Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On 89 Boys in S. Sudan, ICP Asks & Brown Blames Terrorist War Lord

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 18 -- When Gordon Brown held a press conference in the UN on  March 18 his first line was “It has been one month since the kidnapping of 89 South Sudanese boys from their classrooms to train them as child soldiers.”

  Inner City Press has previously asked the UN why it was so slow to report that abduction, and reluctant to acknowledge that the abductors are linked with the Salva Kiir / SPLA government in Juba. So Inner City Press asked Gordon Brown about this, video here.

  Brown cut in and replied that the abductor is a “war lord” and that the connection with the government is just something Inner City Press was speculating about. (This despite the government in Juba summoning SPLA Maj-Gen. Johnson Olony about the abduction.)

  Brown went out to say that the “terrorist group” -- the SPLA? -- had cynically offered to let the boys return to sit exams, then return to being child soldiers.

   Despite the material in the public record about the abductor's connection to the South Sudan government the UN talks and works with, Reuters took Brown's answer to Inner City Press and reported or retyped it at face value without analysis under the headline “South Sudan warlord offers abducted boys sit exams.”

  This is how Reuters mindlessly - or cynically - supports the UN, from Herve Ladsous covering up rapes in Minova in the DR Congo and Tabit in Darfur, to in this case channeling Gordon Brown about South Sudan. Brown also called Olony's SPLA a “terrorist group” -- we'll have more on this.

 On March 3 after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to create a South Sudan sanctions committee and Panel of Experts, Inner City Press asked the country's Permanent Representative Francis Deng about the vote, and about children abducted to become soldiers, allegedly by a government-aligned militia.

    Deng replied that sanctions rarely help and that the reasons the US had waited still applied.

   Inner City Press asked if Deng thought the Security Council should have waited until its meets with the African Union Peace and Security Council on March 12. Deng replied that the Council talks about coordinating with and even deferring to regional bodies and Africa, but then doesn't.

  On child soldiers, Deng said that their abduction violates the country's cultural traditions. We'll have more on this.

 On February 27 after UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric read out a vague summary of the UN's investigation into the deadly downing of one of its helicopters in South Sudan last August, Inner City Press asked for specifics:

Inner City Press: you said that they were unable to determine who did it, that it came from an area between In Opposition and the Government.  But there was this audiotape of Peter Gadet threatening the UN to shoot down helicopters that was… you know, days before it was shot down.  So, can you say or find out whether these Board of Inquiry people listened to the audio and whether they found it not credible or… why it's not part of the report?

Spokesman Dujarric:  They had all the information that was available to them.  As a general point, a threat is a threat.  I think what they were looking at is for hard evidence to figure out who had shot the helicopter, they were not able to come in with any conclusive information.

Inner City Press: Do they use a different standard of proof than even a court because usually like it seems like --

Spokesman:  A Board of Inquiry tries to establish what happened.  Obviously, they looked at the helicopter and all the information they had.  That's the conclusion they came up with.

  But why? Beyond Gadet, the International Crisis Group, for example, implies that the government itself shot the copter down:

"an UNMISS helicopter was shot down on 26 August, killing three. Although the results of its investigation have not been released, initial reports suggest this was done from territory controlled by the government and by a weapons system know to be in the hands of the government [n. 100:  Crisis Group interviews, UN officials, Nairobi, November 2014; defence and security adviser, Nairobi, December 2014.]"

  For UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous to remain silent is consistent with its approach to the Tabit rapes in Darfur, the Minova rapes in November 2012 by the DR Congo Army, and the shooting at unarmed protesters in Haiti (to say nothing of the killing by cholera there.)

  On an abuse in South Sudan on which the UN was slow and partial in reporting, Inner City Press on February 24 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask first about South Sudan.  There was this very kind of high-profile kidnapping of dozens of children, and what I really wanted to ask you about is, although it was initially said it was unclear who did it, there are now reports that the militia that is responsible for it is basically part of the army of South Sudan.  And I wanted to know what Ellen Løj or the human rights component of UNMISS, what they say about those allegations that seem to be serious?

Spokesman Dujarric:  We’ve seen increased reports of kidnapping of children and forced enrollment into units, whether it’s the report you stated which our colleagues at UNICEF have flagged for us, or other reports, and I know it’s something that is of concern to all of us here.  It is being looked at both by the Mission and by different departments here.  But it’s obviously a big concern.  We have worked very hard to ensure that children are freed from such activity, and we will continue do so.

Inner City Press:  But do you expect the UN system to say who is responsible?

Spokesman Dujarric:  I know they’re looking into these — we’ve seen these reports.  We’re looking into them.

 Now Radio Tamazuj reports on this, citing Inner City Press' questions under the headline, "UN refuses to name abductors of 1000+ men and children in South Sudan."

  We'll have more on that, as well. On the draft, before the vote, Inner City Press put the full text online here:

South Sudan Sanctions Draft Circulated in UN Security Council, Exclusive Reporting on Non-P3 Deferences to... by Matthew Russell Lee

  The full draft we published, in the public interest, above.  Reuters typically said they "obtained" it but did not publish it; Voice of America said they saw it, and mechanically quoted HRW on Russia and China, with nothing about the view of the African and Latin American members of the Security Council. Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]