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March 1, 2011: Libya

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After UN Meeting on Sudan, Khartoum Denies Crackdown, Waffles on Libya

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 21 -- Amid killing and threats between Southern Sudan and Khartoum, the UN Security Council held a closed meeting on March 21. But the outcome was far from clear.

  After the meeting Pagan Amum of Southern Sudan told Inner City Press that the Council had admonished Khartoum, and that the UN would be involved in investigating the National Congress Party's aid to the renegade generals the SPLM is fighting.

  Earlier, Pagan Amum told Inner City Press that the UN Mission in Sudan, under Haile Menkerios, was wrong for flying to Abyei on a UN helicopter NCP member Ahmed Haroun, indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.

  But Khartoum's Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman told Inner City Press that in the closed door meeting, UN Peacekeeping deputy Atul Khare had criticized the SPLM for not granting it access.

  Inner City Press asked him about protests in Darfur, the shooting death of a student protester and reported closing of the university in El Fasher. He denied the university had been closed.

  After Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman alleged that Darfur rebel leader Minawi is hosted in Southern Sudan, Inner City Press asked him if he knows whether another Darfur leader, Khalid Ibrahim, is still in Libya. He said he didn't know.

  Inner City Press asked him what is Sudan's position on the Security Council resolution and action on Libya.

Daffa-Alla, Brazil's PR & Menkerios, flying Haroun not shown

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osmansaid Sudan is a member of the Arab League and supports that position. But isn't Sudan also a member of the African Union, which has criticized the military action? We are a member of both, he said.

  One observer snarked that Sudan has become a one issue country, at least at the UN. On the other hand, Khartoum benefits when there are problems elsewhere in the world. On March 17 after the Security Council passed Resolution 1973, Inner City Press observed a member of Sudan's Mission to the UN talking to US Ambassador Susan Rice to the side the stakeout.

  Afterward he showed Inner City Press some video from Benghazi on his cell phone. While the US Mission declined to summarize any conversation, Inner City Press later learned it was only about video from Libya, and that the Sudanese diplomat was, surprisingly, not recognized. The Sudan issue seems to be falling off of the agenda. Watch this site.

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As South Sudan Slams UNMIS for Flying Haroun, UN Drowns Out Critique

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 21 -- As the UN Security Council convened Monday afternoon about tensions in Sudan, Pagan Amum of Southern Sudan complained to Inner City Press about the UN Mission in Sudan not doing enough to counter destabilization by Omar al Bashir's National Congress Party, and even flying into Abyei on a UN helicopter NCP member Ahmed Haroun, indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.

Inner City Press has asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky for the UN's response to evidence made public by the SPLM, without response.

   Likewise, Press questions about the specifics of and decision making behind UN flying ICC indicted war criminal Ahmed Haroun have yet to be answered.

Pagan Amum, Ban &
Ezekiel Lol Gakouth, drowning out of critique not shown

While Amum was delivering this request for help and critique of UNMIS at the Security Council stakeout, Ban's spokesperson's office broken in on the public address system with a belated answer to a question asked over the weekend and at the noon briefing, effectively drowning out what Amum was saying.

  And that... says it all. Watch this site.

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Amid Torched Villages in Abyei, UN Flew in Torcher Haroun, Questions Unanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 -- Amid the torching of villages in Abyei by Sudanese nomads, the UN flew into Abyei Ahmen Haroun, indicted by the International Criminal Court for organizing nomads to commit war crimes in Darfur, it confirmed to Inner City Press on March 4.

In follow up, Inner City Press over the weekend asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky to

provide all previously requested specifics of ICC indictee Ahmed Haroun's now second flight with the UN, and did DPKO tell the Security Council? Was it a special or scheduled flight? How much did it cost? Did the UN ask why Sudan's air force couldn't make the flight? Did OLA consider and approve this? When will Patricia O'Brien hold a press conference and take questions?”

On March 7, with Nesirky not having answered any of the questions, he used his noon briefing opening to deliver praise to the government of Omar al Bashir, also indicted by the ICC for genocide, for now agreeing to try to avoid violence. Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: on Sudan, I mean, I heard your message lauding this agreement between the SPLM and the NPC. Has the UN seen, and can it… seen this report, and can it confirm that three villages were burned down in Abyei, 300 buildings destroyed, and what’s the relation between that… is this the violence that the agreement that you are applauding will be stopping or… and what was, did Ahmed Haroun, this indicted ICC [International Criminal Court] individual, what was his role? Did he sign this for the NPC, and do you think that villages will no longer be burned down in this way?

Spokesperson Nesirky: First of all, it is precisely that kind of violence and damage with human, as well as material, cost that this agreement would be designed to stop, and to try to stop. Governor [Ahmed] Haroun of South Kordofan, as you know, is responsible for the Misseriya’s respect for the rule of law and finding a solution to their migration, and so that is why his role was crucial in that respect.

Inner City Press: What do you say to those who say that, since he is actively charged by the ICC with organizing nomadic tribes to burn down villages that may be relying on him, transporting him may be not a good idea?

Menkerios (r) with Mbeki & Hillary Clinton, Haroun not shown

Spokesperson Nesirky: I think the point here is that, as I just said, his role in ensuring that Misseriya respect the rule of law and also in helping to find a solution to their migration is really crucial. And, indeed, the talks between the Ngok Dinka/SPLM and the Misseriya/NCP really can’t take place without his participation.

So it is impossible to deal with murderous nomads without the UN flying in a Sudanese government official indicted by the ICC for organizing nomads to murder in Darfur. Is the resulting and continuing murder any surprise?

Footnote: Meanwhile on March 7 Inner City Press on deadline asked the three spokespeople of the US Mission to the UN the following question, so far without response:

Does the US State Department / Administration find the new Satellite Sentinel Project imagery, confirming the deliberate burning of three villages in Sudan's contested Abyei region, useful? How is the Obama administration focusing on Abyei? Do you agree with the conclusions of the Satellite Sentinel Project that it's systematic targeting of civilian infrastructure, and as such, evidence of a possible war crime?”

There are other questions to the US Mission to the UN that have gone unanswered. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

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

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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