Chinese UN Trainer Down on Referendum, Criticizes UNMIS,
Calling Li Baodong
9 -- A Chinese woman providing police training in Juba with
the UN Mission in Sudan -- it had feel good story written all over
it. But something was amis.
staying in the UNMIS base, Xun Chen paid to live in the Beijing Juba
Hotel. "The water and sanitation are better," she told
Inner City Press.
is too disorganized. For example
I am entitled to have a vehicle, but there are none. For forty of us
police trainers, there are only three vehicles. So I often walk the
half an hour to work, each way, then just crash and out go to sleep
when I get back to the hotel."
is Xun Chen's
second deployment to South Sudan, and third overall with the UN. Her
other stint was in Timor Leste, which she calls “a better mission.
UNMIS is badly run.”
She is unable
to contact the leadership. Thus
she asked Inner City Press how to contact China's Ambassador to the
UN, Li Baodong, who was traveling with the Security Council
delegation in Sudan.
context of Xun
Chen's work is to train South Sudanese police to get them ready to
provide security during the referendum on secession, scheduled for
January 9 but some think to be delayed. But she is not upbeat, about
either the referendum or secession.
other made to Inner City Press, Xun Chen said a large portion of the
South Sudan police she was asked to train were illiterate. “We
should have started with that,” she said. Instead they are
providing train that she is not sure is getting through.
next day at
the ballyhooed training base at Rejaf, many claims are made about the
training, including by US Ambassador Susan Rice. But when the press
asked a European trainer on background if any human rights training
is given, he scoffed. Many of them can't read, he said. Human rights
laws are written. So rights are not really part of the curiculum.
at the Beijing
Juba Hotel, Xun Chen became agitated to track down Li Baodong.
The Beijing Juba, surrounded by UN cars,
UNMIS reform not shown, (c) MRLee
is he staying, she kept asking UNMIS spokespeople. The UN list Inner
City Press had been given included a hotel called New York, New York.
But the VIPs were at the Grand. Xun Chen disappeared into the night
in a colleague's private car, not before telling Inner City Press not
to venture out into the darkness.
irresistible, and hunger at the end of a long day can motivate. Down
a long pitch black road, with signs sponsored by UK DFID and UNEP
urging passersby not to litter, an Eritrean run restaurant called the
Basilica beckoned, “past the red cell phone tower and the gas
station,” the instructions were.
was a big screen TV
with European soccer, and a menu including chicken broast and chips.
There was no Nile Beer but there was Tusker. Perhaps there was talk
of Somalia. Was a new country being born?
the Beijing Juba Hotel, Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong arrived with an
entourage. He said he was staying here, and not with the other
Ambassadors. The next day he told Inner City Press the hotel is an
example of Chinese's cooperation with both South Sudan as well as
Xun Chen never found her Ambassador. UNMIS goes on unreformed. Watch
some might say, of Xun Chen's critique of the referendum and
secession may lie in her very Chinese-ness. The People's Republic of
China is historically against secession movements, facing its down in
Tibet, Taiwan and sometimes Xinjiang. But Xun Chen's dissatisfaction
seems more personal.
reviews of UNMIS extended to Khartoum, where locally-based reporters
complained to Inner City Press that the Mission is not transparent,
that UNMIS chief Haile Menkerios never speaks to the Press, and that
they are not at all clear what UNMIS is doing. Maybe that's the way the
UN wants it?
* * *
Declare Independence, Susan Rice Says, Debt, Darfur &
LRA Followup Unclear
DARFUR, October 7 -- Susan Rice spoke on the record to the
Press on the back of the UN plane at the conclusion of her South
Sudan leg of the UN Security Council's trip to Uganda and Sudan.
Representative to the UN recounted how Salva Kiir gave
assurances that South Sudan will not make a unilateral declaration of
independence. Rather, if Khartoum delays the nationwide referendum,
South Sudan will hold its own referendum.
asked, what about the Southerns living in the North? Could they vote
in this scenario? How many of them are there?
knows," Susan Rice said, adding that the South had accepted the
count of 500,000 Southerners in the North in the last election, but
now Khartoum has boosted the figure to 2 to 3 million.
earlier on the record comments by UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.
Neither Ambassador would answer what is being done to prevent
Rice answer what if anything the US plans to do about Sudan's nearly
$40 billion in debt. She told Inner City Press that the US role on
this is to support what the parties decide.
But how could
accept the transfer of more than its fair share of the country's
overall debt without an assurance that it would be forgiven?
Rice said that there are "legislative constraints" to
forgiving Sudan's debt, and that even an independent South Sudan
might not be "HIPC eligible." But isn't most of the debt
non-IMF high interest rate loans?
Salva Kiir & Susan Rice, UDI & debt relief not shown
City Press asked her about the accusation
South Sudan Minister of
Internal Affairs Gier Chuang Aluang, in front of the Council and
media, that the Omar al Bashir government is arming the Lord's
Resistance Army and cattle rustlers. We've heard that before, she
said, including in UN reports. But his allegations were specific.
What will be done? Watch this site.
reception Wednesday night involved not only Rice and the Council
but also George Clooney, being followed around South Sudan by
tele-journalist Ann Curry. Clooney joked that he wouldn't take a photo
with a South Sudanese who was "too tall."
the plan, while Susan Rice said she would leave UK Ambassador Mark
to speak about Darfur, Inner City Press asked her a question: what is
the US' position on UNAMID's proposed turn over to the government of
Omar al Bashir of five supporters of rebel Abdel Wahid Nur, which
documents obtained and published by Inner City Press exposed as being
immanent. Susan Rice said she wants to find out more about it during
the Council's time in Darfur. We'll see.
* * *
S. Sudan “Slavery,” Sees Call for Separation,
UNMIS Off Hook
The Juba airport in South Sudan was jumping as the UN
Security Council arrived late Wednesday afternoon. “Separation =
Peace,” as one sign put it. If the welcoming party is any guide,
the mood for secession in Sudan Sudan cannot be contained.
the way to
Juba, a senior Western official emphasized that the program for the
Council and press is to show South Sudan outside of Juba -- just as
Wednesday with Ugandan president Yoweri
Museveni was not, in fact, about Somalia peacekeepers, but rather
Afro-centric view of Sudan's North - South conflict.
the meeting, the
official said, Museveni had repeatedly said that the Southern
Sudanese had been treated like slaves. Rebecca Garang, it emerges,
met with the Council minutes before Museveni, and spoke movingly of
the death of her husband John, who stands to be the father of a
nation. She asked why his death was not investigated as Lebanon's
Hariri's has been.
said that the
Southern Sudanese missed the first time they tried to kill the
gazelle -- this meant winning freedom, the official explained -- but
now the reference will be the second change to kill the gazelle, and
won't be missed.
Mission in Sudan whisked the Ambassadors, staff and Press
to the Government of South Sudan Conference Hall. Tall security
guards with wrap around sunglasses asked, “You from New York?”
Well, yes. This was the magic word to be whisk in for the photo
opportunity of President of South Sudan Salva Kiir with three
Ambassadors. Then the Press was told to leave, and also disinvited
from an event event between the Ambassadors, the Government of South
Sudan and civil society.
this building to 2008, when Inner City Press was last in it, things
have been progressing in South Sudan. But have they progressed enough,
in terms of institutions? Museveni told the Council that ready or not,
South Sudan can not be slaves anymore.
Juba, Oct 6, 2010 (c) MRLee Separation YES (games not shown)
to stay was the Beijing Juba Hotel. Inside behind a counter
with Chinese lanterns and a mural of the Great Wall, one African and
three Chinese women distributed access codes to use the Internet in
the lobby, and ask that rooms be paid in cash.
vintage of bill “are a problem here,” it emerges. The color of
money is green, as are the fields outside of Juba. And freedom, by
all accounts, is coming soon.
the Western diplomat if there are concerns among the Council
about Khartoum's accusation that Salva Kiir has violated the CPA by
saying he would vote for independence. I didn't see the quote, the
official answered. Salva Kiir is free to express himself.
what about the North's plans to delay, stop or frustrate the
referendum? Is the Council making plans? Is UNMIS up to it? Those on
the trip won't know: the meeting with UNMIS and Haile Menkerios was
canceled and won't be rescheduled. The plan for Thursday is in the
Helicopters to Rejaf
to see the training of police, prop planes to Waw or Wau, to visit a
Catholic mission, and then on to Darfur. Watch this site.
* * *
of Civilians in Somalia, Disfavors Shelling, Cites
President Yoweri Museveni took questions from the Press
after meeting with the Security Council on Wednesday. Inner City
Press asked about calls to investigate the killing of civilians in
Mogadishu by Ugandan and Burundian troops. President Museveni said
that those his forces killed “in June, July, August” must have
been combatants, since they were assaulting a fortified position.
killings of civilians in markets? President Museveni said he does
not favor the shelling of such areas. Inner City Press posed similar
questions last month to Jean Ping of the African Union Commission,
who responded angrily that Al Shabab insists on using human shields
and even fighting from mosques. He did not speak about disfavoring
UN Ruhakana Rugunda said that the Lord's Resistance
Army was discussed in the meeting with the Council. Inner City Press
asked if Uganda thinks the UN mission in the Congo MONUSCO is doing
enough against the LRA bases in the Congo.
the LRA is degraded, so degraded they had to go to “the
Central African Republic and Darfur.” He praises his
“revolutionary” forces, citing Mao about a people's army not
taking a needle from the people without paying for it. Three times
he praises Tanzania for sending 45,000 to throw out Idi Amin.
Report on the Congo, President Museveni said he hadn't read
it, but it must be fiction. There are fiction writers, he said, in
international organization. US Ambassador Susan Rice sat stonefaced.
What is the US view on what happened in Rwanda, and the Mapping
Report? Watch this site.
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* * *
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AlertNet piece by this correspondent
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Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
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