Sudan Vote & Ban's Panel, UN Dodges Questions of Payment,
November 26 -- With questions mounting about the
registration process for the Southern Sudan secession referendum
scheduled for January 9, the UN is withholding basic information
about the Panel to which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “outsourced”
key parts of the UN's role.
by Ban's spokesperson, Inner City Press has asked about
how the Panel
is funded, which registration sites they have visited in the United
States, Canada, Ethiopia and Kenya, and whether they are implicitly
trying to blame the SPML for under-registration of Southern Sudanese
in the Northern part of the country and/or in the eight “diapora”
countries in which polling would be held.
Spokesman Farhan Haq has declined to
answer many of these questions,
referring instead to a separate spokesperson's office set up for the
panel. While Inner City Press has sent this “outsourced” office
two recent rounds of questions, only one has been answered, and then
This seems to
be a pattern at the UN -- to name a Panel and then refuse to answer
questions about the subject matter outsourced to the Panel.
for example is when the registration site in four of the diaspora
countries -- Australia, Egypt, Uganda and the United Kingdom -- will
be visited and by whom, how much Panel chair Benjamin Mkapa has been
paid and by whom, and what he meant when he blamed “some
Southerners” for blocking registration in the North of Southern
Salva Kiir & Benjamin
Mkapa, UN answers on funding & diaspora not shown
in order are
Inner City Press' two rounds of question, both of which were copied
to Ban Ki-moon's two top spokespeople without response, the UN Panel
spokesman's partial response to the first round, and the second round
un-responded to for more than 24 hours:
would like responses on deadline to the following questions, as
well as those I asked at the OSSG's noon briefings on November 22 and
people work for the Panel?
has thus far been paid to these people and to each of the three
of this has come from the Basket Fund, and how much through
the status for each donor or pledger to the Basket Fund?
asked November 19, has a vote by the Basket Fund group been taken
regarding funding the Panel? If not, why not?
has been paid from the Basket Fund (or UNMIS) to IOM?
of the eight diaspora states have registration sites actually
updated registration figures or estimates for each diaspora
country, as well as the number and location of registration (and
polling) sites in each.
November 22, on the statement “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
Panel chair referred to “a campaign by some Southern leaders to
encourage people not to register and vote outside Southern Sudan”
was he referring to any SPLM role or not?
there no Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
briefing on November 26?
partially responded to by the Panel's spokesman:
Panel will have 38 staff when it reaches full deployment, which
is expected by the end of this month. They are paid regular salaries
just like any other UN staff members.
about the basket fund should be directed to UNDP.
have been visited in Canada, Ethiopia, Kenya and the United
States. Staff are about to visit sites in Australia, Egypt, Uganda
and the United Kingdom as well.
conducting registration in the diaspora countries, so it will have
the figures on the number of people registering and the number of
sites. The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission will have the
equivalent information for within Sudan.
chair was referring to Southern leaders and not to any specific
openly evaded the question for example of how much Benjamin Mkapa has
been paid, as well as declining to answer questions about the Basket
Fund to which the spokesman, and the Office of the Spokesman for Ban
Ki-moon, has repeatedly made reference. And so these follow ups were
submitted more than 24 hours ago to both UN offices:
I again ask, with emphasis: How much has thus far been paid to
each of the three Panelists? What you sent implies that they are
“like any other UN staff members.” Are the three Panelists paid
“When Actually Employed”? When have they so far been actually
employed? How much have they been paid and by / through which
mechanism: UNMIS or Basket Fund?
specify (with address) the registration sites the Panel has already
visited in Canada, Ethiopia, Kenya and the United States, and will
visit in Australia, Egypt, Uganda and the United Kingdom including
date and who visit(ed).
am still asking for your (and OSSG/UNMIS) response or update on
para 14 ofUnited Nations A/65/571 of 12 November 2010, Financing
arrangements for the United Nations Mission in the Sudan for the
period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011, Report of the Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
Concerning the requirements for the Secretary-General’s Panel, the
Committee noted that, in paragraph 78 of his report to the Security
Council on the Sudan (S/2010/528), the Secretary-General had
indicated that it was expected that UNDP would contribute an amount
of $0.9 million. Upon enquiry, the Committee was informed that the
provision of those funds was uncertain, as the UNDP project documents
for the referenda in the Sudan did not include the
activities of the Panel and it would, therefore, require a decision
by the basket fund steering committee. As such, no immediate
disbursements could be made to facilitate the deployment of Panel
support staff. The Committee was informed that should UNDP succeed in
mobilizing resources for supporting the Panel, reimbursement to UNMIS
would be made. The Advisory Committee is of the view that the Mission
should continue to pursue this issue with UNDP and requests that
further information on the status of the contribution be included in
the context of the performance report.”
the status? What has UNMIS / DPKO / the Secretariat done? On
after 24 hours
and counting, no answer at all. Watch this site.
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
* * *
Won't Confirm Darfur Conflict or Panel's Diaspora Work,
Outsourced by Ban
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 government attacks
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.
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
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
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.
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…?
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.
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?
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.
canceled its noon briefing on November 26, and has now been
asked "why?" Watch this site.