in Darfur, UN Council Sits With Gambari, Menkerios South
By Matthew Russell Lee
October 25, updated below -- As the UN Security Council convenes Monday
about Sudan, the issues are many but the follow through, especially
about Darfur, is sorely lacking.
People with whom the Council met earlier in the month in
the Abu Shouk camp have been
arrested and harassed.
While the UN
Secretariat has been asked to brief the Council about the issue on
Monday morning, as of late last week UN acting Deputy Spokesperson
Farhan Haq told the Press the UN still wasn't sure it had happened.
Darfur chief Ibrahim Gambari still prepared to turn over five
supporters of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid al-Nur to the government of Omar
al-Bashir, indicted for genocide and war crimes.
obtained and published by Inner City Press show Gambari
seeking only to get a promise from Bashir not to execute the five,
mention is made of torture.
government is charged with
torture, and the UN has looked away, as in the case of the Darfuri
student beaten to death, not seen for days by the UN in the morgue in
even as to
execution, a resident of Kalma camp has been sentenced to death by
insist that Kalma is not be dismantled, just as it says it has seen
nothing “out of the ordinary” in the Shangil Tobaya camp the
Council was told not to visit, by the Sudanese authorities as well as
Gambari's UNAMID, it is reported that the government is using LJM
supporters in Kalma to intimidate those staying there to leave.
Kemal Saiki and Chris Cycmanick have stopped answering
any of the Inner City Press' questions, which the UN in New York
reflexively says should be submitted to UNAMID in El Fashir. What are
these people being paid to do?
seems, is being spent on a Lear Jet for Gambari, who has been in New
York since Friday across to Mission sources. Nice to spend a weekend
in New York City -- but at this time?
hiding in plain sighting, Convention Against Torture violation not shown
with respect to North - South Sudan, Haile Menkerios,
last week told the press that he has only heard about Khartoum's
troop build up on the border through media reports. But it emerges
that the issue has been raised at least three times this year in the
the very ceasefire commission Menkerios chairs.
Menkerios and Gambari say the two are close to the government in
Khartoum. Perhaps -- but at what cost? And to what end? Watch this
in Darfur tell Inner City Press that more people have been
arrested, and others have had their movement restricted including
(arrested) Mohammed Hassan Isshag, Ali Ibrahim Idriss, Mansour
Mousa Tajeldin, Abdul Rahman Adam Yahiya, Abdel Aziz Eissa, Adam
Hamid Shareif, Abaker Ahmed Abdella, Ommda Salih and Abdel Rahman
Ibrahim Abdul Gaadeir; (movement restricted to El Fasher) Ommda Ateim
Ahmed, Tajeldin Mousa Ommda and Khadeeja Adam Bashar.
10:13 am -- at the briefing on arrested IDPs, Brooke Anderson reps
the US; with Susan Rice not here, seems US won't speak at stakeout on
arrests. Will UK Lyall Grant?
10:24 am -- #Sudan PR #Dafaala El Haj Ali tells #InnerCityPress,
no one was arrested, we challenge them to produce names. Says he will
do a stakeout. Will US?
10:38 am - Le Roy says not in position to provide names, to
protect sources from retaliation. Also says NISS is accused of
torture. Gambari should stakeout. But although Nigerian Mission sources
say Gambari has been in New York since Friday, he is not present at the
Council's briefing Monday about "his" peacekeeping mission. Watch this
* * *
Malnutrition Data, Allowed by UN, Raised to Right to Food
October 21 -- On Darfur, first the UN stopped producing its
Humanitarian Report, then it stopped producing any Global
Malnutrition Data. In August 2010, Inner City Press asked why and was
told the data would be available “in one or two days.” It wasn't.
new Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos
told Inner City Press that the delay
was due to attempts to do “joint
assessments” with the Sudanese government, whose President Omar al
Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war
crimes and genocide.
October 21, with
data still not released and the UN - African Union Mission in Darfur
now refusing to answer questions from Inner City Press about the data
and other collaboration with the al Bashir government, Inner City
Press asked the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier
de Schutter about both the blocking of release of malnutrition data,
and Sudan's blockade of food from internally displaced persons camps
like that in Kalma. Video here,
from Minute 32:02.
Schutter told Inner City Press that he will investigate the
complaints if provided with sufficient prima facie evidence. Video
from Minute 37. This has now been done.
De Schutter in Geneva, action on Sudan not yet shown
September 15 statement that the cessation of reporting malnutrition
data is attributable to the Sudanese government, now at last a
UNICEF official has spoken
out more clearly, expressing
that the Sudanese government 'very often' bars the release of data on
child malnutrition in Darfur. Nils Kastberg, UNICEF Representative in
Sudan, said that the Sudanese security services have also hindered or
delayed UNICEF’s access to camps in Darfur.
told Radio Dabanga: 'Part of the problem has been when we conduct
surveys to help us address issues, in collaboration with the ministry
of health, very often other parts of the government such as the
humanitarians affairs commission interferes and delays in the release
of reports, making it difficult for us to respond timely.'
cooperation with the Khartoum ministries like the Ministry of Health
has failed to secure publication of the reports. The UNICEF country
chief said 'we are raising these issues with the government at the
moment that the humanitarian affairs commission should not interfere
with the release of these reports.'
also pointed out that certain government agencies hinder the entry of
UNICEF staff into the camps. 'Sometimes it is security services that
hinder access or delay access, sometimes it is the humanitarian
affairs office that delays the release of nutritional surveys.
Sometimes it is delays in granting permissions and visas. It is
different sections of different institutions which interfere in our
has now been
submitted to Special Rapporteur de Schutter by Inner City Press.
Watch this site.
* * *
Plans Hand Over to Bashir in Sudan, Torture Complaint Mulled at
19 -- Could the UN, or the chief of its peacekeeping
mission in Darfur
Ibrahim Gambari, be on the verge of violating the UN Convention Against
asked the chairman of the UN Committee Against Torture Claudio
Grossman this question on October 19, referring to the leaked
documents showing Gambari's plan to turn over five supporters of Fur
rebel Abdel Wahid Nur to the government of Omar al Bashir, accused
genocide, war crimes and, yes, torture. Video here,
that “as to the UN system... no one should be sent to places where
he or she will be tortured.” Video here
from Minute 30. He cited
this prohibition to Article 3 of the Convention.
asked, but if a complaint is filed about Gambari's and the UN's
pending turn over of five people to Bashir, how would Grossman's
Committee Against Torture process it? Video here,
while in one sense the Committee's work is limited to member states,
there is creative lawyering. Not only other venues such as Working
Groups and the Special Rapporteur on Torture, but also “journalism
can play a role,” he said.
one wonders why
the SLA, or someone on behalf of the Kalma Five, doesn't start
raising the question as an anti-torture issue, using Gambari's draft
-- which contains no assurances on this -- as the basis for the
complaints? Watch this site.
* * *
Press on Video,
Darfur after reports of a
brutal campaign by the government of Omar al Bashir against opponents
of his regime and civilians perceived as supporting them.
Inner City Press, is near to turning over five supporters of rebel
Abdel Wahid Nur to that same Bashir regime, in exchange for a promise
by Bashir to commute any death sentence his courts impose.
which ostensibly oversees Gambari's actions
along with the African Union, expressed surprise to Inner City Press
once they saw the leaked documents, consisting of a draft letter and
“Additional Terms” from Gambari to Bashir's foreign minister Ali
Fasher from South Sudan, US Ambassador Susan Rice told
Inner City Press that she intends to inquire into Gambari's offers
about the Kalma Camp Five while in Darfur. This echoed a statement of
intention previously issued by another Permanent Member of the
visiting Security Council members, Gambari
of his military officials, in uniform, came to see the Press.
called Inner City Press' publication of his draft documents
“reprehensible” and told Inner City Press to “be careful...
lives are at stake.” Transcription below.
Yeah, a witness to
Gambari's statements later said, the
lives of the Kalma Camp Five are
at risk if the UN turns them over to a strongman already
genocide and war crimes. “Is this what the UN should be doing?”
caught on video and will soon be
published online as such. For now, here is a transcription, prepared
late Thursday night at a guest house in El Fasher outside of
Gambari's UNAMID compound:
with the Kalma
Camp Five that you are considering turning over to the government...
or that documents indicate you are considering turning over?”
these five sheikhs who
have been accused of some very serious offenses. We have no means as
UNAMID to try them... Down the line if ever there was a death
sentence, the President has the prerogative of mercy. All has been
discussed confidentially. I want to say how reprehensible it was
that somebody leaked the confidential communication of the government
of Sudan...endangering the lives of those in the camps. The recipient
of such a leak I think should also think twice about what they do
considering that they are endangering the lives.. We've lost 27
peacekeepers between UNAMID and UNMIS, I mean AMIS.”
saying that if the Five are
turned over, it will make UNAMID complicit in genocide, and that his
group would not cooperate with the UN any more.
supposed to have
said... I met Khalil Ibrahim yesterday, asked how about how someone
said JEM wants Gambari to resign for Tarabat Market. [He
said he] ever said that, never authorized this... I want to hear from
Abdel Wahid. I've been to Paris twice, I went to Tripoli...What
happened in New York I condemn it. Matthew I have known you a long
time, you should be careful... You are a recipient of a leaked
document... Journalism also is a responsibility. I regard you as a
friend, I used to, I regard you as a friend, I am admitting that.”
“He wants all issues resolved almost
before he comes.”
what are we supposed to do, keep people
when they saw
the leaked documents, said they were not aware that you or UNAMID
were in such discussions, and some expressed worry. How much is this
Mission overseen by the Security Council?”
am responsible to two masters. You
have the AU and you have the UN. The unity of the international
community is key to finding a solution.”
the door toward his vehicle,
“Transparency you can always say is dangerous, but I think it's
probably a good thing.”
a witness to Gambari's statements later said, adding that the lives
of the Kalma Camp Five are at risk if the UN turns them over to a
strongman already indicted for genocide and war crimes. Among other
lives put at risk, without oversight, transparency or explanation.
“Is this what the UN should be doing?”
City Press obtained and
published Gambari's draft letter to Sudan's Ali Karti, Gambari had
already expressed anger at Inner City Press' publication
as UN envoy to Myanmar.
level meeting on Sudan, Gambari didn't
argue about lives being at risk. He claimed the documents were “old”
(2009) and not newsworthy. “Just leave me alone,” he said, having
in the past declined to respond to questions sentto his UN e-mail
address by Inner City Press. Now, the claim that lives are put at
risk. Is it just opposition to transparency?
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.