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As Kiir Ignores UN's Ban on Heglig, Belated Statement, Sudan Retaliation?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 12 -- After the UN Security Council belatedly adopted a Presidential Statement calling on South Sudan to withdraw from Heglig, and for Sudan to stop aerial bombing, Inner City Press asked Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman three questions.

  What about the bombing of Bentui, which the UN told Inner City Press its Mission in South Sudan could, as is rare, confirm?

  Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman on and off camera called this "a fiction." He said that now that the Council had ordered the SPLA out, if they do not leave there will be retaliation "deep within South Sudan."

   The Presidential Statement, on which Deputy Permanent Representatives on the Council met at 8 pm on Wednesday night, ends by saying that the Thabo Mbeki High Level Panel and the UN's Haile Menkerios will brief the Council in the coming days. Inner City Press asked Ambassador Susan Rice when this might happen; she said it is being arranged.

  Some Council members were struck at how "assertive" Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman was. "This is it," a Council member told Inner City Press. "This is Sudan's big oil field. They have to fight back, and I think they'll do it fast."

  Meanwhile South Sudan President Salva Kiir said he rejected "an order" by the UN's Ban Ki-moon. "I told him you do not need to order me because I am not under your command. I am a head of state accountable to my people and do not have to be ordered by someone I do not fall under his direct command. I will not withdraw the troops."

  Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm this, but Nesirky refused. It does not look good, to be disregarded in this way.

  In another slip up by the UN, Hilde Johnson the head of UNMISS back on March 15 told Inner City Press that while South Sudan has 10 helicopters, it only has pilots for two of them.

   Inner City Press asked Johnson about reports that the government did not use its ten Mi-17 helicopters and that the ethnic make up of the SPLA led to a failure to protect the Murle. Video here, from Minute 9:35.

  Johnson said the allegation about the non-use of helicopter was "incorrect" -- then admitted that Sout Sudan has only two crews of two pilots so the flights were "limited."

  Isn't that like the UN making public that a host country has no or weak air defenses? 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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