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UN Resolution for New S. Sudan Mission May Be Delayed Until July 9

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 6, updated -- With the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan set to expire on July 8, the day before South Sudan declares independence, as of June 6 at the UN in New York the Security Council resolution to create a new force in South Sudan has not yet been passed.

   At a meeting of Deputy Permanent Representatives on July 5, one member voiced opposition to forming the new Mission until after South Sudan formally declares independence, and found some suppporters. They pointed at a paragraph in the draft resolution which welcomes the creation of South Sudan.

  Either the word “imminent” should be added, or the resolution not adopted until Saturday, July 9, they said.

Kiir & Bashir in Juba, new UN resolution & mission not yet seen

  Inner City Press asked US Permanent Representative Susan Rice about this on the morning of July 6. She replied, “As long as it's done by [July] 9th, it doesn't matter.”

By” or “on”?

Update: as the Security Council continued consulting Wednesday on the South Sudan resolution, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Sasha Pankin came out and told Inner City Press, regarding the timing of adopting, “Does it really matter to a mission in New York, Friday at 7 pm or Saturday at 8 am?” He added that there are other issues, too, to be addressed. Inner City Press hears these include the size -- and cost -- of the force. Watch this site.

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With Ban & Bashir Headed to Juba, UN and War Crimes Are Left Murky: Handshakes or Handcuffs?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 4 -- For the upcoming independence day of South Sudan on July 9, the President of North Sudan Omar al-Bashir “will be there,” Bashir's ambassador to the UN told Inner City Press on June 27. The next day, South Sudan leaders in Juba confirmed the invitation.

  Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

  On July 1, after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq announced that Ban will attend on July 9, and “will meet with [South Sudan] President Salva Kiir Mayardit, as well as with the troops, staff and management of the UN Mission in Sudan, UNMIS” Inner City Press asked Haq if Ban would meet with Bashir:

Inner City Press: Sudan’s Permanent Representative says that Omar al-Bashir will be attending as he is indicted by the ICC [International Criminal Court]. What does the Secretary-General think about that? Is he going to meet with Bashir? Is he opposed to meeting with Bashir if he is there at this, as stated by the Perm Rep in Juba for this ceremony?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Haq: First of all, I don’t believe that there is any plan to meet with President Bashir. But second, beyond that, regarding the invitation, what I can say is that the International Criminal Court is an independent judicial institution. It has a mandate distinct and separate from that of the United Nations. The Secretary-General fully respects and supports the International Criminal Court and its work. How States conduct themselves in the light of the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court is a matter for States to determine in the light of the legal instruments applicable to them.

  This answer appears tailored to avoid the recent controversies of Bashir's travels and meetings with heads of state. But shouldn't the UN hold itself to a higher, less legalistic standard?

  UNMIS has already repeatedly used UN helicopters to fly Ahmed Haroun, indicted for war crimes in Darfur, into conflict zones in which Bashir's and Haroun's National Congress Party is accuse of orchestrating more ethnic cleansing while UNMIS peacekeepers stood by or worse.

Ban & Bashir, right monitoring plan not shown: shaking on July 9?

  To defend those flights, Ban on June 6 said “On this use of UN helicopters by Mr. Haroun, that was done, as we have already explained, on a very specific and special case. It is not routinely provided that these helicopters or military assets are provided to those people who are indicted. There are legal implications – we are fully aware.”

  Really? We'll see.

Footnote: Also on July 1 Inner City Press asked Haq about UNMIS inaction:

Inner City Press: ....the fighting in Kadugli, and they, in one instance they, they quote a person saying that his friend Philip drove to the UN compound and was shot to the chest in front of it. And the Times says UN officials confirmed the killing. So I just wanted to, I guess, I mean there it is, it’s in writing, but how did the UN confirm it and what has it learned from an instance of civilians seeking protection being killed directly in front of the UN peacekeeping base in Kadugli?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson: Well, we’ve made our concerns known about the situation in Kadugli, and we have repeatedly called on the parties to halt the fighting. You are aware, and we’ve mentioned several times in recent days the consequences of the fighting in Kadugli. For details on that specific shooting incident, I’d refer you over to UNMIS.

  But in the three days since, nothing has been heard from UNMIS. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

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