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On Sudan, UN Ends 2010 in Dream World on Darfur & Rape, Praising ICC-Indicted Bashir's "Leadership" & Courage

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 31 -- The UN in Sudan is living in a dream world. As President Omar al Bashir ended participation in the Darfur peace talks in Doha, UN envoy to Sudan Haile Menkerios praised Bashir's “courage” and leadership.

   The joint UN - African Union mediator Djibril Bassole issued a UN propaganda statement about the Doha process, entirely ignoring Bashir's move and the facts on the ground.

Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman about reported rapes near UN peacekeepers in Darfur and was told to just “ask UNAMID.”

  But ever since Inner City Press in October with the UN Security Council visited the Joint UN - African Union Mission in Darfur inquiring about UNAMID's Ibrahim Gambari's moves to hand five supporters of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid Nur over to Bashir, that Mission has refused to answer any of the questions Inner City Press has submitted.

  Meanwhile Ban's spokesman has simply ignored and refused to acknowledge receipt of this question:

On Sudan, please confirm or deny that the Department of Political Affairs in a recent briefing to NGOs said that

UN projects no consolidated results before end Jan – result likely to be announced February 2.

Major technical challenges now are training staff, deploying materials, and being ready to handle results management (this is still a serious risk because little done to prepare for results period)

Probability of extension to polling remains high

UN's Ban & Bashir, amid praise of "courage," rapes & answers not shown

Arab League visit to Sudan (Qaddafi and Mubarak) - castigated Bashir, pretty clear now that LAS will not try to spoil what is almost international consensus on recognition - there is even talk they will offer an independent S. Sudan membership in the LAS.

Bosnian Presidency likely to take cues from US and UK.

  Ban's Spokesman's Office has now twice ignored this question about statements that NGOs have to Inner City Press attributed to Ban's DPA. The UN tries to live in its own world about Sudan. But in 2011, this will be more difficult. Watch this site.

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In Sudan, Disarmament Irregularities Freeze UN Program in Referendum Run Up

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 29 -- Mismanagement and corruption in the UN system, hardly rare, sometimes comes to light at a particularly bad time. Such is the case in Sudan with irrregularity in the disarmament programs run by the UN Development Program.

Less than a month before the Southern Sudan secession referendum which many predict may give rise to a renewed civil war, UNDP confirmed in response to questions from Inner City Press that it has suspended seeking funding for its disarmament programs.

This is the answer provided to Inner City Press by the UN's Spokesman's Office:

From: UN Spokesperson unspokesperson-donotreply [at]
Subject: Answers to your questions
To: Inner City Press
Date: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 7:42 PM

SUDAN Please provide the UN system's response..

Our colleagues at UNDP provided the following: “The UN’s DDR programme in South Sudan is facing challenges. The UN’s team in Sudan was concerned that the total number of former combatants, and women associated with the armed forces, that have been reintegrated has been low. That is why we commissioned an independent review and why an internal audit is currently on going. UNDP management expects that the review will enable us to improve the focus of the programme, assess the objective conditions for its implementation and take a critical look at the project and local capacities on the ground. It will also help us in terms of the redesign of the programme and only then will we seek future funding.

We take audits and evaluations very seriously so as to improve our performance on the ground. The issues you highlight in your questions are being critically examined. Once the review has been thoroughly studied and the audit completed, it is vital that corrective measures be taken rapidly and in consultation with all parties involved.

In Southern Sudan, registration, disarmament not shown

The overall political context under which this programme operates is the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). As you know, some of the planning assumptions in the CPA have not yet materialized on the ground, increasing the complexities and challenges of implementing the programme.

More broadly, this programme is operating in a state that is recovering from a long civil war. That has a very significant impact on the results of reintegration --whether it is the abject poverty in many rural areas, the lack of opportunities or the almost non-existent infrastructure.

That being said we owe it to the people of South Sudan and our donors to make this programme as successful as possible despite all of the difficulties. We are always looking for ways to improve it and make the intra-UN cooperation more effective.”

  While the investigation and suspension of requests for more funding is all to rare in the UN system in response to unveiled irregularities, it comes at a very bad time. Some call it inexcusable. Watch this site.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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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