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In Darfur, UN Silent on Detention, Accepts Expulsion, Ladsous Offers Praise

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- The UN in Darfur has allowed a staff member to allowed a staff member to languish in detention since February 24, while another staff member was excluded or declared "persona non grata" by the Government, not even allowed back in to pick up her belongings.

  Meanwhile Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row atop UN Peacekeeping, has said things are going well in Darfur and that the peacekeeping force should be reduced. Going well for whom?

  On April 26 Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey about both cases:

Inner City Press: in the Security Council this morning, Mr. Ladsous mentioned, without naming, a UNAMID staffer who he said has been arrested and detained by the Sudanese authorities since 24 February. I’d like to know what UNAMID is doing to get the person out...

Deputy Spokesperson: As I said, Matthew, we don’t discuss whatever conversations take place with respect to detained people. That is something that we maintain confidential so that we can ensure, as far as possible, the safety and well-being of the people that are detained.

Inner City Press: How about the people that are PNG’d, persona-non-grataed? there is a woman, Hawa Haydar, who is a staff member of UNAMID, who the Government unilaterally said they don’t want her to come back, I’ve seen the correspondence, she can’t even get back in to get her personal belongings. Since it is not a matter of safety, it is just a matter of a Government--

Deputy Spokesperson: Well, I’ll have to check on that, Matthew, I don’t have information on that particular case.

  Often such responses are never followed up upon. But on April 27 Del Buey read out an answer, and took another question about the UNAMID mission in Darfur:

Deputy Spokesman: On detained staff mentioned by USG Ladsous, we have nothing further to add on these matters than what has already been shared with you. The United Nations is making every effort within its capacity to secure the safe release of the staff members. With respect to the PNG-ed UNAMID staff member, Howa Halyer, as previously stated, an explanation from the Government of Sudan for its decision to declare the staff member persona non-grata has been sought via Note Verbale and we are pursuing a response. The staff member remains employed by the United Nations. I'm afraid it wouldn't be appropriate for the Organization to comment further on an individual staff member's situation.

  Well, Inner City Press will comment further, as there is growing dissatisfaction with what Ban Ki-moon and his envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who took photographs at a wedding reception with ICC-indicted Omar al Bashir, are doing.

  Based on information provided by whistleblowers, it seems that the UN, DPKO and UNAMID have given up:

Cc: Imtiaz Hussain/UNAMID@UNAMID, Wolfgang Weiszegger/UNAMID@UNAMID, Tinkamanyire Mugisha/UNAMID/UNFIELDMISSIONS@UNFIELDMISSIONS, Fabrizio Hochschild/NY/UNO@UNHQ, Steve Damond-Fagot/NY/UNO@UNHQ, Armen Vahradyan/NY/UNO@UNHQ, Anthony Banbury/NY/UNO@UNHQ, Krzysztof Stasiewicz/NY/UNO@UNHQ, Joseph Lombardo/NY/UNO@UNHQ

Dear Hawa,

Concerning your inquiry of coming back to collect your personal effects, it will not be possible since there has not been any change in MOFA's decision. While I do understand that this may disappoint you, I would encourage you to explore the possibility of identifying a colleague in El-Fashar who could assist you with your personal effects.

   Supposedly there may be some interviews conducted in Entebbe - a UN facility which uses the mercenary firm Saracen. But from the above, it seems the UN and UNAMID have given up, while publicly claiming to still be fighting. This is the UN of Ban Ki-moon and his DPKO chief Herve "The Drone" Ladsous, advised on Peacekeeping by a Sri Lankan war criminal. Watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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