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At UN on Darfur, Rare Dissension On LRA, S. Sudan Qs Deferred

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 -- When the Darfur peacekeeping mission was extended Tuesday by the UN Security Council, Azerbaijan abstained, and Pakistan and Guatemala spoke afterward in the Chamber criticizing aspects of the resolution and how it was negotiated. This is rare.

Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice about the three critical members. She told Inner City Press, "They speak for themselves."

Later Inner City Press came to understand that Guatemala's statement that since there is no evidence of the Lord's Resistance Army being in Darfur it should not be in the resolution is both a matter of principle and a practice one, as a Troop Contributing Country with personnel in Darfur.

Inner City Press asked the drafter, UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, why the LRA is in the resolution.

Lyall Grant replied that "the LRA should play no role whatsoever and should be completely absent from Darfur. Then there is nothing in this resolution which suggests that we think the LRA are active in Darfur.

But by that logic, why not include language about Al Qaeda in a Security Council resolution about its mission in Timor Leste, or Haiti, to "discourage" entry there?

Inner City Press asked Sudan's Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman is he views Guatemala as an ally of his country on this. He did not answer this part of the question, but did say that the mandate of UNMISS in South Sudan should include similar reporting on Darfur rebel groups who, he says, go there.

When Colombia's Nestor Osorio came out for the tenth and it seems final Q&A stakeout of his Council presidency, Inner City Press asked if in his upcoming trip to Sudan as chair of the Sudan Sanctions committee he feels he could enter South Sudan.

Osorio noted that the Council visited both countries last year. Inner City Press asked if he'll do a briefing or stakeout upon his return. It seems he will. Watch this site.

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