on Sudan, Scratchy Mbeki, UN Silent on Bombs,
Hillary on Decoupling Darfur
November 16, updated below -- The UN Security
Council ministerial meeting
on Sudan was kicked off Tuesday morning by UK Foreign Minister
William Hague reading out a Presidential Statement, largely
boilerplate about the Southern Sudan referendum scheduled for January
9. On Darfur, it condemned “militia attacks on civilians,” then
government aerial bombardments.
Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's acting Deputy
Spokesman Farhan Haq about one such bombing:
Press: over the weekend, there was this incident in which the
South Sudanese said that Khartoum or the Sudanese Air Force has
bombed Southern Sudanese territory. What has been found about the
casualties, injuries and what comments does the UN have on this
bombing in South Sudan territory?
Spokesperson Haq: We don’t. We were trying to get some
information, but we didn’t have a confirmation of that particular
fighting. If we get any further details, including a confirmation,
we’d have something.
for the rest of
the day, and the following morning, no information was provided. As
with attacks in Darfur, the UN tries to not see and not report. And
to not be seen -- while envoys to Sudan Haile Menkerios and Ibrahim
Gambari are to brief the Council on Tuesday, it will be by video and
only in closed consultations, not allowing any questions from the
questions Gambari is ducking is his negotiation with Sudanese Foreign
Minister Ali Karti, in attendance Tuesday, to turn over five
supporters of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid Nur to the government of Omar al
Bashir, indicted already for war crimes and genocide.
to get a written commitment against the death penalty -- many doubt
its credibility -- while saying nothing about evidence that Sudan
engages in torture. To many, it is a new low for the UN.
has shown a failure to follow through. After they visited the Abu
Shouk camp in Darfur on October 8, people who had planned and
attended the meetings were harassed and arrested by the Sudanese
authorities. So far nothing has been done.
humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, visiting a month later, at first
spoke of “fear,” then modified that to blame the internally
displaced people for not meeting with her.
held a session on Sudan on November 14, attended by some 60
people, many EU member states have yet to follow through on this
commitments to the “Basket Fund” for the Southern Sudan
out the Presidential Statement, Ban Ki-moon read a speech. On Darfur,
he blamed the rebels for not joining the supposedly successful Doha
negotiation process, moribund until December 19.
walked in, rebuffing a question about what she expected from the
meeting. One might have asked, why did you decouple Darfur?
Hillary and Hague preivously, before Darfur decoupled
Thabo Mbeki spoke by scratchy video link which few could understand.
Hague said there had been a power failure in Jo'burg, which Mbeki
denied. He would be followed by Ali Karti, Pagan Amum of the SPLM
thereafter, Spindelegger of Austria -- which hosted a human rights
reception on Monday night, no mention of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu
Xiaobo, Sven Alkalaj of Bosnia, Odein Ajumogobia of Nigeria, Henry
Okello Oryem of Uganda, Takeaski Matsumoto of Japan, Antonio de
Aguiar Patroita of Brazil then mere Ambassadors. Watch this space.
10:37 am - Ali Karti says his government met its responsibilities
to the referendum, denounces Darfur rebels as “saboteurs” who
hide behind civilians. Outside the meeting, so far two people have
fallen on the stairs, including the EU's representative Rosalind
Marsden. An African diplomat tells Inner City Press the AU shound be
running the show.
and telling e-mail from the UN Department of Public Information:
Correction - the Security
Council meeting is on the Sudan NOT on
From: Dpi Mdc [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at
11:03 am -- Hague, speaking for UK, says “What I have heard
today from our four distinguished briefers convinces me that there
can be peace and stability in Sudan.” But this was written BEFORE
any of the four briefers spoke. It seems doubtful that Ali Karti of
Sudan shared his statement with the UK before he delivered it. Hague
11:10 am - while Hillary Clinton says Darfur important, says
journalists and activists arrested “some merely for speaking to
members of this Council,” she does not explain why Obama
administration now offers to take Sudan off terrorism sanctions list
without regard to what they do in Darfur. Will she take a question on