Sudanese Journalist from Flight, 3 Follow in Solidarity,
7 -- On the UN plane
of UN Ambassadors set to fly from
Juba to Darfur on Thursday, one of the four Sudanese journalists on
board was ordered to leave and give up his seat.
that he was on the flights manifest, and had obtained the permit
required to report from Darfur, his backpack was thrown on the floor.
A UN Security official threatened to "forcibly" remove him
from the plane as Ambassadors did nothing.
he struggled to
pick his backpack off the floor, the Sudanese journalist said to his
colleagues, we are being assaulted, are you going to accept it? All
four ended up leaving. Mohamed Nur Al-Deen, Al-Tayeb Sideeg, Fayez
Al-Zaki and Mohamed Yousif.
Ambassadors stared at the floor. One noted
that the US has on the trip not only two staff members, but two
additional personal security guards.
treatment of the Sudanese journalists began earlier in the day, in
the base of the UN Mission in Sudan. The reporters traveling with the
Security Council including Inner City Press were told to disembark the
bus for lunch. The
Sudanese journalists were left onboard and only rejoined the group
after the UNMIS sandwiches were eaten.
seem less than diplomatic.
UN Plane in Juba, exclusion of Sudanese
journalist(s) not shown, (c) MRLee
with the exclusions was
widespread in the back of the plane, and in portions of the front.
The traveling press, which had earlier in the trip complained of
being slighted, "treated like baggage" as one reporter put
it, was now chastened to see their local colleagues thrown off the
plane. "We would sell each other out in a heartbeat," one
of the traveling journalists said. A joint letter of complaint was
to whom would
a letter of complaint be directed? Who was really in charge of and
during the journalist's exclusion? On the surface, it was the UN
itself, UN Security. But it is a trip of Security Council
Ambassadors, led by three Ambassadors. From whom would one request a
copy of the manifest? Who is the UN, really? Sudanese and
journalists in particular want to know. Watch this site.
when the Ambassadors and Press arrived two hours later in
Darfur, they were met first by a demonstration of women chanting
pro-Bashir, anti-ICC slogans. At the gates of the airport, a much
large protest had gathered, in which adults and children chanted
anti-US slogans. In this context, the inartful expulsion of Sudanese
journalists from the Ambassadors' flight seems particularly
* * *
Bashir of Arming LRA as Susan Rice Smiles, Others
October 7 -- A military band greeted Susan Rice and 13
other Security Council Ambassadors on Thursday morning at this police
training camp on the banks of the Nile River.
internal affairs of the Government of South Sudan gave a speech, in
which he accused the government of Omar al Bashir of supplying
ammunition not only to cattle rustlers but also the Lord's Resistance
Rice did not
react to this accusation, rather smiling broadly as South Sudan
military figures praised her.
Council delegation took a tour of the facility, compete with mock
hijackings of VIPs in four by four vehicle, fought off by the just
trained police, Inner City Press asked another Council Ambassador if
he was comfortable with the tone of the visit to Rejaf, sometimes
called and spelled Rajaf.
“It's a very
sensitive situation,” he said, going on to wonder what the
government of Sudan in Khartoum would think of this show of readiness
independence and with what some call its Susan Rice “cult of
aspect. Others say it is merely Susan showing her passion.
was hopeful, with young South Sudanese singing and marching around in
robo-cop crowd control outfits complete with thigh and shin armor.
Inner City Press interviewed a number of the trainees, who said they
are only paid from time to time and have no toilets, having to “use
speech to the
Council members asked for $50 million to take the training facility
to the next stage. Afterward an Ambassador joked to Inner City Press,
“Did they expect us to take out our checkbooks?”
Susan Rice and SSudan minister, status neutral and
$50 million not shown
Representative was conspicuously absent: Russia's Vitaly Churkin. It
led one to wonder how such a Council Mission to Kosovo would have
looked, while UNMIK was running it, before the unilateral declaration
of independence. There, the UN's watchword was “status neutral.”
Was that only because Serbia had Russia taking its side in the
Council? Watch this site.
leg of the Susan Rice portion of the trip, a visit to Wau,
was canceled when the UN plane, run by Swift Air, broke down on the
Juba tarmac. The entire delegation moved to the Russian base of
UNMIS. Things started friendly, but then a Russian commander ordered
the Press to stop using the Internet.
of S. Sudan “Slavery,” Sees Call for Separation,
UNMIS Off Hook
-- The Juba airport in South Sudan was jumping as the UN
Security Council arrived late Wednesday afternoon. “Separation =
Peace,” as one sign put it. If the welcoming party is any guide,
the mood for secession in Sudan Sudan cannot be contained.
the way to
Juba, a senior Western official emphasized that the program for the
Council and press is to show South Sudan outside of Juba -- just as
in Wednesday with Ugandan president Yoweri
Museveni was not, in fact, about Somalia peacekeepers, but rather
Afro-centric view of Sudan's North - South conflict.
the meeting, the
official said, Museveni had repeatedly said that the Southern
Sudanese had been treated like slaves. Rebecca Garang, it emerges,
met with the Council minutes before Museveni, and spoke movingly of
the death of her husband John, who stands to be the father of a
nation. She asked why his death was not investigated as Lebanon's
Hariri's has been.
said that the
Southern Sudanese missed the first time they tried to kill the
gazelle -- this meant winning freedom, the official explained -- but
now the reference will be the second change to kill the gazelle, and
won't be missed.
UN Mission in Sudan whisked the Ambassadors, staff and Press
to the Government of South Sudan Conference Hall. Tall security
guards with wrap around sunglasses asked, “You from New York?”
Well, yes. This was the magic word to be whisk in for the photo
opportunity of President of South Sudan Salva Kiir with three
Ambassadors. Then the Press was told to leave, and also disinvited
from an event event between the Ambassadors, the Government of South
Sudan and civil society.
this building to 2008, when Inner City Press was last in it, things
have been progressing in South Sudan. But have they progressed enough,
in terms of institutions? Museveni told the Council that ready or not,
South Sudan can not be slaves anymore.
Juba, Oct 6, 2010 (c) MRLee Separation YES (games not shown)
place to stay was the Beijing Juba Hotel. Inside behind a counter
with Chinese lanterns and a mural of the Great Wall, one African and
three Chinese women distributed access codes to use the Internet in
the lobby, and ask that rooms be paid in cash.
vintage of bill “are a problem here,” it emerges. The color of
money is green, as are the fields outside of Juba. And freedom, by
all accounts, is coming soon.
asked the Western diplomat if there are concerns among the Council
about Khartoum's accusation that Salva Kiir has violated the CPA by
saying he would vote for independence. I didn't see the quote, the
official answered. Salva Kiir is free to express himself.
what about the North's plans to delay, stop or frustrate the
referendum? Is the Council making plans? Is UNMIS up to it? Those on
the trip won't know: the meeting with UNMIS and Haile Menkerios was
canceled and won't be rescheduled. The plan for Thursday is in the
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