Accuses Bashir of Arming LRA as Susan Rice Smiles, Others
SUDAN, 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.
The minister of
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.
last 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.
Hears of S. Sudan “Slavery,” Sees Call for Separation,
UNMIS Off Hook
6 -- 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
earlier 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.
the 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
Helicopters to Rejaf
to see the training of police, prop planes to Waw or Wau, to visit a
Catholic mission, and then on to Darfur. Watch this site.
* * *
on Killing of Civilians in Somalia, Disfavors Shelling, Cites
6 -- President Yoweri Museveni took questions from the Press
after meeting with the Security Council on Wednesday. Inner City
Press asked about calls to investigate the killing of civilians in
Mogadishu by Ugandan and Burundian troops. President Museveni said
that those his forces killed “in June, July, August” must have
been combatants, since they were assaulting a fortified position.
killings of civilians in markets? President Museveni said he does
not favor the shelling of such areas. Inner City Press posed similar
questions last month to Jean Ping of the African Union Commission,
who responded angrily that Al Shabab insists on using human shields
and even fighting from mosques. He did not speak about disfavoring
to the UN Ruhakana Rugunda said that the Lord's Resistance
Army was discussed in the meeting with the Council. Inner City Press
asked if Uganda thinks the UN mission in the Congo MONUSCO is doing
enough against the LRA bases in the Congo.
said that the LRA is degraded, so degraded they had to go to “the
Central African Republic and Darfur.” He praises his
“revolutionary” forces, citing Mao about a people's army not
taking a needle from the people without paying for it. Three times
he praises Tanzania for sending 45,000 to throw out Idi Amin.
Mapping Report on the Congo, President Museveni said he hadn't read
it, but it must be fiction. There are fiction writers, he said, in
international organization. US Ambassador Susan Rice sat stonefaced.
What is the US view on what happened in Rwanda, and the Mapping
Report? Watch this site.
* * *
UN Council, LRA On Agenda But Not Present, Like Karamoja
-- On its way to Sudan, the UN Security Council early
Wednesday morning reached its first official stop in Entebbe, Uganda.
Their UN-painted plane landed on the airstrip where in 1978 Israeli
assault troops moved on a plane full of hijackers and hostages. This
was barely comment on, however. It was the middle of the night.
Council's Terms of Reference for Uganda were released Monday in New
York, after Uganda's Permanent Representative Ruhakana Rugunda had
held a press conference about the Council's work.
point range from supporting the fight against the Lord's Resistance
Army and the Uganda troops in Somalia to “examining... the Regional
Service Center in Entebbe.”
first stop after sunrise Wednesday, some wondered why the Council
members, staff and press were driven fifty kilometers in the middle
of the night, past other hotels, past Kampala, to the plush “Speke
Resort - Munyonyo.” The scuttlebutt is that the government wanted
the Ambassadors to stay in this particular hotel.
rode in a World Health Organization van, past tidy shops including
the Jesus Cares Supermarket and branches of Tropical Bank and Post
Bank, speaking with a Ugandan staff member of the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights. The UN Resident Representative had
asked him to come to the airport at midnight and he had.
said his job is
to monitor human rights, showing reports to the government, and to
work with the local media. Inner City Press asked if his Office has
received any push back about the wider OHCHR's Democratic Republic of
the Congo Mapping Report, which accuses the Ugandan UPDF army of
atrocities in the DRC. Not much, he said. Those complaints are
Resistance Army forms one of the Council's five bullet points for
Uganda, Inner City Press asked what his office had to say about the
LRA. Not much, he said, the LRA has long left, to the Congo, the
Central African Republic and South Sudan (where they Council's going
Council could order its mission in the Congo, MONUSCO, to do more to
break up reported LRA camps there. Uganda's Ambassador Ruhakana
Rugunda was his government's negotiator on LRA in 2006, and visited
Juba as he will later on Wednesday.
To the UN plane, October 5-6, 2010, TOR not shown (c) MRLee
asked about the situation in Karamoja on which it has reported,
specifically on UNDP funded involuntary disarmament of pastoralist
Karamojong resulting in death and village burn downs. There are still
incidents, he said. But what is the UN doing about them? It is not on
the Council's agenda.
VIP lounge in Nairobi, a request was made to Inner City Press
on behalf of a unnamed Council member not to report that “nothing
is being done.” There is, of course, one or more ways to avoid
that. Inner City Press is here to cover the Council's trip and
results through Uganda, South Sudan, Darfur and Khartoum. Watch this
site, follow on Twitter @InnerCityPress.
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.