Attendance at Bash for Bashir, Sudan Dip Says Needs No Outsiders
May 31 -- With international justice being called for in
Kampala and about Gaza, Inner City Press on Memorial Day asked
Sudan's Ambassador to the UN which
junior US diplomat attended the
inauguration of Omar al Bashir, indicted by the International
Criminal Court for Darfur, and what it meant.
am not that
interested in that," Sudan's Permanent Representative said. "The
Sudanese people celebrated, not waiting on any outsiders to come and
give us legitimacy." Video here, from Minute 2:02.
camera, he has
bragged to the Press that "China sent a high level delegation...
the U.S., however, has given rise to sharp critiques of the Obama
administration and its envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration. The US
Permanent Representative to the UN Susan Rice was not present for
Monday's emergency Security Council meeting about the assault on the
flotilla to Gaza, and so could not be asked.
away from the stakeout microphone as Inner City Press asked if the US
would be represented at any level at Bashir's inauguration.
milling around outside the Council about Turkey's draft Presidential
Statement about the flotilla, Sudan's Ambassador tried to turn the
focus repeated to the ICC. Israel, he said, is "writing the
Press pointed out that Israel is
not a state party to the ICC. Nor is the U.S., despite sending a
representative to the Kampala conference on the crime of aggression.
Sudan's Ambassador and ICC's Ocampo, flotilla and US
in Khartoum not shown
question of the
day outside and inside the Council was who would investigate the
assault on the flotilla -- Israel itself, or the UN? Some began
talking of a "Goldstone Two."
responding to Inner City Press, brought it full circle. The UN's Ban
Ki-moon, he said, should condemn the flotilla attack and should
provide an update on earlier investigations, in the destruction of
UNRWA premises and schools. Mr. Ban, of course, sent his two top Sudan
envoys to Bashir's inauguration. So we'll see.
* * *
Undermines Justice Celebrating in Sudan While Soliciting Funds for
NATIONS, May 25 -- With two senior UN officials set to attend the
inauguration of indicted war criminal Omar al Bashir on May 27, the
UN's approach to international criminal justice is being called into
without irony on May 25 the UN's top lawyer Patricia O'Brien told a
largely empty conference room of delegates they should fund the
UN-assisted Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia because
"we cannot contemplate the possibility of the trails faltering
for want of financial support, that would strike a blow not only to
the ECCC , but also to international criminal justice more broadly."
Haile Menkerios, recently named by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
attend a ceremony celebrating Omar al Bashir, changed by the
International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity and war
crimes, strikes a blow to international criminal justice.
City Press last week
asked who if anyone would attend Bashir's
inauguration for the UN, and the next day was told Ibrahim Gambari
and Haile Menkerios. On May 25, Inner City Press asked
City Press: ... particularly for Mr. Menkerios, who is solely a UN
not AU employee, was this, did the Office of Legal Affairs, who
essentially sort of authorized what seems to many to be a change of
policy, even going back as far as, I mean, to have UN officials
engage with an indicted, someone indicted for crimes of war is
something new. And who signed off on that?
Nesirky: It’s just not true that it’s new. It’s just not true. The
point is that both these gentlemen, Mr. Gambari and Mr.
Menkerios, are appointed by the Secretary-General under a Security
Council mandate to carry out a job in Sudan — in the case of Mr.
Gambari jointly under the African Union, as you pointed out. Their
job is to interact with the Sudanese Government. That’s their job,
to ensure that the missions, the important missions, the large
missions trying to do the work that you mentioned in the previous
question; they interact. That’s obvious.
UN's Ban and Bashir, striking a blow to int'l
Nesirky: And as the
Secretary-General said yesterday, this is no more, no less than their
participation in an event that carries political significance as well
as being a ceremony. It has political significance, but crucially,
they have a mandate to be there and to interact with the Sudanese
City Press: [inaudible] keep contact at the high level such as the
Secretary-General, I would assume Mr. Menkerios to a minimum
necessary to carry out the operational functions, because, I mean,
Human Rights Watch has said this is legitimizing, or really, minim…
making a mockery of the fact that if somebody is indicted for war
crimes and yet can meet openly and be celebrated by UN officials. Is
that, what’s the Secretary-General’s response to that?
Spokesperson: Well, first of all, Human
Rights Watch are entitled to their view,
and they do extraordinary work. The second thing is they have a job
to do, large missions to run. They need to be able to interact with
the Sudanese authorities and they have a mandate to do so.
then refused Inner City Press' follow up question, turning to another
reporter, who asked about... Bashir. The questions will not go away.
Also on May 25, Inner City Press asked staff of the US Mission to the
UN if anyone would attend Bashir's inauguration for the US. When US
Permanent Representative to the UN Susan Rice appeared at the
Security Council stakeout position, Inner City Press waited while she
made statements about North Korea and Iran, when asked loudly, On
Sudan, will anyone from the US attend Bashir's inauguration? Video here,
Minute 6:32. Ambassador Rice walked away, and the question
has yet to be answered. Watch this site.
* * *
Menkerios to Attend Inauguration of Bashir, Who
Supports UN's Radio
May 21 -- When indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir holds an
inauguration on May 27 for having won the recent
fraud and violence
plagued election, two senior UN official will be in attendance:
Menkerios and Ibrahim Gambari, Inner City Press was told on Friday.
May 20, Inner
City Press asked
Spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban
Press: who from the UN system if anyone will be attending the
inauguration of Omer Al-Bashir on 27 May? There has been a call by
some human rights groups that various world leaders should not
attend. Who is attending for the UN? Mr. Menkerios? Do you know?
Nesirky: I’ll find out who has the invitation card.
the UN is going to] go, I mean, there is no question?
That’s not what I said. I said I’ll find out where the
invitation card, who received the invitation card. Those cards
usually have an RSVP on them, and we can let you know how, whether
there has been an RSVP.
May 21 Nesirky's
deputy Marie Okabe responded that both Menkerios and Gambari will
attend, calling them "the senior UN officials on the ground...
in contact with the host government regularly to ensure that their
missions are able to function effectively." Video here,
Criminal Court makes UN interaction with Bashir
controversial, this phrasing about contact necessary to run the UN
missions is rationale for contacts. But how is attending the
Omar al Bashir speechifying, Gambari, Menkerios and
ICC not shown
Inner City Press asked
Press: The Minister of Communications of the South Sudanese
Government, Paul Mayom, has criticised UN Radio Miraya for putting on
rebel General [George] Athor and he said not only that he was wrong,
he said I can stop it. He closed down the radio station for
undermining stability in South Sudan. What does the UN think of his
Well, we’re aware of the statements, and I know that my
colleagues there on the ground have indeed been speaking to the
Ministry concerned. It was the Regional Coordinator for Southern
Sudan from UNMIS who had a meeting with the Minister of Information,
and I am informed that they discussed, in a constructive manner,
matters of mutual interest. And the Minister of Information
expressed concerns about Radio Miraya and its coverage. And I am
advised that these concerns are being addressed by the radio station.
The point about this radio station is that it is committed to
promoting the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the culture of peace
in Sudan with objectivity and professionalism.
Press: When you say it’s addressed, does the UN agree that it
should not put on rebel, you know, renegade Generals like Mr. Athor,
or are they going to continue to…?
What I said is that it’s being addressed.
Press: Oh, okay.
that it has been addressed. Apologies if I misspoke. I thought
I said these concerns are being addressed by the radio station.
Press: [inaudible] in terms of what the editorial policy of the
UN radio station is to put on rebel…
this is a UN-sponsored radio station, not a UN radio station,
as I understand it. But the point is that the coverage of the
elections just as one example — but an important example — was
marked by neutrality and professionalism, and as I have mentioned
just now, a commitment to the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace
not provide any further information on this on May 21, at the
previous evening's reception for Cameroon's 50th anniversary of
independence, Sudan's Permanent Representative to the UN told Inner
City Press that the UN should put this anti-South Sudan government on
government of Omar al-Bashir, usually critical of the United Nations
and of freedom of the press, is ironically supporting UN-affiliated
Radio Mireya in its dispute with Southern Sudan for putting renegade
general Athor on the air. And the UN's two most senior officials in
Sudan will attend an indicted war criminal's inauguration. And so it