Confirms Fighting in Darfur, Says JEM Not Exclusive, Deby Says UN
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 5 -- After days of the UN saying it had no access to
Jebal Marra in Darfur, and could not confirm the fighting there, late
Friday top UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy told Inner City Press that
yes, we confirm confirm fighting between the SLA Abdul Wahid and the
asked for the response of the UN, which praised the deal between
Khartoum and JEM, to JEM's later statement that it would renounce the
deal if similar offers were made to other Darfur rebel groups. Video
from Minute 3:19. Le Roy sputtered that JEM "has not
repudiated the framework agreement."
Roy claimed that
the Security Council was clear that "no one will have
exclusivity of signing anything with the Sudanese authority."
But who from the UN spoke with JEM's Khalil Ibrahim?
UN's Le Roy at stakeout, talk with JEM and oversight
of Deby not shown
also asked Le Roy about his agreement with Chad's Idriss Deby, that
the UN mission can remain only two more months and then must start
leaving. How would this be possible, in the rainy season which begins
in May? It will be difficult, Le Roy said. Video here,
Inner City Press asked about Deby's anger at those who say he did not
want any observers to his upcoming election. Le Roy quickly responded
that elections observations were not in MINURCAT's mandate. Even in
the most egregious cases?
So it's like the
UN's UNAMA in Afghanistan, snarked one cynic.
source later told Inner City Press that the backdrop to Chad's
President Deby ordering the UN to start leaving was his accusation
that the MINURCAT mission was "spying." This was said with
a certain glee.
* * *
Darfur, UN Won't "Second Guess" Motives of JEM Deal As It
Falls Apart, UNAMID Still Out of Jebel Marra
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 3 -- Days after the UN praised the deal between
Sudan's Omar al Bashir government and the Darfur rebels of the
Justice and Equality Movement, JEM leader
Khalil Ibrahim has
threatened to pull out of the deal if Bashir signs similar pacts with
other rebel groups.
asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky if Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
his envoy Ibrahim Gambari or mediator Bassole had been aware of JEM's
position when they praised the deal. Video here,
from Minute 17:50.
not for me or the UN to second guess what is motivating JEM people to
say what they're saying." Perhaps not -- but if Mr. Ban called
Darfur one of him major priorities, and he praised a deal which was
based on excluding all Darfur rebels except JEM, it seems fair to ask
what did Ban know and when did he know it? Otherwise, as many feel,
it was just a fake announcement to give the false impression of
progress and peace.
fact, since the
signing of the deal, the government and the Abdul Wahid Nur faction
of the SLA have been fighting in Jebel Marra. Doctors of the World
say 100,000 people have been displaced; there are reports of over 200
Press asked at noon on March 2, the UN's deputy humanitarian chief
Catherine Bragg said that the UN would be accessing Jebel Marra. But
24 hours later when Inner City Press asked again, Mr. Nesirky said
the UN had not yet gotten in and therefore "can't confirm
reports." Video here,
from Minute 16:06.
said at the beginning of the briefing, but rather was relegated to an
"if asked," is not clear.
UN in Darfur, JEM deal and Jebel Marra not shown
tried to avoid having the Darfur question asked. After Inner City
Press asked a first questions about the Congo, Nesirky declined to
allow a second question, despite offering just that to others. Near
the end of the briefing, Inner City Press got the question in, and
Nesirky read an answer from a script.
on the Congo question, about a national staff job action against
MONUC, Nesirky said to "ask MONUC." After he read out a
response about UNIFIL Inner City Press asked about the difference.
from Minute 15:45. "It's very clear," Nesirky
said. "There is a difference between speaking with colleagues in
MONUC and having the guidance." Moments after the briefing, one
of Nesirky's assistance emailed the MONUC guidance to Inner City
Press. So what about the double standard? Watch this site.