UN Blind, Deaf & Dumb on Fighting in Darfur, Relocation of
UN Protected Refugees
November 12 -- In Darfur, the UN and its peacekeeping
mission UNAMID appear to not watch to see or say anything. Amid
reports of clashes between government forces and Arab militias near
Kass in South Darfur, Inner City Press on November 11 asked UN acting
Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq to confirm the fighting. Video here, from
“We don't have
anything on that,” Haq said -- despite reports quoting UN officials
about the fighting.
City Press asked Haq about the UN moving Darfur rebels from a camp
near Sam in the Central African Republic to another near Bambari. “I
cannot confirm that,” Haq said, adding that he would check with the
UN refugee agency UNHCR. Four hours after the briefing, no
information had been given.
doing and what will it do to protect refugees in the CAR and Chad
after its MINURCAT peacekeeping mission leaves? “Everything
possible,” Haq said. And what will that be? Watch this site.
* * *
Nov 16 Sudan Meeting UK Plays Hide the Ball With Invitations and
Darfur, Hillary to Come?
November 11, updated -- The UK called Sudan
their priority when they
took over the Presidency of the UN Security Council for November. But
they haven't called Sudan -- that is, for the November 16 ministerial
level meeting on Sudan, the UK has yet to announce the format or
participants, nor to convey any invitation to Sudan's Foreign
Minister Ali Karti.
asked UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant about this just
outside the Council on November 10. He acknowledged no invitation had
been sent to Karti, saying the format had yet to be decided. He added
that South Sudan's representative would already by in New York.
other Council sources told Inner City Press that the UK as president
is nearly entirely in charge of “it's” November 16 debate. So far
they say it has been decided that Thabo Mbeki (by video link-up) and
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will speak in the open meeting; the
participation of Khartoum has not yet been decided. What is
known is that the UK's William Hague will preside and, it is said,
Hillary Clinton will be present.
Now that the
US has "detached" Darfur from its terrorism sanctions on Sudan, to many
there is an even greater risk that the November 16 meeting, and
Security Council for the rest of the year, will turn an increasingly
blind eye to Darfur. The UK's lack of transparency for the November 16
meeting, and so far this month, has done nothing to allieviate these
UK Hague and US Hillary Clinton, Darfur not shown
door consultations after the open session, it has yet to be finalized
that Haile Menkerios of UNMIS and Ibrahim Gambari of UNAMID in Darfur
will appear by video, along with Benjamin Mkapa.
UK has told
other members to expect a Presidential Statement, but early November 11
a non Permanent member complained to Inner City Press it had seen no
The UK is excluding not only those media which most closely follow
Sudan, but also the other Council members. We'll see.
Update: now a draft
PRST has been circulated, to be negotiated at the expert level.
Invitations to Sudan and South Sudan still unclear. Watch this site.
* * *
Sentences Met with UN Silence, LRA in Darfur Called Unconfirmed
November 11 -- With authorities
in Sudan condemning to death
some 20 alleged rebels, Inner City Press on Thursday asked UN
deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq if the peacekeeping mission in Darfur
or its chief Ibrahim Gambari had anything to say about the death
sentences, which the Liberation and Justice Movement rebels says
violates their ceasefire agreement with Khartoum. Video here
“There is no
comment from Mr. Gambari or UNAMID,” Haq answered. On whether the
death sentences will undermine LJM's negotiations in Doha with the
government of Omar al Bashir, who has been indicted by the
International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide, Haq said of
mediator Djibril Bassole that if there's a problem, “he'll
inform... the public about any particular obstacle.”
rarely reports to the public on the Doha process, which does not
include JEM or the movement of Abdul Wahid Nur or now the Movement of
City Press asked Haq if UNAMID will do anything about the Lord's
Resistance Army and its leader John Kony, also indicted by the ICC,
who are now reported to be in Darfur. “Those reports have not been
confirmed,” Haq said. He'd begun by saying, “If you need to have
the last question” -- before responding with a pre-prepared
statement. Video here
UN's Ban, Menkerios, Khare & Gambari,
comment on death sentences not shown
confirm reports that the UN-supported African Union peacekeepers in
Somalia have blocked Somali parliamentarians from meeting. Haq said
to ask the African Union, despite the UN's own envoy Augustine
here, from Minute 17:29.
Somalia work of
either the UN or European Union was supposed to be boosted on
November 1 by the inclusion of longtime UN official Charles Petrie.
But tens days past that deadline,
Petrie is still quoted about his
last UN assignment, Burundi, condemning violence. We'll check on
Petrie's location, Haq said. Video here,
from Minute 14:25.
simple questions pending in his office for more than a week now,
including one about Genocide Prevention reiterated this week. Watch
Security Council on Thursday moved its Western Sahara briefing up from
November 23 to November 16 after their Sudan debate. France has said
next week was too busy. Watch this site.
* * *
Susan Rice Defends Decoupling Darfur from Terror Sanctions,
Karti Not Invited
November 10 -- With killing in Darfur escalating and
displaced people arrested and harassed for providing
testimony, United States Ambassador to the UN Susan
Rice was asked
Wednesday by the Press why the US has told Sudan that if it allows
the referendum in South Sudan and “addresses” Abyei, the Obama
administration will move to take Sudan off the state sponsors of
“decoupling from Darfur” by an Obama administration official who
asked to not be named; human rights advocates have called it
“de-emphasizing” or even selling out Darfur.
Rice came to speak about blocking Iran from the board of UN Women at
the stakeout in front of the UN Security Council, which will host a
November 16 ministerial level meeting on Sudan, mostly on the South
Sudan referendum, Inner City Press twice asked that she take a Sudan
question. To her credit she did, offering an explanation --
unconvincing to some -- of the administration's thinking. Video
Ambassador Rice argued that since there are other US sanctions
regimes on Sudan, taking the country off the state sponsor of
terrorism list in exchange for allowing the South Sudan referendum
should not be read as de-emphasizing Darfur. Said otherwise, the US
is offering a “carrot” for something other than Darfur.
diplomats see in this a de-emphasize of scrutiny on Darfur.
Something that they went -- off of the terrorism sanctions list --
could be obtained regardless of escalation of killing and harassment
in Darfur. Some might even call this, intentionally or not, a green
November 16 meeting, a Sudanese diplomat complained to Inner City
Press on Wednesday that while “it is a ministerial meeting and the
Council is supposed to send formal invitations to the Minister of
Foreign Affairs” Ali Karti, no invitation has been sent.
strange, since other Council sources have already described to Inner
City Press statements in an open session of the Council by Thabo
Mbeki and diplomats from both Khartoum and South Sudan, following by
closed door briefings from the envoys on South Sudan and Darfur,
Haile Menkerios and Ibrahim Gambari respectively.
asked this month's Council president, Mark Lyall Grant of the UK,
about the Sudanese complaint that Ali Karti had yet to be invited.
Lyall Grant acknowledged this is the case, saying that the format has
yet to be decided. But why the talk already about the attendance of
South Sudan? Lyall Grant said that he understands they (South Sudan)
will already be in New York that day, November 16. But will Ali
the November 10
UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked acting deputy spokesperson
Farhan Haq to confirm a report
by Radio Dabanga, the closure of whose
Khartoum office has been denounced, that UN Humanitarian Coordinator
Valerie Amos “apologized” to IDPs in Darfur for the UN's
to protect them, including after some spoke to the Council and Ms.
Rice on October 8.
to canned (and confusing)
issued by Amos' office, while indicating she may speak to the press
upon her return to New York. Video here.
Susan Rice in Rajaf, decoupling of Darfur not shown, (c) MRLee
is the US
Mission to the UN's transcript of Inner City Press' question and
Susan Rice's answer:
Press: I wanted to know about the decoupling Darfur from the
state sponsorship of terrorism, with a State department official
quoted, unnamed saying that the Obama administration would move to
take Sudan off the state sponsored terrorism list if the referenda go
forward, but that Darfur is being decoupled... I just wanted to
understand, how is one to read that in terms of the importance of
humanitarian and the escalating violence in Darfur?
Well first of all the United States, as you've heard me express
on many occasions, and so have my colleagues and counterparts in
Washington, is very much focused on the deteriorating security and
humanitarian situation in Darfur. We're very concerned about it. We're
focused on it. There are a number, frankly a large number, of
sanctions in U.S. law that relate not only to the situation between
the north and the south, but also to Darfur, and they will not be
alleviated [unless and] until the situation in Darfur is adequately
addressed consistent with U.S. law. What we have also said to the
Government of Sudan is that were it to take the steps that it's
committed to and allow the peaceful and on-time conduct of the
referendum in the South, and resolve all of the outstanding issues
that remain between the two sides, including Abyei and borders and
security and citizenship, to name just a few, as well as respect the
outcome of the referendum, then that could initiate a process of
improved relations with the United States. We've communicated to
them what that process might look like, and we think it's in the
interest of the Government of Sudan and the people, all of the people
of Sudan, to fulfill their commitment to implement the CPA and choose
a peaceful resolution to this longstanding conflict. Thank you very
another Permanent Five member of the Council's Permanent
Representative has said, on condition of anonymity, that it is
increasingly unlikely that even the South Sudan referendum will be
held on January 9, and that focus has turned to convincing the
leaders in South Sudan not to hold their own referendum. Watch this