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At UN, Ambassador Rice on Heglig & Sudan Bombing UNMISS Base, Mbeki Brief?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- When US Ambassador Susan Rice came to the Security Council stakeout Monday morning, her topic was North Korea, including saying how the day's Presidential Statement was "stronger and more explicit than the one the Security Council adopted in 2009 in reaction to North Korea's last launch." This most recent launch, of course, failed and fell into the Yellow Sea.

  Inner City Press then asked a bombing that actually did happen: Sudan's air force's deadly bombing of Bentiu in South Sudan, and even dropping two bombs on the UN Peacekeeping base in Mayom in South Sudan.

  Rice replied that the Council has been very clear. It's gravely concerned about the escalating violence between Sudan and South Sudan. It has roundly condemned aerial bombardments by the Sudanese armed forces.

"The fact of today's bombardment, which was deep into South Sudan, and hit a UN UNMISS facility is particularly condemnable and deplorable. We understand there may be, from press reports, a number of casualties in the area surrounding the base, although it seems first reports indicated thankfully no casualties in the UNMISS facility itself. This is obviously a subject of grave concern as is. The South's continued presence in Heglig, and a myriad of violent confrontation in and around the border area and deep into both countries' territory. The Council will continue on this subject this week. We expect the opportunity for further discussion, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. We've invited the high level AU panel leader, former Pres. Thabo Mbeki, to brief the Council via video. We also look forward to the return of special envoy Haile Menkarios as part of the process that will inform future Council action."

  There was another part of Inner City Press' question that did not get answered, but we'll have more on that soon. 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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