan. The
Council issued a press statement about the secession referendum
scheduled for January 9, including condemning Khartoum's bombings in
Western Bahr al Gazal State.
Press asked the Sudanese State Minister of
Humanitarian Affairs Mutrif Siddiq about the bombings, and his
government's fighting with the Minni Minawai faction. It's not with
the whole faction, he quickly said, naming a subcommander who he said
tried to “collect taxes after the harvest.” Video here.
remains that Minni Minawi, the sole Darfur rebel to sign a deal with
Khartoum, has walked away from it. So what does the "Doha process" with
the LJM really mean?
bombing, Sudanese minister Mutrif Siddiq would
only concede that it was under investigation, as if the investigation
weren't finished. Inner City Press later asked Council president
Susan Rice about this.
"you heard Under-Secretary- General LeRoy in the Council speak very
plainly to that as he also did in consultations."
and Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Sudan
People’s Liberation Movement came to the stakeout. Inner City Press
asked about the bombing and Pagan Amum said it had already been
condemned. He called for a peace agreement in Darfur. This seems a long
Press asked about comments attributed to Benjamin Mkapa that “some
Southerns” were intimidating other Southerns in the North to not
register to vote in the referendum.
that instead it was the National Congress Party which
threatened Southerns with harassment if they voted for secession.
SPLM's Pagan Amum w/ Alain Le Roy,
registration of Southerners in North not shown
himself who he blamed for the low registration in the
North. He said that it was understandable if Southerners who have
lived in the North for years didn't register. Video here.
Migration gave a press conference
on Thursday as well. Inner City Press, along with questions about
Sudanese refugees returned from Israel and elsewhere, asked about
IOM's role in the Sudan referendum. It's in their law, was the
answer. IOM was asked to run the process in North Sudan but declined.
didn't choose the sites in the eight diaspora
countries. But are they observing for fairness? Watch this site.
* * *
Killings by Sudan, ICC Reports Them
to release what it knows
about the killing of civilians at Tabarat and the destruction of
and other villages in Darfur in September, the International Criminal
Court's report unveiled in the Security Council on December 9 names
13 other destroyed villages (with Soro transliterated as “Souroo”),
and has witness quotes what it calls the government sponsored killing
in Tabarat (which it calls Tabra).
presentation to the Security Council
on Thursday, Inner City Press on camera asked both him and Sudan's
Permanent Representative to the UN Dafallah Osman about the Tabra
killings and the destruction of villages.
were “tribal,” involving
kidnapping and promises to pay blood money. He praised UNAMID and its
leader Ibrahim Gambari (calling him a “seasoned diplomat”).
thought UNAMID should release what it knows about the
Tabra killings. This, he did not answer, instead ranging from saying
that Ocampo's report shows NGOs were engaged in “espionage” to
claiming that Radio Dabanga was disseminating destabilizing and even
unlike with the previous Sudanese Ambassador
Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed, whom Ocampo stood right next to
during their final stare down. When Ocampo came to the microphone,
Inner City Press asked him if he thought UNAMID was in essence
covering up Sudan's and Bashir's acts by not reporting on them.
threat, that's why it doesn't report. This means
that UNAMID is not reporting, which is its job. What will Ban
Ki-moon, the Security Council and Obama administration do?
ICC's LMO close to Sudan's last Ambassador,
new backing away mirrored by UN- & US?
the Genocide Intervention Network / Save
Darfur Coalition on a press conference call said Obama, Hillary
Clinton and Joe Biden campaigned on (among other things) protecting
civilians in Darfur, and named Samantha Power and Susan Rice as
officials. Hanis called them “disappointing” so far. Inner City
Press asked what UNAMID should do. Report, Hanis said. But UNAMID
and 9, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin
fighting and death in Darfur, including in Tabarat / Tabra:
to UNAMID [African Union-United Nations
Hybrid Operation in Darfur] for the report that they were supposed to
do on the Tabarat killings of 2 September, near Tawilla, the one that
the Secretary-General summoned Mr. [Ibrahim] Gambari to speak about.
Anyway, somebody that asked him was told that there is no report for
external dissemination available on it, and I just wonder, what is
the UN’s final finding? Did it do the right thing, in apparently
not getting out to the site despite the warning by relatives of those
killed? Are all such reports confidential, and in which case, how is
the Security Council or the international community to assess the
level of violence and killing in Darfur if these new reports never
time I’ll ask it, but if there is anything the UN
can say about those killings, I’d like to know.
question, I think, and let’s look into what the
Mission tells us.
than a full
day later, UNAMID has said nothing. When Inner City Press asked
again about UNAMID on December 9, Nesirky claimed he had already
answered questions, including about attacks the Sudanese government
had just bragged about.
Presidency of the Security Council for December, Susan Rice told
Inner City Press that UNAMID (and UNMIS) are required to investigate
and report on attacks on civilians. Does that mean report to the
public, as the ICC does? What will Susan Rice and the US Mission do?
press had been
told that Susan Rice would speak at the stakeout, where Ocampo and
Sudan's Ambassador did. But she did not. A reporter given advance
notice that she would not come was told that “one country” had
blocked the elements to the press that she would have read. But she
could have spoken, especially after what Sudan's Ambassador said,
including denying things that the US Mission has previously said,
about the Council's interlocutors being harassed and Radio Dabanga's
Khartoum office being shut down.
Ocampo about Guinea -- he said he is
watching “national proceedings” -- and Kenya, where witnesses are
under threat. Ocampo answered by bragging that none of his witnesses
have been injured. But how about retaliated against, given what
Sudan's Ambassador said about the NGOs. Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.