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After UN Dodges Jau Killings for 3 Days, Rice Says Jau Is In Sudan - or Not

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 8, updated -- With Abyei the topic of the UN Security Council on Thursday, the deadly fighting in the town of Jau slowly came out of the fog into which the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations had cast it.

  For three days, the UN has told Inner City Press that DPKO is unable to confirm the fighting in Jau. On December 9, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky answered Inner City Press' question about Jau by describing entirely separate fighting in Bor.

  Now the unstated reason for the UN's stonewalling and then misdirection has come into focus: there is a dispute about whether the UN Mission in South Sudan can even go to Jau. Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice, "Is Jau in Sudan or South Sudan?"

  "It looks like it is in Sudan," Rice said.

 Later on her way out of the Security Council meetings, Ambassador Rice graceously asked to "revise and extend" her earlier remarks, saying "the bottom line is nobody knows" if Jau is in South Sudan or Sudan.  Inner City Press then asked Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman about it - follow up story soon, watch this site.

  Before Thursday morning's meeting, Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman told Inner City Press, Jau is in Sudan and the Yide camp is only ten kilometers away, it is a "breeding ground" for rebels.

  What it now appears is that DPKO decided it would not even try to go to Jau, because of the dispute about which side of the border it is on.

(c) UN Photo
Ladsous of DPKO checks troops but not Jau

 What ever happened to the supposed primacy of protection of civilians? Or simple transparency of what the UN is doing and why? Watch this site.

Update: in the Council's open session ostensibly on Abyei, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman insisted that Jau is in Sudan. David Choat of South Sudan said that Division 9 of the SPLA has been based there. Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman agreed, but had that was an illegal occupation. Ended unilaterally, impacting civilians, with the UN's DPKO casting its own fog over it. What will the Security Council do? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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

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

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