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As UN in S. Sudan Says Yes to Bombs & No to JEM, Stonewall on Syria

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 24 -- The ongoing conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has occupied at the UN for years, billions of dollars, many claims.

  But as an August 2 deadline for agreement approaches, the UN does not response to simple written questions about the conflict, and Tuesday maintained, seemingly unrealistically, that agreement should, can and will be reached by August 2.

  On July 22, Inner City Press asked the spokesman for UN Peacekeeping chief Ladsous, who has said he will refusal all in-person Press questions, and so to Ban Ki-moon's two top spokespeople

"Can DPKO -- UNMISS or UNAMID -- confirm the reported aerial bombardment by Sudan in or around Rumaker in Northern Bahr al Ghazal state in South Sudan? Or, as Sudan claims, of JEM on its side of the border? If not now, when will the UN be able to confirm or deny these bombings and locations, given that they are being used as a reason to call off the talks before August 2?"

  Neither these nor simple Syria questions posed at the same time were answered or even acknowledged.

  So Inner City Press left the UN Security Council meeting Tuesday about Somalia and Eritrea and went to the UN noon briefing to ask in person. Video here, from Minute 7:50.

  Ban and his lead spokesman Nesirky are on the road, now from Kosovo to London for the Olympics where it's said Prime Minister David Cameron will speak to Vladimir Putin about Syria at a judo match. (A wag wondered who would win that martial arts discussion.)

  Ban's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey was running the briefing, but did not mention Sudan in his opening statement.

   So Inner City Press asked, about the reported bombing -- the UN has already leaked a report about it to a favored media -- about the reported treatment of JEM fighters in South Sudan, and for Ban's view of its the August 2 deadline should be extended or South Sudan taken the border issue to The Hague.

   Del Buey pulled out a written statement and read that UNMISS had verified six bombs two kilometers south of the 1-1-56 border, and had NOT verified any JEM fighters in South Sudan. He said Ban hopes the isues are resolved by August 2 -- even though the talks have broken off.

   Meanwhile Del Buey and presumably Ladsous and his spokesman Kieran Dwyer -- there seems to be no reason to pose questions now, since on matter how simple they are not answered -- had no information about reported firings in the UN Mission in Western Sahara, or if the UN Mission in Kosovo will grant the Serbian president's request for UN involvement in the talks.

   Del Buey said the government is not sworn it in, implying that the president is not the president. If you say so. But again, who if anyone is replacing Babacar Gaye as military adviser while he is in Syria? Watch this site.

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