UN Won't Confirm Darfur Conflict or Panel's Diaspora Work,
Outsourced by Ban
November 24 -- On Sudan, the UN is either negligent or
deceptive or both. Repeatedly this month Inner City Press has asked
the UN to confirm or deny reports by rebel groups in Darfur of
Acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq
has said he will look into it, or that Ibrahim
“Gambari is in
Darfur,” or on November 24, that UNAMID's report of its daily
activities doesn't mention the bombings, so they are not confirmed.
from Minute 8:25.
reports are full of happy talk, about the number of patrols
conducted. They never mentioned that UNAMID had not visited much less
protected civilians for months in Jebel Marra.
Inner City Press asked Haq if Gambari or mediator Djibril Bassole have
any comment on the break
with Khartoum by Minni Minnawi, the lone
Darfur rebel who signed a deal with Omar al Bashir. No, there was no
November 22 said he had made Darfur his major priority. Now there are
no answers, no comments, no monitoring, nothing.
Inner City Press asked whether the panel named by Ban Ki-moon has
jurisdiction over, and anything to say about, the polling sites
outside of Sudan for the South Sudanese diaspora.
answer, saying to ask the panel's spokesperson. But isn't it Ban
Ki-moon's own panel? Can one outsource supposed concern? Ban's
spokesperson's office canceled its noon briefing on November 26.
Gambari and Minnawi, answers on Darfur fighting not shown
Press: I want to ask about Sudan on the statement that you made
from the Secretary-General’s Panel on the referendum. There seems
to be a lot of controversy about the low numbers of Southern
registrants in the North. Some people are putting the number as low
as 9,000. So it seemed like, in your statement, you are saying some
Southerners are encouraging other Southerners — I just want to
understand, because the SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement]
blames it all on Khartoum.
Spokesperson Haq: Well, that was just a summary of a press
conference that President Mkapa held in Khartoum, and I’d just
refer you to the transcript of that. We have that available in our
Press: And does the Secretary-General’s Panel have any role
in overseeing these sites, these eight Diaspora voting sites in
Africa, the United States, Australia? Are they going to visit any of
those sites? And there is some controversy now about the IOM
[International Organization for Migration] role in it. It’s not
exactly clear to me who is funding the IOM for that work, but what is
the Panel’s role on these other sites?
Spokesperson: No, you can check with the Panel itself about
the sites. It’s looking at the whole referenda process, which
includes sites for Southerners to vote in the North.
Press: But isn’t his Panel — I have had some problem in the
past getting responses from the Panel, so I just wanted to know, it’s
the Secretary-General, he set up the terms of reference, it’s his
delegated Panel, right?
November 24 transcript:
Press: on Sudan, there are also reports again in Darfur of
fighting between the SLA [Sudanese Liberation Army] and the
Government in [inaudible] in Darfur. And I wanted to… yesterday,
this is now, there are four separate allegations, some by JEM
[Justice and Equality Movement], some by SLA, of fighting with the
Government. And I am just wondering there hasn’t been either a
confirmation or denial by UNAMID [African Union-United Nations Hybrid
Operation in Darfur]. Is UNAMID aware of this report and what does
it say about these now mounting reports of escalating fighting in
Spokesperson Haq: Well, we’ve received different
information from UNAMID about their daily activities; it does not
include a confirmation of this particular burst of fighting.
Press: On the previous ones that have… of the report by JEM of
a week’s worth of bombing in the Jebel Marra area, is that
something that the UN, UNAMID, has tried to figure out if it’s
taking place or…?
Spokesperson: Well, with UNAMID’s mandate, they try to
monitor any violations of the agreements on the ground. But they do
not — they have not provided a confirmation on this.
Press: And now that Minni Minawi, who previously had been on
board with the National Congress Party, has now come out and said
that the National Congress Party has violated the Darfur Peace
Agreement and is basically, I am just wondering, this seems like a
major development, in that the one peace agreement in Darfur is
falling apart, or at least the leader of Minni Minawi’s faction is
saying that it’s falling apart. What’s UNAMID’s or Mr.
[Djibril] Bassolé’s response to that?
Spokesperson: I don’t believe that he has responded to the
particular comments of any precise party. If he does have a comment
on what Minni Minawi has said, we will share it.
office canceled its noon briefing on November 26, and has now been
asked "why?" Watch this site.
* * *
Also still unanswered, despite being submitted in writing to Haq and
the Spokesman Martin Nesirky: