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In Sudan As Journalists Jailed In Omdurman Inner City Press Asked UN Guterres Dec 20 Now UN Says He Is Following It

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A

UNITED NATIONS GATE, December 28 – Despite Sudan's Omar al Bashir being indicted for genocide, Antonio Guterres has met with him, as acknowledged to Inner City Press by Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on 29 January 2018 (before Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up and banned from the UN for 177 days now) - and, we are now told by UNHCR sources, in 2012, see below. On 20 December 2018, banned Inner City Press asked Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric and Farhan Haq, "December 20-2: On Sudan, what is the SG's comment and action on the anti-government protests that started on Wednesday in northern Sudan and have been spreading to other cities?" Even by 7 pm on December 28 with more journalists arrested in Sudan, for example Ahmed Younes from Al-Sharq Alowsat newspaper and Maha Al-Tilib from Attayar newspaper, both just for reporting on the protests in Wad Nubawi, Omdurman, there was no answer at all, nor to 46 other questions Inner City Press has submitted including on conflicts of interest by Guterres. It turns out the UN has become so corrupt under Guterres that one of lead Spokesman Stephane Dujarric's Associate Spokespeople Ms Keishamaza Rukikaire who actually seems to care or at least re-tweet about Sudan has been ordered not to answer banned Inner City Press' written questions about Sudan, etc, see here. Finally after 7 pm on December 28, from Guterres' spokes - / hatchetman Stephane Dujarric, this: "The Secretary-General is following with concern developments in the Republic of Sudan, including the reported violence and fatalities. He appeals for calm and restraint and calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the deaths and violence. He extends his condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in the violence.
The Secretary-General emphasizes the need to safeguard freedom of expression and peaceful assembly." Meanwhile AI counts at least 37 dead, and now there's video of Al-Sudani newspaper journalist Yassir Abdallah taken to hospital  after being assaulted by security personnel who fired ammunition into newspaper’s office. The protests have spread and Bashir's Rapid Support Forces are being deployed in Khartoum. Still silence from Guterres, now on a murky publicly funded junket with a major conflict of interest. In Sudan Bashir has suspended universities in Khartoum and sought to cut the Internet. Guterres is missing in action, not even disclosing where he is or how much it costs the public. Birds of a feather.

  Relatedly, on November 23 the European Union said that "High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met today with El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan. They discussed the latest developments in EU-Sudan relations and in the Horn of Africa.
Federica Mogherini emphasised that the EU is ready to engage in dialogue and cooperation with Sudan in view of further progress on internal political and economic reforms as well as as well as its contribution to peace and security in the region.
The EU is closely following developments with regard to the preparations for 2020 elections. In this regard, the High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini emphasised the importance of a conducive environment leading to credible elections." No mention that Bashir is under an arrest warrant after indictment for genocide. And what, you asks, has the EU done about the accelerating slaughter of Anglophones in Cameroon? We'll have more on this - and on EU (in) action on Guterres turning the UN into a place of censorship for corruption.

  This week, banned by Guterres from attending and asking questions at the UN noon briefing as I am done under Kofi Annan (Rest in Peace) and even Ban Ki-moon, on September 10 I submitted questions in writing to Haq, to lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, to Guterres' e-mail address and that of his Deputy and Global Communicator Alison Smale, including this one: “September 10-1: Please confirm or deny that Antonio Guterres has met with Omar al Bashir. Separately, if he met Bashir in 2012, and if so why, and when the ICC was informed.”

Not that day but the next, Dujarric replied adding his response in capital letters: “September 10-1: Please confirm or deny that Antonio Guterres has met with Omar al Bashir. Separately, if he met Bashir in 2012, and if so why, and when the ICC was informed. NO CONFIRMATION.”

This seemed strange, given Haq's answer on 29 January 2018, so on September 12 Inner City Press asked, “September 10-1 / Sept 12-4: Please confirm or deny that Antonio Guterres has met with Omar al Bashir. Separately, if he met Bashir in 2012, and if so why, and when the ICC was informed. You wrote, “NO CONFIRMATION.” But here was Deputy Spokesman Haq's answer to me on 29 January 2018 (before I was banned from attending and asking questions at briefing 71 days now): Video here,  picked up here, among other places.

So how can you say “no confirmation”? Is your Office / SG Guterres retracting what was said at the 29 Jan 2018 briefing?” 

After conducting an empty briefing from which Inner City Press was banned by Guterres and Smale, and that again had no a single question on Africa (in fact, one Dujarric's and Haq's favored interlocuters used the Press-less briefing to say that the corruption of Ng Lap Seng and the UN Office of South South Cooperation was “fabricated”), Haq sent this: "Regarding the 29 January 2018 noon briefing, I made clear at that time, as the transcript itself shows, that there was no formal scheduled meeting; they were in the same (large) venue at the same time:

Question [Inner City Press]:  And did he meet [Omar al] Bashir? This reported… I heard your litany of countries and I couldn't quite keep up with them, and I didn't see a readout. But the Foreign Minister of Sudan has said that he met with Omar al-Bashir, who's indicted by the ICC (International Criminal Court), as you know, for genocide and war crimes. Did he meet with him? And what… what… is this a change of policy?

Spokesman:  It's not a change of policy. They were both at the same summit. In that context, they did meet with each other on the grounds of the sort of operational necessity that does allow the Secretary-General to meet from time to time with him. That doesn't obviate the need, of course, for respect of the International Criminal Court.

 [Inner City Press] Question:  But was Sudan in the list of countries that you read out just at the top of the briefing? And if not, why not?
Spokesman:  It was not, because it was not a formal scheduled meeting."

  So apparently Guterres and his enablers believe he can meet with alleged war criminals as long as he doesn't write it down on his schedule. We have more details on the 2012 meeting(s) but they will be in a longer profile currently planned for publication when Guterres returns from his 15th publicly funded junket to Lisbon. By banning Inner City Press they have tried to make its reporting more difficult. This is censorship - but the reporting is not impossible and will continue. Watch this site.


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