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Despite the Dying in Darfur, UN Takes Less Interest, US Fixed on Kony

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 24 -- A year ago the debate on Darfur and extending the mandate of the UN - African Union mission there was tense, with Permanent Representatives of the P5 countries clashing on how the resolution should be phrased.

   This year despite continued fighting in Darfur, spilling over into South Sudan and Southern Kordofan, there is decidedly less interest.

  During Tuesday's consultations, three P5 Permanent Representatives never came, and the two that did left as soon as they had spoken in consultations.

   Meanwhile the Permanent Representative of Sudan Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman spoke at length in the chamber, then afterward exclusively to Inner City Press.

  He denied that his country had bombed into South Sudan, while saying it has the right to bomb in its own borders against those who are rebelling.

   He and outgoing envoy Ibrahim Gambari made much of the LJM formation, created in a sense to negotiate with the government and headed by a former UN staff member, al Sissi Tijani. JEM and the other factions are not much talked about.

   Afterward Inner City Press asked July's Council president about how real LJM is or isn't, and about the factions who've joined the Sudan Revolutionary Front.

  Osorio said it is complicated, adding that he and unnamed other Security Council members will be going to Darfur in September.

  Inner City Press has been there, in trailers in the El Fasher camp which now has a new mansion. Ibrahim Gambari declined to speak at the stakeout but indicated he'll have a discussion with the Press quite soon. Inner City Press asked him Tuesday about one of the posts it's heard that he may take. I am considering all of my options, Gambari answered.

  In the Chamber, Gambari mentioned a bombing near Tawila on July 18 - the same day the UN sent Inner City Press this:

Subject: Your question on Darfur
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

On 16 July, UNAMID's Team Site in Tawilla reported heavy shooting and impacts at Kushina village (approximately 29km south east of Tawilla, North Darfur).

Reportedly, a Government of Sudan military helicopter was shot down by an unidentified faction, which led to a firefight between the Government and the faction.

  On the resolution, Deputy Permanent Representatives and political coordinators, not only of the Permanent Five members, last week had meetings until 8 pm, tinkering with the resolution.

   One of Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman's big points was that Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army should not be mentioned in the resolution.

  Afterward he told Inner City Press, Uganda is a long way from Sudan, the problem should be solved there. But the LRA hasn't been there for years. Some say the UK is not adamant that the LRA be in the resolution, but the US is. Can you say, Kony 2012? Watch this site.

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