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On NGOs in Khartoum, UN Is Not Sure, Council to Meet Friday, No Legal Expertise

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, March 5 -- The situation in Sudan is the UN's main focus, as stated Thursday by its Spokesperson who declined to take questions on any other subject. But while purporting to focus, the UN on Thursday could not answer basic questions. Inner City Press asked deputy humanitarian coordinator Catherine Bragg if the NGOs described as expelled from Sudan will be able to continue to run programs in South Sudan, from offices in Khartoum. "I don't have information on that," Ms. Bragg replied. "I'll  have to check." Video here, from Minute 20:41.  Seven hours later, no information had been provided.

  But at 9 p.m. on Thursday, the Security Council announced that it will meet on Sudan at 3 p.m. on Friday.

  Inner City Press asked Ms. Bragg if the UN considered Omar al-Bashir's expulsion order a violation of international humanitarian law. "I'm not a legal expert," Ms. Bragg replied, "so I can't answer that for you. But the UN's top lawyer Patricia O'Brien, at an on-camera press conference earlier in the week, told Inner City Press she would not answer any questions except on the Hariri Tribunal, and would not commit to any further press availabilities.

UN's Ban and ICC's Ocampo: who will serve meals in Darfur now?

   On March 4, the UN Spokesperson tried to argue that Ban was not calling on Sudan to hand Bashir over to the ICC in the Hague because Sudan is not bound by the indictment -- a position that ignores the UN Security Council resolution calling on Sudan to comply and cooperate with the ICC. Clearly, someone is given bad legal advice. But who?

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

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

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

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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

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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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