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Amid Sudan Bombing, UN Has No Answers, Briefing Postponed by ICJ Spat

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 10 -- Amid multiple reports of Sudan dropping bombs on South Sudan, including on a refugee camp in Unity State killing twelve people, the UN Security Council was set to meet about the Two Sudans on Thursday.

  UN Envoy for the Two Sudans Haile Menkerios was in New York, and came to the Council on Thursday afternoon. The head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous, who recently went to the region on his first trip as chief of DPKO -- the fourth Frenchman in a row in the position -- came to the Council, and it was announced that he would speak to the press.

  At Thursday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman

Inner City Press: there is this report of the Sudanese Air Force bombing inside South Sudan, that is across the border on an IDP camp, I mean, a refugee camp, actually, and it says 12 people are killed; and I am wondering, can the UN confirm that? It’s in Unity State, is the peacekeeping Mission present, what does it say about these reports?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: We are certainly aware of the reports, and we’ve asked the Mission to give us an update. I don’t have an update at this point, but I will anticipate receiving something.

  Seven hours later no UN response had been provided, and Ladsous as it turned out did not speak to the press.

(c) UN Photo
UNSC Ambassador in Sudan, Hardeep & Susan Rice in center

 The formal meeting could not be held, because of a day-long election fight for a seat on the International Court of Justice.

  Past five o'clock, Menkerios came out of the Council and told Inner City Press, I have to fly. He said his boss would brief the Security Council on Friday.

   When US Ambassador Susan Rice emerged, Inner City Press asked here if that meeting would be open, to be reported on. She said, "We heard from Menkerios. we resume the real meeting tomorrow. I want it to be open, but some would rather it be closed, so really I don't know."

   Inner City Press was told by Council source who left the chamber even later that the briefing will be open. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

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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