Khartoum or NY for Sudan's UN Rep, Trimmer of Ocampo, Ban's
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 11 -- As the supposed peace deal between the Sudanese
government of Omar al Bashir and the Justice and Equality Movement
rebels falls apart and the UN has no comment, Sudan's Permanent
Representative to the UN Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad has faced
his own rebellion back in Khartoum.
time this year, his detractors have announced that he is losing his
job in New York. On May 8 it was reported that
Sudanese government has relocated its ambassador to the United
Nations (UN) Abdel-Mahmood Abdel-Haleem in a surprise move after his
tenure was extended on an exceptional basis last March by president
Omer Hassan Al-Bashir. The pro-government Al-Rayaam newspaper said
that Abdel-Haleem was summoned to Khartoum last Thursday and that he
will likely be replaced by Dafalla Al-Haj Ali Osman."
confirmation, Inner City Press sent Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem a text
message on May 9. He replied, "Will call you in a couple of
hours as I am boarding a train to New York." Clearly, contrary
to the report, he was not in Khartoum.
May 10 and May
11, supporters of Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem who requested to be left
unnamed told Inner City Press that it is his position he will keep
the post at the UN or return to Khartoum "only as a minister."
It is said
that Omar al Bashir told Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem's
opponent that he wants "powerful people" as ministers, and
that Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem was "the only one who trimmed
Ocampo," meaning the chief prosecutor of the International
Sudan's Rep and Ocampo, trimming not shown
Inner City Press on May 11 asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky about
development in Sudan, Nesirky portrayed the events as routine, a
"drip, drip" --
City Press: On Sudan, the Government has called for the arrest of JEM
[Justice and Equality Movement] leader Khalil Ibrahim, and JEM has
responded by saying if he is arrested, they will renew outright war
in Darfur. I wonder if Mr. [Ibrahim] Gambari, UNAMID [United
Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur], Mr. [Haile] Menkerios, the
Secretary-General, does anyone following this have anything to say
about this deterioration of conditions?
I’m sure my colleagues on the ground are following every twist and
turn that is happening to the best of their ability, but we don’t
need to comment on every single media report that comes out about the
twists and turns that you refer to.
I mean, it seems like the JEM is the major rebel group in Darfur,
and when they threaten to go back to war…
I’m familiar with who they are and what they are. But we can’t
take a kind of a drip, drip approach to this, okay.
Watch this site.
* * *
US Silent on Sudan, Khartoum Brags of Victories at UN, Demands Gration
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 29 -- With the US and UN surprisingly quiet about
ballot stuffing and deaths in Sudan, on Thursday Sudan's Ambassador
to the UN bragged to the Press about changes made to the resolution
extending the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan, UNMIS. He said that
a congratulations for the elections had been added, as well as
various statements "against outside interference."
asked him about a controversy concerning statements reportedly made
by lead US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, about expecting the South
Sudanese to vote for independence in the referendum slated for 2011.
Sudan's Ambassador said that even on this, his country had sought
clarification from Gration's Office, and that in any event Gration
was soon traveling to Khartoum.
on April 28,
while US Ambassador Susan Rice was at the stakeout taking five
questions on Iran, Inner City Press spoke up and asked, A question on
Sudan? Ambassador Rice said no, the Iran questions had taken up all
the time. Then she left. Video here,
US' Rice at UN, declining Sudan question not shown
from the April
29 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press emailed Ambassador Rice's
spokesman and one of his colleagues, asking among others these
you confirm that Sudan has sought clarification, from the Mission or
you provide whatever clarification there is of Gration's remarks, or
what he actually said?
that Amb Rice yesterday took five questions (from two questioners)
about Iran, and did not take a Sudan question which was begun, can
you provide Amb Rice's view of the now completed Sudanese elections,
and of what Gration said?
confirm that Amb Rice is not going on the now rescheduled Council
trip to DRCongo to try to keep MONUC in the country, and state who
from the US Mission is going, and what they hope is accomplished on
Rice on Monday having told Inner City Press to always seek
confirmation from her spokesman about such matters as who would go in
her stead to the Congo, and what their rank is, four hours later none
of the above questions had been answered.
Mission is focused on Iran and the NPT is further made clear by the
announcement that on Friday at 1 p.m., Ms. Rice will appear by video
in New York from Washington DC, along with Ambassador Burke, to speak
about the NPT. Why so little, at least in public, on Sudan and the
* * *
UN Council, Rice on Sudan and Congo, S. Africa Running for Seat, UN
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 26 -- Promoting its candidacy for a Security Council
seat in 2011-12, South Africa threw a reception at the UN Monday
night. The news, however, came from current Council members. U.S.
Ambassador Susan Rice was there, meeting and greeting including with
the Press. One of her answers, about the Council's Congo trip, she
said was off the record. Other answers will be reported,
diplomatically of course.
on the day Sudan's
Omar al Bashir declared electoral victory the UN had said
nothing at its noon briefing, rebuffing a shouted question from Inner
City Press on Sudan and from another journalist about the Balkans,
Inner City Press asked Ambassador Rice if she thought the UN was
being too quiet.
as she would on Northern Congo, that she had spent the day immersed
in something else, presumably Iran. These proposed sanctions, it
seems clear, are the US Mission's and Administration's focus. But
what about the outbreak of fighting between the SPLM and northerners,
either tribes or Bashir's army?
Rice said, the "big enchilada," is really on the referendum
on South Sudan being independent. But if the process of these
election was not credible, why and how would that one be?
when Inner City Press told Ambassador Rice about reports of UN envoy
Ibrahim Gambari meeting earlier in the day with Omar al Bashir, she
smiled thinly. On the other hand, Sudan's Ambassador told Inner City
Press he had called Gambari directly, and Gambari had gushed about
the meeting, He said that in the pending UNMIS resolution, there is
an attempt to give UNMIS chief Haile Menkerios a role up in Darfur.
political coordinator, on the other hand, said the mixing of UNMIS
and UNAMID would give Gambari a role in the South, "even if it
breaks away." We'll see.
Congo, Inner City Press asked about the UN's strange failure to
commit to investigating the alleged 11 civilian deaths caused in the
re-taking of the airport in Northern Congo. When told that the
alleged perpetrators are the Congolese Army, with which the UN works,
Ambassador Rice said "good question." Inner City Press told
her she is more likely to get an answer. "Thank you," she
US's Susan Rice, Gambari and "big enchilada" not shown
chat, too. A reporter recounted that St. Lucia's Ambassador said Ms.
Rice is part Caribbean. Ambassador Rice nodded. "All you need to
know about me," she said, is I am half Jamaican and was
conceived in Nigeria. She laughed. "My grand mother's maiden
name was Daley [or Daly], as in Irish."
suggested she speak more with the press, contrasting her approach to
that of the French. She shrugged. I can't do it every week, she said,
adding that Americans are "not peacocks."
happens, will speak to the Security Council on Tuesday afternoon and
then, it is promised, with the Press. An African Ambassador,
requesting anonymity, told Inner City Press on Monday night that
Menkerios' old position with the Department of Political Affairs will
be filled by current Cyprus representative Taye-Brook Zerihoun. Then
who would take Cyprus -- Atul Khare? Watch this site.
requested by the South African mission, Inner City Press would be
remiss not to note that, with the African Union's endorsesment, South
Africa is virtually assured of re-gaining a Council seat in 2011-12.
When Inner City Press quipped that this fast return made the country
the "Japan of Africa," a South African representative reminded that
before what's now called the Dumisani Kumalo term, South Africa had not
been represented. So welcome back -- the fix is in.