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As Ladsous Said It's Up to Sudans Where Jau Is, No Visit or Answer from UNMISS

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 14 -- Despite heavy fighting in and around Jau, with South Sudan says is in its territory, the UN Mission in South Sudan has not gone to Jau to try to safeguard the remaining residents or even count the dead.

  Since this seems like either dereliction of UNMISS' mandate, which includes protection of civilians, or an indirect admission that the UN or at least its Department of Peacekeeping Operations thinks Jau is in North Sudan, Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the UN where Jau is, and why it has not gone.

  DPKO boss Herve Ladsous, unlike other Under Secretaries General, did not speak to the press or do a stakeout Q&A when he left the Security Council session with Sudan and South Sudan.

  Questions to spokespeople, including about Ladsous' previous claim that a Status of Forces Agreement with Sudan about the UNISFA mission in Abyei have gone unanswered. (Susan Malcorra, for now USG of the Department of Field Support, on December 13 gave Inner City Press an update about discussion in Addis Ababa.)

   Now Inner City Press has learned that in closed door Council consultation, what Ladsous said about Jau's location was that it is up to the parties to decide. (We'll have more on Ladsous, spotting wandering around on December 13.) Jau is not on the list of five disputed towns; for the UN to punt and give Khartoum a veto, and decline to even ask to go to where civilians are being harmed, seems to be a new low.

(c) UN photo
Ladsous in South Sudan, Hilde visit to Jau and answers not seen

  There is a conference in Washington for the next two days about South Sudan, including in its first day a panel moderated by UNMISS chief Hilde Johnson. The question of Jau and why UNMISS hasn't gone has be put to her directly, at least electronically as suggested, without any answer; Ladsous' DPKO in New York either has no answer or says it is up to the parties, giving a veto to Khartoum on protection of civilians.

  So Johnson will be in Washington, at the conference on South Sudan. One wonders if she will address this question, and if the event will be web-cast. We've asked. Watch this site.

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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

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