Fighting, Different Stories from Sudan Mission, Haroun to Fly?
March 3 -- After dozens of death in Abyei, the matter was
taken up Thursday in the UN Security Council. Outside the chamber,
Inner City Press was confronted by two different versions of events,
from two Ambassadors co-exising in Sudan's Mission to the UN under
the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Southern Sudan / SPLM said that Khartoum is trying to take Abyei step
by step, using the nomadic tribes.
Representative from Khartoum, on the other hand, said that the tribes
were simply going about their traditional business when local police
with the SPLM stopped them then shot at them.
Council President for March, Li Baodong, read out a press statement
and took a single Press question: who is to blame for the violence,
and did UN Peacekeeping say if the UN Mission in Sudan will again, as
it did in January, be providing a free flight to South Kordofan
governor Ahmed Haroun, indicted for war crimes in Darfur by the
International Criminal Court?
are watching the
situation closely, Li Baodong replied, presumably referring to the
fighting in Abyei and not any UN assistance to indictee Haroun. A
Western Deputy Permanent Representative and his spokesman said that
they hadn't heard DPKO give any notice in consultations of a repeat
flight for Haroun. But... we'll be watching the situation closely.
Thursday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin
Nesirky about reports of continued bombing from the air by the
government in Jebel Marra in Darfur. Nesirky said he didn't know about
this and would look into it. We'll see.
UN Security Council in Sudan 10/10, Ahmed Haroun not
shown, (c) MRLee
Meanwhile the South Sudan representative says very few
Southerners went to Libya, while there are many Northerners there. The
International Organization for Migration has told Sudan it can only
repatriate those who get out, mostly to Tunisia.
Ibrahim of Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement is still in Tripoli.
Inner City Press asked Nesirky if the UN would respond to calls,
including from Suleiman Jamous, to get him out and to Doha.From the
UN's March 1 transcript:
Press: on Libya, there is this Suleiman Jamous; there is this
high profile JEM leader, the Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur,
has said that the JEM has asked the UN to help get Khalil Ibrahim,
the leader of JEM out of Libya, maybe to take him to the Doha talks
or otherwise. Can you confirm that a request has been received and
what is the UNs response to, not to say that one person, but this is
somebody that Mr. [Djibril] Bassolé has been dealing with, it
says they want to go to Doha. Are they going to be taken out of
Libya? Can the UN do anything about that?
I have seen the reports, and we’ll follow up on it. I think I
probably answered the second part of that question just now, given
the security constraints that there are at the moment. What’s your
question; the final question now?
Spokesperson squawked the following: "The UN-AU joint
mediation team has been working for some months with Dr. Khalil
Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement regarding his attendance
at the peace talks in Doha. The Joint Mediation continues to work
with him on his movement to Doha, including under the present
circumstances in Libya."]
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ICC Indictee Haroun Was In Its Budget, Won't Disclose Cost
14 -- After the UN begrudgingly confirmed to Inner
City Press that it had provided transportation to Ahmed Haroun,
indicted for war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal
Court, the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson
Martin Nesirky insisted that it was “on a space available basis...
at no additional operational costs to the mission.”
answer, two weeks ago, Inner City Press began asking Nesirky:
your answer that Ahmed Haroun, indicted by the ICC for war crimes in
Darfur, flew on a pre-existing UN flight, in light of footage from
interview in South Kordofan which Haroun arranged with UN plane on
camera behind him, please state who else was on the flight with him,
how frequent UN flights between Abyei and South Kordofan are and what
size aircrafts are used.”
still not been answer answer to this question, on February 11 in
front of the UN Security Council Inner City Press asked the head of
the UN Mission in Sudan Haile Menkerios if Haroun had been flown on a
regular UN flight.
“there is no direct flight to Abyei. We flew him there in order to
take him... We flew him by helicopter to Abyei because there is no
spokesman's response that the UN's flight of ICC indictee
Haroun was “on a space available basis... at no additional
operational costs to the mission.”
And so on
February 14 Inner City
Press asked Nesirky to explain the discrepancy, and reiterated the
request to know who else was on the flight, and how much it cost.
asking Inner City Press to “read
[its] blog” and then denied
there was any contradiction:
I wanted to ask you about this, the flying by UNMIS of
Ahmed Haroun, who is indicted by the ICC. And earlier response from
your office had said that…
Matthew, why don’t you read out what your blog
don’t you read out…?
No, what I would like to know, I’d like to know what
your response is.
don’t you read out what the top of your blog said today? Do
you want to read out the top, what your blog actually says?
I’d like… okay, fine, I mean… I guess that… I
was trying to ask you a question. I thought that was the purpose of
I mean, just ask the question, but…
Yeah, my question is, how is it consistent with the
response that I got that said that there were these pre-existing
seats and were done at no additional cost to the Mission with Mr.
[Haile] Menkerios’ statement that there was a special helicopter
used because there are no regular flights to Abyei. How are the two
consistent? And what was the cost to Abyei? And…
I think there is a very clear answer to this. And that is
that, at the request of the Government and when space is available,
UNMIS provides seats on its flights to Government officials on
official business related to the peace process, and without any
financial implications to the Government and at no additional
operational costs to the Mission. This means that, as part of the
Mission's mandate, the cost of transporting Government officials,
whether it is on a regular or a special flight, is already allocated
in the Mission's budget and so there is no question of it incurring
any additional operational costs.
UN's Ban & spox Nesirky, cost of flying ICC indictee not shown
case — and as mentioned indeed by the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Menkerios — a regular
flight was not available and therefore UNMIS transported Governor
Haroun as part of its mandate to provide good offices to the parties,
under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in their efforts to resolve
their differences through dialogue and negotiations.
think you will recall, at the time there were clashes in Abyei
going on at the time, and those clashes threatened to escalate. And
it was Governor Haroun who was instrumental in bringing the Misseriya
leaders to that meeting in Abyei, and this helped to prevent further
But you understand why the answer that said on a
space-available basis and at no additional operational cost to the
Mission created the impression that this was a pre-existing flight,
as from, for example, Kinshasa to Goma, on which he put somebody on
an existing flight? I mean, that’s why I have been asking who else
was on the flight and how much did the flight cost. It seems a fair
question when transporting an indicted ICC indicted of war crimes.
think, as we’ve said very clearly, no additional operational
costs are involved. Within the budget there are costs that cover
transport, and there is no additional cost involved in the flight
that was provided.
The idea of like a special UN flight to fly Mr. Haroun
to Abyei being at no additional costs to the Mission. I just, I guess
there are blocks of time available for flights, and that is
already budgeted into the Mission’s budget, and indeed that is a
standard procedure in any mission which has an aircraft.
Would the UN fly Omar al-Bashir to Darfur? I mean, I
guess I just want to know where it stops. I guess I just want to
reiterate my question, despite the simplest way to do it, how much
the flight actually cost - because there is, I am sure, a cost to it
– and who else was on the flight? I mean, it seemed like a pretty
fair… because there is controversy around this flight and I just
find that the answer that was given, at least I know, maybe I am…
maybe I am a bad reader, but it’s… when it says when seats are
available and at no additional cost it implies that the flight was a
pre-existing flight on which, at no cost to the Mission, they put Mr.
Haroun on the flight. But it’s not the case.
it is as I said to you, when space is available and at the
request of the Government, the Mission provides seats on its flights.
And it doesn’t, there are no financial implications for the
Government, and no additional operational costs to the mission.
[inaudible] when you said like when seats are available,
usually this implies…
move on, we’re moving round in circles, Matthew. Let’s
move on to the next question. I am sure you have another question.
there are many
more questions. Watch this site.
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