Admits Burning of Darfur Village, It Had a Health Center But
Now “No Access”
October 17 -- A recently destroyed
Darfur village, mentioned
in a document of UN humanitarian coordinator Georg Charpentier but
not to the Security Council during their visit last week, has been
belatedly been acknowledged by the UN, in a prepared statement
Press asked about the village, and the UN's silence, on October 11
and 12, on October 14 spokesman Martin Nesirky
said “I have been
times about reports of attacks on a village in Jebel
Marra. We have actually had reports of attacks on as many as six
villages, including the one already named, Soro, as well as other
villages in eastern Jebel Marra. These villages have not all been
identified, as the information about the reported attacks is very
sketchy. Confirmation is difficult, and there is no access in these
Press which traveled to Darfur last week can name other attacked
villages: Dera and Jawa, whose residents fled to Sebi village, and
Suni whose residents fled to Logi village.
worth comparing the UN's October 14, 2010 statement “there is no
access to these areas” to a job advertisement of the village of
Soro in 2008, recruiting a coordinator to work in a health clinic
there. (See below.)
destroyed village was a health clinic is significant, as is the fact
that the access that existed is now gone. Under the tenure of Georg
Charpentier and UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari, so close to the regime
of Omar al Bashir that he is about to turn over supporters of Fur
rebel Abdel Wahid Nur to Bashir, there has been less and less
protection of civilians in Darfur.
Charpentier we have propaganda like press releases such as the one
Nesirky read out on October 14:
Charpentier, is concerned by limitations on humanitarian access in
view of intensified fighting in parts of Eastern Jebel Marra in
Darfur. The Humanitarian Coordinator welcomed the recent access by
the World Health Organization and UNICEF to some parts of Eastern
Jebel Marra, and he calls upon parties to the conflict to facilitate
humanitarian access on a regular basis. In this regard, he notes
recent assurances from the Government of Sudan that access will be
enlarged and sustained to allow for coverage of the national
immunization campaign that started today.”
As the local
press Radio Dabanga has
noted, “Past press releases from Georg Charpentier have been
screened by the Sudanese ministry of humanitarian affairs, a UN
official who is senior to Charpentier has told the New York-based
Inner City Press. Charpentier has denied this.”
Ambassadors including US
Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice have had this issue and now Soro
raised to them, but so far at least publicly have done nothing.
Inner City Press learned of Charpentier's awareness of the
destruction of villages in Jebel Marra was that he left a single copy
a binder marked “Internal Use Only” on the Press bus in El Fasher
on October 8.
document was from “September 27 -
October 4 2010” and referred to “Sora” with an A, and spoke of
“intense ground fighting and aerial attacks in Eastern Jebel Marra
over the past week, with several villages heavily affected, including
Sora, which was completely burned down.”
in the Dubai
airport on the way back to New York, Inner City Press managed to ask
two Permanent Five members of the Security Council if Charpentier had
mentiones this village destruction to them. One said plainly, “no;”
the other jumped ahead to use of the above quoted, whether the
destruction was aerial (direct government) or ground (government
back in New
York, Inner City Press asked
on October 11
Press: as we left there, some, Mr. [Georg] Charpentier had
provided a document that seems to indicate that, in the week before
the Council’s visit, a village called Sora in eastern Jebel Marra
was “entirely, completely burned down”. I know that Mr.
Charpentier briefed the Council” members, but none of them on the
way back seemed to… this wasn’t mentioned to them. I heard the
very positive upbeat report you gave, what does UNAMID and Mr.
Charpentier do when a village is entirely destroyed? Is it an
important thing? Is it the kind of thing that they should brief the
Nesirky: Can you roll back and tell me again, because it is
sort of confusing.
Press: Okay. Among documents that Mr. Charpentier provided at
the end of the trip…
Press: He gave it into the Press bus, saying that this would
just verify things that he’d said about things not being a problem
in Jebel Marra. But deep in the document, it says that a village
named Sora was completely burned down. It doesn’t say whether it
was by ground fighting or an aerial attack. But if it’s aerial, it
seems it would be the Government. None of the Security Council
ambassadors on the way back had been aware of this or had been
briefed on this. So, I guess my question, it’s a twofold one,
factually it would be is it possible to discover from Mr.
Charpentier, whose document this is, whether the village of Sora was
destroyed from the air or by ground? And maybe some statement on
why, in the briefing that he gave to the Council, this destruction
was not raised?
I am assuming you didn’t raise it with him yourself, because it
was passed into the bus, and then you read it after the bus pulled
Press: I read it actually on the way back, yes, yes.
Right. Okay, well let’s relay that back whence you just came.
the next day's
noon briefing, Nesirky provided update. So Inner City Press asked
Press: Did you get anything back on this issue of this village
of Sora that was listed as being…?
I can assure you that something is in the works. I don’t
have anything for you right now. Something is in the works.
was two days
later on October 14 with the above-quoted “thing in the works” was
Charpentier behind Gambari, Sora / Soro destruction not shown
It was a prepared
statement from Charpentier, read out by Nesirky,
that did not disclose whether the villages were destroyed by aerial
attack or ground fighting, but rather welcome access granted by the
government of Omar al Bashir and, like Gambari, Bashir's assurances.
Medecins du Monde job notice about Soro
Monde is an international humanitarian organisation whose mission
is : to provide medical care for the most vulnerable populations when
they are faced with crisis or exclusion from society, the world over,
of the project is to participate to the improvement of the
health care status and capacity of the population to maintain its own
health status, in Deribat region. It will seek to:
primary health care services for the population, covered by
six health care centres (Deribat, Jawa, Suni, Dera, Kebra, Soro) with
of improving maternal and children health
of improving the nutritional state of children under 5
of preventing and treating common pathologies and those that could
lead to epidemics
a global and integrated evaluation of population needs and
a protection chapter on the question of human rights.
there was a
health care center in Soro. And now it's gone. Watch this site.