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On S. Sudan Referendum, EU Countries Behind on Funding Pledges, Speak of Delay

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 5 -- With shooting and kidnappings continuing in Darfur, the Sudanese government has reportedly taken to conditioning medical care in Khartoum to those from South Sudan upon their voting for unity and not separation in the referendum scheduled for January 9.

Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky about this and kidnappings in Darfur on November 5 and was, again, promised future answers. Meanwhile, Inner City Press got a read out of which countries have actually followed through on their pledges to the Basket Fund for the referendum, and which have not.

Sweden has pledged $6.76 million but has so far given nothing.

Likewise, there has been no follow through yet on these pledges: European Union $4.23 million, Denmark $3.38 million, Australia $2.69 million.

The UK remains $3.87 million short of its pledge.

France has not paid ANY of the mere $600,000 it pledged.

One wonders what these countries, which say the referendum is so important, are waiting from. Privately diplomats from several of these countries tell the Press that the planned South Sudan referendum will nearly certainly have to be postponed, and that their work consists of trying to convince the South Sudanese not to then go ahead and hold their own referendum.

  They also express concern that once Khartoum learns they are okay with a date later from January 9, the new date will become a new target to go past and delay.

In S. Sudan, UK PR, France DPR, follow through on funding not yet shown

Here is the table of pledges and actual contributions to the Basket Fund for the south Sudan Referendum, followed by the UN's transcript of its November 5 noon briefing:



Amount             ($ million) Committed

Amount           ($ million) Received












Canada (CIDA)









European Union




























 Source: UNDP response to Inner City Press 11/10 question

UN's transcription of its November 5 noon briefing:

Inner City Press: there are also these reports of three pilots from a Latvian helicopter company working for WFP [World Food Programme] that have been taken hostage. Can you confirm that? And there seems to be some unclarity about what country they are from or who took them. What’s the UN going to do?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, I can confirm that three crew members working for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service contracted to the World Food Programme, as you mentioned, were abducted in Nyala town on Thursday. They are all Latvian nationals and are helicopter crewmen. And we don’t have any more information at this point.

Inner City Press: Thanks. The SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] is saying that… they have come out with an allegation that Southerners who live in the North are being told, in Government medical facilities, are being told they’ll only get medical treatment if they vote for unity. I wonder if it’s something… it’s in the Sudan Tribune and I am assuming elsewhere. I am wondering if that’s something… I guess that would be an UNMIS [United Nations Mission in Sudan] issue, or perhaps… whether the UN system is aware of that allegation, what they think of it, if it is true and what they are doing to find out if it is true?

Spokesperson: Well, at the very least, if they are reading the Sudan Tribune like you, they will have seen the same reports and I would assume that they are doing so. We will need to check whether they have further information that was not in this Sudan Tribune. But, I don’t have that right now.

Inner City Press: Okay. No, no, I mean I am pretty sure they would be aware of this, I just wonder if this is the type of thing that they feel a duty to investigate to see if it’s true or to make some statement about.

Spokesperson: As I say, let’s first establish what they know about it.

We'll see. Watch this site.

* * *

As UN Confirms 2 Dead, 28 Wounded in Darfur, Nothing on Journalists's Arrest

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 4 -- As killing in Darfur escalates, the UN stays several days behind, belatedly reporting on November 4 on a deadly November 1 attack outside Tawila, and then only because asked.

  On November 3 Inner City Press asked why the UNAMID mission had not spoken about the second deadly attack near Tawila. Hours later, the UN said it was investigating. A source asked Inner City Press, what's to investigate, since the UN has a peacekeeping base in Tawila itself?

  As it turns out, the UN did know what happened. On November 4 spokesman Martin Nesirky read a statement that on November 1, unidentified gunmen attacked two vehicles, resulting in two deaths and 28 wounded who were taken to an MSF clinic in Tawila. Eight of the more serious injuries were transferred to a hospital in El Fasher, which is UNAMID's base.

But why didn't UNAMID just routinely report this? Similarly, Jaafar al-Sibki the Darfur reporter for the Sahafa daily newspaper in Sudan was arrested by authorities, but UNAMID and UN had no response except to point to UNAMID's belated statement about a radio station's closure.

While the UN - African Union mediation in Doha has now been suspended until mid December, the UN had no statement on that either on November 4.

IDP in Tawila, UNAMID not shown

 The Doha process does not include the supporters of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid Nur, nor the Justice and Equality Movement. The one group it does include, the Liberation and Justice Movement, has a leader who was a UN staff member at least until March 8, 2010, then (the UN says) resigned. We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

From the UN's November 3 transcript:

Inner City Press: on Sudan, I wanted to ask you two factual things. There are reports that at least eight people injured in Tawilla, where there is a peacekeeping base, have been taken to the hospital in El Fasher. I haven’t seen anything by UNAMID [African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur]; I’m just wondering if it’s possible to get… whether UNAMID can confirm that this attack took place, who they think did it? There are also reports of the arrest of the leader of a refugee camp, Al Salaam in North Darfur, by the authorities. And I’m wondering, again … these things build up, but whether UNAMID can confirm these two incidents, and also, if these things are true, why these things are not being said in some way by UNAMID? And I know you may say “ask them”, but I’ve asked them and I’ve received nothing in return.

Spokesperson Nesirky: We will ask them. All right, thanks very much. Good afternoon, everybody.

[The Spokesperson later added that we are aware of these reports and are investigating them. UNAMID is concerned about heightened military tensions on the ground. There have been other incidents recently. UNAMID calls on all parties to refrain from the use of force.]

  Watch this site, follow on Twitter @InnerCityPress.

 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

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