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As S. Sudan Complains of Arrests at Machar's in Khartoum, Mbeki to Brief April 17

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- As the conflict between North and South Sudan continues to escalate, Thabo Mbeki is now scheduled to brief the Security Council on April 17 at 11:30 am, Inner City Press has learned.

Earlier on April 16, Inner City Press asked by US Ambassador Susan Rice, this month's Security Council president, and UN deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey about Sudan's bombing of the UN peacekeeping camp at Mayom, and South Sudan's continued occupation of Heglig.

Among Inner City Press' questions to Rice was one about complaints South Sudan filed with the Council over the weekend, that "the house of [South Sudan Vice President] Riek Machar in Khartoum had been raided by the Sudanese authorities and people arrested."

Rice didn't answer that part of the question, but the April 15 letter states that among the seven arrested in Machar's house, two were minors; the house was vandalized and all the furniture removed.

Del Buey's read out on the conflict was limited to three bombings by Sudan in South Sudan's Unity State, nothing on bombings in Upper Nile and Warrap States complained of in South Sudan's April 14 letter, nor the occupation of Heglig, presumably a topic when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke over the weekend with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti.

Since Ban spoke with South Sudan president Salva Kiir, and usually tried to speak to heads of state not their minister, some surmised either than Ban was avoiding Sudan's president Omar al Bashir since he is indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, or that Bashir wouldn't take Ban's call. Or both, as was suggested to Inner City Press.

Ban's envoy Gambari, however, has taken photos with Bashir at a wedding reception for Chad's Idriss Deby and the daughter of janjaweed military founder Musa Hilal, and his UN gave flights to ICC indicted Ahmed Harun, so perhaps the latter is more likely. Watch this site.

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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

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

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