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Killing in S. Kordofan, & UN Inaction, Detailed in UN Report, Put Online

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 20 -- Amid the slaughter in Southern Kordofan despite UN peacekeepers being there, inaction by the Egyptian contingent of the UN Mission in Sudan has been the subject of increasing shock and disgust.

 On July 20 after trying to ask UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about it when he took questions about climate change at the Security Council stakeout, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky about the "leaked" report, particular these sections in paragraphs 42 and 29:

42. On 8 June, UNMIS Human Rights witnessed the movement of four armed men (two armed civilians and two Central Reserve Police) carrying weapons in and out of the UNMIS Protective Perimeter without any intervention from the UNMIS peacekeepers guarding the premises. The armed men conducted identity checks on the IDPs. Eyewitnesses interviewed reported that the armed men abducted three IDPs from the vicinity of the UNMIS Protective Perimeter on suspicion that they were supporters of the SPLM.

29. On 8 June, an UNMIS independent contractor (IC) was pulled out of a vehicle by SAF in front of the UNMIS Kadugli Sector IV Compound in the presence of several witnesses, while UN peacekeepers could not intervene. He was taken around the corner of the compound and gunshots were heard. Later he was discovered dead by UNMIS personnel and IDPs. Several sources confirmed that the victim was an active SPLM member.

  Earlier this month a Dutch court said that immunity was no defense to the liability of peacekeepers for deaths in Srebrenica. These descriptions - in the UN's own report -- non “intervention” by UN peacekeepers echo that. Inner City Press is putting the report online, here.

  UN spokesman Nesirky said in response that the above-quoted report “ has not yet been finalized.

Ban, Nesirky, Nambiar & Orr, action on UN inaction not shown

  Inner City Press asked if it would be edited by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations:

Inner City Press: I’m looking at this, the UNMIS human rights report about Southern Kordofan and it’s beyond what is being sort of reported publicly, it has a paragraph very specifically saying on 8 June UNMIS human rights witnessed armed people coming in and out of the UNMIS protection perimeter without any intervention from the UN peacekeepers guarding the premises. The allegation is that the Egyptian peacekeepers of that unit were either sided with the Government or chose to not act. And what I am wondering is, if, since this is the UN’s own report, what’s the next step? Is the Secretary-General going to order some kind of an inquiry?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, first of all, as you well know, the report has not yet been finalized, and Mr. Šimonovic' made that quite clear when he spoke to you here the other day. That’s the first point. The second is that we’re extremely concerned about the allegations that are out there, including those that have been brought to light in the report, which is not yet finalized. So, I think we need to ensure that that report goes through the right procedure before more details are given on that. But suffice it to say that many people within the UN community, from the Secretary-General down, are extremely concerned about the alleged incidents that there have been and the reports that we are hearing.

Inner City Press: The one thing I wanted to know is, it seems from the way Mr. Simonovic said it, that this joint reporting to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and to DPKO, so, since the allegation, at least the one that I just read out, is against DPKO, what’s their role in editing the finalizing report?

Spokesperson: Well, I think let’s be really clear, there is nothing unusual in that arrangement. Wherever there is a mandate within a peacekeeping mission mandate to look at human rights, there should be a human rights component — in other words, people who deal with that. And of course, as Mr. Šimonovic' explained, there is a dual reporting role. A report of that nature of course will need to be seen by the principals concerned in the Office and in the Department. And that’s normal procedure.

Inner City Press: When you’re saying it’s finalized, it describes things that happened on a particular day. Is there some idea that this will be changed in a final report?

Spokesperson: I do not know what the final version will look like. But as you all know, this, the document that has been circulated, or rather leaked, is not the final version. And it is still in the process of being finalized. But as I have said, it is already clear that there are very serious allegations out there, not just in the report that’s being talked about and which Mr. Šimonovic' spoke about at some length the other day, but more generally. And those reports are alarming and we’re extremely worried about them, the Secretary-General included.

  Some wonder why, if Ban Ki-moon is so extremely worried about this, he did not mention or take any questions on it on July 20 outside the Security Council. The numbers of executed are high. Here is another paragraph:

28. An UNMIS staff member who was detained by SAF at their military facility in Umbattah Locality reported during his detention, that he saw over an estimated 150 dead bodies of persons of Nuban descent scattered on the grounds of the military compound. Some of the bodies appeared to have bullet wounds and he reported a large quantity of blood on the ground. He reported a SAF soldier told them that they had all been shot dead.

  In the face of this UN reporting, why stand on the principle that the report “is not finalized?” We will pursue this. Watch this site.

* * *

As Sudan's Karti Says Open to Foreign Troops, US Unclear, UN Takes No Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 20 -- On July 19 Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti said of Southern Kordofan “if there's an agreement with local leaders specifying the sending of foreign troops, it will be welcome.”

  On July 20 Inner City Press asked Sudan's Permanent Representative to the UN Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman about Karti's quote. He said Karti was referring to “international forces, not peacekeepers, not UN.”

  Inner City Press had asked the US Mission to the UN on July 19 about Karti's statement, and on July 20 asked Ambassador Susan Rice about it as she went into the Security Council. “I don't quite know what to think of that,” Rice said.

When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon came to the Security Council stakeout on Wednesday, one expected him to say something about the fighting in Southern Kordofan, and the allegations that UN peacekeepers, even before July 9, were at best inactive, or some say complicit.

 He did not; nor did his spokesman Martin Nesirky respond to request that Ban take “a question on Sudan.”

 We will have more on this, including the UN's own report critical of its peacekeepers inaction in Southern Kordofan. Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Kordofan, Who Should Call for Probe Was Issue, No One Urging Action

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- On Southern Kordofan it emerges that the fight in the Security Council on July 15 was about whether the Council should be calling for an investigation of war crimes.

  “Navi Pillay is already doing it,” a Council member told Inner City Press. “Why do we have to call for it?”

  A UN official confided that a real investigation will show misdeed by the UN peacekeepers from Egypt as well. The conflict of interest is that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was only in Sudan as a component of the peacekeeping mission UNMIS. How can the UN report on itself?

  The balance for the UN involves at least four legs: political, peacekeeping, humanitarian and human rights. And they may well be the pecking order, with human rights right at the bottom, at least under Haile Menkerios -- who flew indicted war criminal Ahmed Haroun on a UN copter -- and Ibrahim Gambari in Darfur.

What should future UN envoys do? How should they be judged? Watch this site.

Footnote: Meanwhile the Justice & Equality Movement is bragging that it teamed up with SPLM-North and fought and killed 100 Northern soldiers. It is a war, and the UN sits impotent. We will continue on this.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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

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