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In Abyei, Sudan Says UN Half Deployed, UK Says SAF Must Leave Sept 30, Frustration

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 27, updated -- At the last UN Security Council meeting about Abyei, the still acting chief of UN Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet told the Press that Sudan had committed to pull its troops out of Abyei by September 30.

  With three days to go before that deadline, Inner City Press on Tuesday asked Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti if the pull-out would be completed.

 He answered that things are in process but noted that "fifty percent of those forces are there in Abyei," referring to the 4400 UNISFA peacekeepers mandated by the Security Council.

The designated new chief of UN Peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, has still not appeared for work in New York, more than three weeks after he was named by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  Tuesday at noon Inner City Press went and asked Ban's spokesman why only half of the UNISFA force has been deployed, and when the UN understands that the Sudanese Armed Forces should leave. Nesirky said he would check and answer, but four hours later nothing had been received.

UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant told Inner City Press that any argument that the rate of UNISFA deployment justified a failure to pull out by September 30 was "disingenuous." He said "we'd be concerned if that pull out didn't take place" by the end of the month.
  Here is a copy of the agreement, which Inner City Press obtained and is putting online, here.

Inner City Press asked South African Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu if UNISFA's slow deployment could justify Sudanese delay. He shook his head, "They have to leave anyway. It takes time to deploy.... They have to move."

Thus it seems clear that Sudanese Armed Forces are expected to be out of Abyei in three days. But will they be?

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

  Inner City Press also asked Karti about being on the US state sponsor of terrorism list. He said, "We don't have any connection with that issue... There are some political problems here, There is no yet real determination that Sudan should be removed from that list.. We know and they also know we don't have any connection with terrorism."

Sources in Khartoum say that Karti is being judged on whether he can get Sudan removed from the US terror list. And if he can't?

Update of 5:10 pm -- in the Quadpartite meeting of the UN, Ethiopia, North and South Sudan taking place in the North Lawn building, sources say there is great frustration, "Sudan keeps changing things that were already agreed to." Chicken and egg: no full deployment without SAF having pulled out; SAF apparently won't pull out until full or near full deployment. Watch this site.

Update of 5:54 pm -- even as acting DPKO chief Edmond Mulet told Inner City Press things are going well with UNISFA (except, when asked, with SAF's pull out from Abyei by September 30), China's Permanent Representative Li Baodong told Inner City Press that there will be "P-5 consultations tomorrow about Sudan." Watch this site.

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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