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Sudan Denies Abyei Deal UN Bragged About, Ladsous Missing, Banbury to Haiti

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED* NATIONS, September 14 -- The last time the UN Security Council met about Sudan, on September 8, the acting chief of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations told the Press and presumably the Council that Khartoum and Juba had just agreed in Addis Ababa to withdraw their troops from the contested Abyei area.

  The UN called this good news, by contrast to their lack of access to the killing zones in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile state.

  But on September 14 even the UN's good news on Abyei was denied by Khartoum, on the government run Sudanese Media Center. As translated:

"The government denied that arose recently in the media to reach a new agreement on Abyei between the states of Sudan and Southern Sudan. Said Omar Suleiman, a member of the negotiating team told (smc) that the interview officials at the United Nations on the two sides to reach a new agreement on Abyei is not accurate, revealing that the meeting was only for the oversight committee composed of representatives of the parties in the ninth of this month to follow up the implementation of the Interim Agreement Management Abyei signed between the parties on the twentieth of June..." [H/t ST]

   Khartoum has a history of reneging, for example on the agreement signed about Southern Kordofan later repudiated by Omar al Bashir. But in this case, was the UN too desperate for good news, after being under fire for inaction in Southern Kordofan as civilians were killed?

In Khartoum in May, Rice looks out, Araud down, Ladous not shown

   On September 8, Mulet rushed away from the Press, saying he had an appointment. The UN Spokesperson's Office took Inner City Press questions about the lack of a Status of Forces Agreement for Abyei -- the reason Sudan could block a medevac helicopter from Wau in South Sudan after which injured Ethiopian peacekeepers bled out and died -- but has yet to provide an answer. Now what?

Footnote: this is another reason that the continued absence of the new head of Peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous who was named on September 2, is so outrageous.

  There are scandals not only in Sudan but also in Haiti, where another deputy, the Department of Field Support's Tony Banbury, is now going. More than one Haitian has noted that it was Banbury who, when asked about the rape of Haitian women in the post-earthquake camps, said only three rapes? That elates me. Is Banbury the right person to go? Watch this site.

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At UN on Sudan, No Access to Blue Nile or S. Kordofan, No SOFA for Abyei, New Peacekeeping Chief Ladsous MIA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 9 -- Amid a surge in aerial bombing in Sudan, the UN Security Council met behind closed doors Thursday about Abyei and Blue Nile State, Southern Kordofan and South Sudan. The meeting had no outcome.

  The acting chief of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Edmund Mulet told the Press he had an appointment. As Inner City Press asked of a Status of Forces Agreement has been reached for the UNISFA mission in Abyei where peacekeepers died while unable to be evacuated by helicopter from Wau in South Sudan, Mulet said not yet, and left.

  On Friday Inner City Press asked the UN's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey when the UN plans to put in place a Status of Forces Agrement, and how it deploys peacekeepers without a plan to medevac them.

  Del Buey said to "ask DPKO" -- but how? Nor has there been any answer on when the new French head of DPKO Herve Ladsous, named on September 2, will begin.

  Later on Friday after Council president Nawaf Salam read a press statement on 9/11, Inner City Press asked him about the previous afternoon's Sudan consultations, reminding him that at his beginning of presidency briefing he'd committed to come out and speak after the Sudan session.

Salam nodded and said there had been three consultations. Of these, asked about possible outcomes by Inner City Press, Salam predicted a follow up and outcome only on changing the Abyei mission's mandate, reportedly to include some border review. Apparently there are other priorities in the Security Council at present.

Meanwhile fallout continues from the currency war between Khartoum and South Sudan. Khartoum set a deadline to convert to or exchange into its new currency; this led to crowds outside the Central Bank in Khartoum pleading for an extension that was not granted. And so it goes.

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

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

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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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