Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In Darfur, Aid Groups Barred from Kalma Camp, DPKO Says,  No Comments Abyei Incursions, No US or UNSC Follow Through

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 4 -- In Darfur, while the UN is giving assurances that the violence in the Kalma camp has passed, humanitarian groups have been barred from the camp, housing eighty thousand internally displaced people, for the past four days. This emerged only upon detailed questioning of top UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy. Video here, from Minute 47:36.

  Inner City Press asked if there had not also been murders in the Zalingi camp -- Le Roy said yes -- and about the restrictions on UN peacekeepers' movements ordered by Sudanese authorities.

 Le Roy said that while the Wali of South Darfur has issued such a declaration, requiring advance notice of any UNAMID mission movements, including on the roads, the UN is “discussing” this with Khartoum.

  One wonders why the UN has not said more about the barring of humanitarian groups from the Kalma camp. Is it a sop to the government, or reflective of a lull before new UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos takes over in September?

  Why has the US, after Friday's consultations, not asked for any Council action in the five days since? There were rumors early in the week of an Obama administration re-think of, or at least meeting on, Sudan policy. But it does not appear to have happened.

  While admitting further deterioration and tensions in Darfur, the UN is still putting South Sudan developments in a positive light, noting that the National Congress Party as well as SPLM have asked the UN to monitor the referendum.

  Le Roy said the UN does not usually monitor, but in this case is moving toward naming three Eminent Persons, whom it will support with 10 to 20 staff, to monitor.

Inner City Press asked who would choose the Eminent Persons -- might they included former South African president and Al Bashir supporter Thabo Mbeki? -- but Le Roy did not answer.

 Regarding Abyei, he described the Dinka questioning the rights of nomads to come in and vote, but said it would be up to a Commission which does not yet exist.

UN's Le Roy in Sudan, humanitarian access not shown

Le Roy's logistics colleague Susana Malcorra recently briefed the Press, and was asked by Inner City Press what the UN would do to ensure that those Southerners in the north who are registered to vote by the NCP can, in fact, vote.

Sources tell Inner City Press that Khartoum plans to register many Southerners and then make it difficult to vote, to drive turn out below 60% and invalidate the referendum. Ms. Malcorra said that the UN would be watching Southern registrants in the North. But Le Roy on Wednesday spoke only of the South. Watch this site.

* * *

Sudan Not on August Agenda of UN Council, Russia Against Larger Investigations But Has "Clear Picture of Bizarre Incident"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 4 -- Despite increased violence in Darfur and the stalling of talks in South Sudan about the referendum, the UN Security Council in August does not have a single Sudan item on its agenda.

Inner City Press on August 3 asked this month's Council president Vitaly Churkin of Russia how had been responsible for the hostage taking of the Russian pilot in Darfur. Video here, from Minute 20:32.

Churkin said Russian now has a “clear picture of this rather bizarre episode.” But he declined twice to say if government aligned Janjaweed had been responsible. “The Sudanese authorities did what they could,” he said. Informed sources say that Janjaweed did it in order to revive or increase payments from the Sudanese government.

Following up on the July 30 Security Council meeting on the killings in the Kalma camp, Inner City Press asked Churkin about what other Council members revealed, that Russia along with China opposed France's request for an “investigation.”

   While Churkin began, You are not accurate in your assertion, he then said that there is a danger of the UN turning into an investigative body, with “new panels springing up.” The reference, it seemed, was to the UN's advisory panel of experts on war crimes in Sri Lanka, which Russia has opposed.

In Nyala, Gambari and copter, Russian pilot and "bizarre episode" not shown

  Like China, though, and the U.S., Russia has a special envoy to Sudan, Mr. Margelov, who was quoted blaming the pilot taking on the Janjaweed.

   Calling the killings in the Kalma camp a “relatively minor incident,” Churkin said Russia had accepted a UNAMID investigation, just not a “larger investigation.” We'll see -- top UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy is slated to brief the Press later today.

* * *

On Darfur Camp Violence, Nur's Role as Unclear as US Stance on Doha, Sudan Says Camp Is Under UN Control, Lobbies

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 30, updated -- Darfur camp violence was taken up by the UN Security Council on Friday afternoon. According to UN sources, members of the Liberation and Justice Movement group which is negotiating with Khartoum were targeted by members of the Abdel Wahid Nur faction, which is not.

While the United States called for the consultations, it is not clear if the US stands with the UN and its Darfur envoy Ibrahim Gambari in saying that the solution to Darfur is to be found in Doha across the table from Omar al Bashir's negotiators.

French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner loudly announced that Paris based Abdel Wahid Nur would be joining the Doha process. Nearly immediately, Abdel Wahid Nur qualified this with the conditions previously listed, including safety in Darfur.

Inner City Press asked Ibrahim Gambari on July 27 about Abdel Wahid Nur's participation. Gambari said no, and characterized the conditions, including safety, as something you get at the END of negotiations, not as a precondition. One can see this as either realism or a too cavalier attitude to the protection of civilians, especially for one in charge of a peacekeeping mission with such a mandate.

More Kalma from the past, Gambari not shown

Sudan's acting Ambassador, on his way at 4 pm into the Council's suite where he would not be allowed into consultations, said that Gambari had told him at 2:30 that he would be placing some calls to get information, and would himself be giving the briefing at 4. But at that time, he was spotted by an Inner City Press source strolling the streets outside the UN, dress in white national dress.

Gambari also said on June 27 that he has gone to Paris twice to meet Abdel Wahid Nur. Three days later, he is still in New York, but not in the consultations room. Briefing was Alain Le Roy of Peacekeeping, joined at 4:40 by Lynn Pascoe of Political Affairs.

The South Sudan referendum Eminent persons monitoring group the UN is moving to set up, which Inner City Press exclusively reported earlier today, would be staffed by Pascoe's Department of Political Affairs and not the UN peacekeeping mission run by Haile Menkerios. Whether Pascoe's arrival at the Council was about this, or the Doha process implications of the attacks in the Darfur IDP camps is not yet known. Watch this site.

Update of 5:09 -- Sudan's charge d'affaires was lobbying in the hall outside the Council. “We cannot live with a paragraph about inspecting the Kalma camp... the camp is under the control of UNAMID...” Then, after fumbling with their passes, they went into the Council's suite. Coming out were the outgoing Nigerian presidency's plants and bean bag chairs with Islamic script. Coming in -- Russia's set up, for August..

Update of 5:29 p.m. -- there will be a press statement. Unclear if it will include the paragraph about inspecting or investigating in Kalma camp, which Sudan is opposing.

Update of 5:55 p.m. -- while UN TV had been told the press statement would be ready and read by now, the Council has gone into recess. Inner City Press is told by Council source that France has proposed the UN send an investigation team to Kalma camp. China and Russia have opposed it, as does Sudan. Developing.

Update of 6:13 p.m. -- Here's what happened: France “aggressively” asked for an investigation, setting of “red lights” among some other delegations. But wait - the US asked the meeting, but France made the proposal. Why? Le Roy pointed the finger at the Abdel Wahid Nur group, but France says they've spoken to him and he denies it. THAT's why France wants the investigation. You heard it here first....

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2010 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -