Moves to Expel UN Officials from W.Darfur for Hunger Petitions, UN
Kidnappers of Pilot, Inviting More
August 16 -- The UN in Sudan
is like a beaten spouse. It
just keeps taking it and staying silent, hoping things get better.
But in this case, the UN's silence hurts not only itself but those
civilians the UN is charged with protecting.
a weekend in
which two UN peacekeepers were taken hostage in South Darfur, and
three UN officials reported threatened with expulsion in West Darfur,
Inner City Press asked UN acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about
the incidents, and if the UN was finally ready to say who kidnapped
its Russian pilot nearly a month ago. Video here,
from Minute 8:11.
kidnappers' identity as government supported janjaweed militias has
been widely reported, Haq said “I don't have anything further to
say.” When the pilot was released, the UN said he would rest and
then be interviewed as to who had taken him. But nothing has been
reports in a newspaper in Jordan, from where the two just abducted
peacekeepers come, that their kidnappers have made demands for reform
of UNAMID, just as Sudanese authorities are making, Haq said the UN
would say “nothing further at this time,” that the UN is “working
for their safe release.”
approach taken to the Russian pilot: but once released, there was no
accountability for the kidnapping. Does it surprise the UN that given
this impunity and the UN's silence, there are more kidnappings?
Jordanian peacekeepers training, kidnapping and UN
silence not shown
expulsions from West Darfur -- Haq initially said they were from the
Kalma Camp, which is in South Darfur -- it is reported
on the UN's own ReliefWeb that one of
the UN officials is being targeted because he forwarded a petition
about eliminating hunger without the government's approval. Inner
City Press asked, do UN officials accept that they need government
approval, in Sudan or elsewhere, to forward such petitions? Video
from Minute 11:31.
“I'm not aware
that is a central issue,” Haq said, adding he would say nothing
else because “discussions are ongoing with the government in
Khartoum.” Like we said, the UN is like a battered spouse, getting
hit, kidnapped and expelled but staying quiet, then surprised that it
just keeps happening. But the UN is supposed to be protecting
civilians: its silence hurts them as well. Watch this site.
* * *
Denies Threatening IDPs, Defends Ending Humanitarian
Reports, No Access to Jebel Marra
12 -- On Darfur, even when the UN belatedly provides
some answers about the ongoing starvation
of internally displaced
people by the Sudanese government, it simultaneously dissembles
what six IDPs say were threats by the UN to turn them over to the
Camp, the six IDPs said
Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari met them on Wednesday in
presence of a government delegation led by state minister for
humanitarian affairs Mutrif Sideeg... Gambari asked them to accept
the presence of joint patrols formed by the Sudanese government and
the hybrid peacekeeping mission. 'If you refuse to accept this deal I
will have no choice but to hand you over to the Sudanese
authorities,' Gambari told them.”
Martin Nesirky denied this account on Thursday, when Inner City Press
asked if Gambari had asked the IDPs to consent to searches of the
camp by Sudan government authorities, only then did Nesirky read out
a second part of his prepared guidance. Video here, from Minute
12:35. As subsequently provided to Inner City Press by the UN
questions at today's Spokesperson's Noon Briefing regarding
Kalma camp in Darfur...
Gambari (JSR) met with the internally
displaced persons (IDPs) in Kalma yesterday on a joint visit with
Government of Sudan officials with whom he has been holding
consultations on issues related to recent developments in Kalma.
Contrary to press reports, the JSR did not "threaten" the
IDPs. UNAMID will not hand over the six IDP leaders in question
without a reassurance that certain preconditions as to their rights
the protection of civilian mandate of UNAMID and
emphasized the need for sustainable peace in Darfur for all its
populations. He highlighted that IDP camps are designed to provide
shelter for vulnerable populations. Criminality and proliferation of
weapons is not acceptable in Kalma and or any other IDP camp. He
reassured the IDPs that all issues related to the Kalma incident are
being discussed with a view to mutually-acceptable outcomes for all
“certain preconditions” under which the UN would turn over these
IDPs to the Sudanese government? Watch this site.
UN's Ban and Gambari, reports of threats to
IDPs (and Darfur Humanitarian Reports) not shown
answers came in from UNAMID's Officer-in-Charge of both the Media
Relations Unit and the Publications Unit, Christopher Cycmanick:
1. I was told re Kalma Camp that international NGOs are
barred, but some local NGOs get in. What percentage of the
humanitarian work is impacted by the ban on INGOs?
increased insecurity and tension within the Kalma Camp the
work of International NGO's and Humanitarian Agencies is not taking
place. The last batch of humanitarian assistance reached the camp
some 11 days ago. No proper estimate of impact on humanitarian
programs in Kalma can be given without gaining access.
2. Are the same or other restrictions in place at the
no such restrictions in Zalingei. Humanitarian
organizations maintain full access to the camp.
3. What can you can about lack of humanitarian access to
eastern Jebel Marra?
eastern Jebel Marra remains closed to humanitarians with
very few exceptions.
4. What access do UNAMID peacekeepers have?
do not have access to the Jebel Marra area
because of the prevailing security situation and restrictions/denial
of access from both Government of Sudan and rebel movements.
5. Can you confirm reports of firing into Kalma Camp by
people in government vehicles, and if UNAMID responded, what did this
response consist of?
in Kalma camp was reported, but this firing was done
by some camp resident. There were no reports or evidence of firing by
“people in government vehicles”. UNAMID Police is conducting 24/7
patrols in the Camp to increase security.
6. Less immediately pressing, on humanitarian, the UN used
to publish a "Darfur Humanitarian Profile" every quarter.
It seems that these documents ceased appearing (with no explanation
offered) after the Jan 1, 2009 report (reflecting conditions as of
October 2008). Why is the UN no longer organizing and promulgating
what data it has, as it used to do with the "Darfur Humanitarian
to be collected and disseminated on the
humanitarian situation in Darfur. The Darfur Humanitarian Profile was
produced with broad participation of humanitarian organizations
working in Darfur. The expulsion of 13 international NGOs from Sudan
in March 2009 and increased relocation of remaining NGO staff in
remote locations (largely as a result of insecurity) have critically
reduced humanitarian presence on the ground. As a consequence,
efforts to produce reliable data at the level of the DHP became
untenable. OCHA continues to seek ways to restore reliable data
collection in remote locations.
7. Q: What data do the UN / UNAMID have on Global Acute
Malnutrition? Why isn't it being collated and released publicly?
Please provide your most recent data for the three Darfur states.
amount of malnutrition data for Darfur has been verified,
which will be available in the next 1-2 days. Remaining data is still
in the process of verification and will be released once verification
not even UN
peacekeepers have been able to access Jebal Marra. What about the
protection of civilians mandate?
has asked for the malnutrition data and the “certain preconditions”
under which UNAMID would turn over the six IDPs to the Sudanese
government, and has posed the following additional questions:
found out about how had taken the Russian helicopter pilot?
the Security Council's call for DPKO / UNAMID to reach a
“full understanding of the facts” underlying the violence in