Credibility Questioned in UN Closed Door Session Amid Buffer Hype
October 14 -- The credibility of the UN - African Union
Mission in Darfur was questioned by numerous Security Council members
on October 14, inside the Council's closed door consultations,
sources tell Inner City Press.
to leave its bases to go to protect civilians killed in Tabarat
Market was a trigger of concern. Less talked about but leading to
further doubts about UNAMID is its chief Ibrahim Gambari's stealth
by Inner City Press) negotiations to turn over five
supports of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid Nur to the government of Omar al
Bashir, indicted for war crimes and genocide.
members, Mexico and Lebanon, said that an issue dodged during the
trip to Sudan last week -- Bashir's indictment and
sanctions -- must now be faced head on. To effectuate the trip, a
“don't ask, don't tell” mechanism was arrived at. The Council
didn't ask to meet with Bashir, nor he with them.
member, China, defended UNAMID. Together with Russia, China
emphasized that rebels should be pressured into joining the
government's “Doha process.” Russia, however, also questioned
whether under Gambari UNAMID isn't moving toward building too many
and too permanent a series of buildings, as it is plans to be in
Sudan for an extended period.
City Press has several questions pending with UNAMID's two
spokespeople; watch this site.
Susan Rice suggested in consultation some
“brainstorming” about the idea of UN peacekeepers policing a
buffer zone, or only buffer spots, between South Sudan and the rest
of the country, sources tell Inner City Press.
the recent failure of UN peacekeepers to protect hundreds of woman
from rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or of the UN in Sudan
to protect civilians like those in Tabarat Market.
In Darfur, Council Ambassador and Gambari, credibility not shown
Commission is moving toward rules for vote registration; the Council
wasn't sure whether to publicly endorse these or not. There is a lot
of posturing, as one participant put it to Inner City Press.
to Darfur, the
upshot appears to be that UNAMID under Ibrahim Gambari is building
itself an empire without doing its job, which is to protect
civilians. That Gambari is considering in essence extraditing rebel
supporters from “his” territory to Bashir's, to which Gambari
flies on his own Lear Jet better than that of most heads of state,
only further call into question UNAMID's credibility. Watch this
* * *
& Inner City Press on Video,
were sent to 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.
Gambari, as shown by documents
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.
UN Security Council, 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
Thursday to El 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
meeting with 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?”
Gambari, Lyall Grant, Susan Rice, Churkin- oversight
not seen? (c) MRLee
City Press were 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:
Gambari, “What's happen with the Kalma
Camp Five that you are considering turning over to the government...
or that documents indicate you are considering turning over?”
situation. We have 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.”
Abdel Wahid Nur 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.
Abdel Wahid was 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.”
Nur, Gambari said: “He wants all issues resolved almost
before he comes.”
with you , what are we supposed to do, keep people
Security Council members, 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?”
the S-G. I 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.”
Gambari backed out the door toward his vehicle,
“Transparency you can always say is dangerous, but I think it's
probably a good thing.”
me, lives are at stake.”
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?”
even before Inner City Press obtained and
published Gambari's draft letter to Sudan's Ali Karti, Gambari had
already expressed anger at Inner City Press' publication
concerning his time as UN envoy to Myanmar.
September 24 high 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?
* * *
His Kalma Turn Over Documents,
Says Press Puts At Risk
the UN Security Council and accompanying
media including Inner City Press arrived Thursday at the joint
African Union - UN Mission in Darfur, the Joint Special
Representative Ibrahim Gambari came to visit the Press. Inner City
Press asked Gambari about the turnover
Wahid Nur documents obtained and published by Inner City Press show
he is considering.
leaking and then publication of the documents puts
people at risk. Inner City Press responded that others believe that
the turnover would put people at risk, not only the five individual's
turned over, who even as to execution would be relying on a promise
by Omar al Bashir, already indicted for genocide - but also for
UNAMID's own peacekeepers.
has said that if the turnover occurs, he and
his movement will view UNAMID as complicit with the genocide Bashir
has been indicted for.
about what Abdel Wahid Nur told Radio Dabanga. Gambari
responded that he does not believe quotes he reads -- Dabanga is, of
course, a radio -- and gave as his example a recent talk with Khalil
Ibrahim of JEM in which, Gambari said, Ibrahim said JEM had never
called for Gambari to resign. Self-serving?
the Press “as a friend.” But to attack a
publication for publishing a leak about the possible turnover of five
people to one accused of genocide and war crimes seems strange.
said while Gambari left, several Security Council
members had no idea Gambari was engaged in such negotiations. One
Permanent Representative of a Permanent Five Council member told
Inner City Press that, after checking with “the capital,” the
issue would be raised on this trip. Susan Rice of the US said it
would be looked into during the visit.
said, the African Union as well as the UN and its
Security Council. So does Gambari confer with neither? Or with the
African Union more than the UN?
Gambari meet with the Council Ambassadors, two hagiographic
photographs are hung on the wall: the UN's Ban Ki-moon, and the AU's
Gambari answer only to himself?
to a resident of Khartoum, which Gambari reaches by Lear Jet?
* * *