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On Darfur, Sudan Tells US Minni Minnawi Did It, UNAMID Should Notify

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 16 – Tuesday as the UN Security Council met about Syria, Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman went into the Council suite to talk about Darfur and the seven Tanzanian peacekeepers killed there on July 13.

Afterward he exclusively told Inner City Press he had made three points “to the Americans” about the killings. First, that Sudan denies responsibility and blames instead the SLA Minni Minnawi rebels group. Second, that Sudan intends to hold them accountable. And third, that UNAMID should give notice to the Sudan Army before traveling.

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said the Army has a good sense of which rebel groups are where; he also said that sometimes the peacekeepers don't fight back to defend themselves. (There was a case where weapons and vehicles were taken without a fight.)

  On July 15, Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky if Tanzania's army spokesman was correct that UNAMID is “under Chapter VI” of the UN Charter, or rather Chapter VII, what the purpose of the traveling had been and if any vehicles were taken.

On July 16 Nesirky returned with these answers: UNAMID is under Chapter VII (contrary to the reported quotes of the Tanzanian army spokesman); it was a “routine confidence building patrol” and one vehicle was stolen, others later recovered.

When US Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo emerged from the lengthy Council session to take questions, she understandably focused on Syria, but then read an answer from notes to a seemingly pre-arranged question about a Panamanian search of a ship and sanctions. No Sudan question was taken, or read-out given, as was also the case after Monday afternoon's briefing by Dmitry Titov and consultations on the Darfur killings. UNAMID Troop Contributing Countries meet on July 18. Watch this site.

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