UN Admits 50 Dead in Tabarat, Khare Says Sudan Shouldn't
Russell Lee, Exclusive
September 7 -- The killings in
Darfur were described to the
UN Security Council late on Tuesday, by UN Peacekeeping deputy Atul
Khare. Afterwards Inner City Press asked first US Ambassador Susan
Rice, then Khare, about the killings, and restrictions on the UN's
ability to protect civilians in Darfur.
even read from, the notes read out earlier on Tuesday by acting
Deputy UN Spokesman Farhan Haq in response to Inner City Press'
questions. The UNAMID mission, he said, was able to get to the
Tabarat Market on September 4 and found it almost empty. It went back
on September 7 and now estimates that 50 people were killed.
City Press asked, about the document it obtained showing that UNAMID
peacekeepers initially declined to go to Tabarat, saying they needed
approval from El Fashir and, it seems, Khartoum?
would be a restriction on the movement of UNAMID, and therefore
impermissible. Video here.
Haq said that such approvals were “the
normal procedure.” Video here,
from Minute 10:21. Which is it?
Khare in the Council, "normal" restrictions on UNAMID not shown
surprisingly to some, deferred to Khare. Video here.
Equally surprising, it was
France and not the U.S. which requested the Darfur briefing. While
some say that it is Scott Gration minimizing the upsurge in killings
in Darfur, of late the US Mission to the UN is hardly leading on the
issue. The rapes in Congo are terrible, but the US Mission should be
able to lead on more than one issue at once, shouldn't it? Watch this
said that in
the IDP camp in West Darfur, nine people were killed, and more
injured. Those who are followers of Abdul Wahid Nour did not accept
transport to Zalingei, fearing for their lives -- or fearing being
turned over by UNAMID to the government. They were treated in the
camp. Inner City Press asked Khare to respond to JEM's request that
the UN's (and African Union's) Ibrahim Gambari resign, for failure to
protect civilians. Khare declined to answer. But afterward, outside
on First Avenue, he promised that he and his staff will be a font of
answers. We look forward to it.
Update of 8:40 pm --
from the US Mission transcript:
Press: we understand that France called for some kind of
consultation at the end on Darfur and the killings. Can you say what
information was transmitted and the what the US thinks of the events
in Zalingei Camp and also in Jebel Marra where the janjaweed
apparently killed 50 people over the weekend?
Well, we just heard a brief summary of what information is
available to the Secretariat on the violence that occurred over the
last several days in Darfur. Obviously we are gravely concerned about
it, we are awaiting further information and so there is still much
that is unknown. I will let Assistant Secretary General Khare, since
he is here, give you any more detail.
Council To Discuss Darfur, As UN Confirms It Awaited Approval Before
September 7 -- Hours after the UN confirmed that while
civilians bled out in Tabarat market in Darfur, it sought
before going there, the Security Council scheduled consultations on
Sudan. At the request of France, the item will be discussed after the
Congo on Thursday afternoon.
previously asked for an investigation of the violence in Kalma Camp
last month, which was blamed on followers of Paris resident Abdul
Wahid Nur. This was watered down to a request to top UN Peacekeeper
Alain Le Roy to come to a “full understanding of the facts”
behind the violence.
UN has yet to
make public any findings. Now, there are been more killings in IDP
camps, Zalingei in West Darfur. The lack of accountability breeds
Susan Rice walked into the Council, Inner City Press asked her if the
US would raise Darfur. She did not answer. Now, it is France which
has raised the issue -- but perhaps with a conflict of interest.
Watch this site.
Susan Rice previously on Rwanda, UN Ban out of focus
the Tuesday noon
briefing, UN acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that “this
process of approval is a standard procedure.” Video here,
from Minute 10:21.
How then can
protect civilians? What does the US -- or France -- think of this UN
* * *
Deaths Dismissed By Security Council Members, Inaction
7 -- After
death in Darfur, with the
janjaweed killing at least 37 in Jebel Marra, and eight dead in IDP
camp violence in West Darfur, when the UN Security Council met on
Tuesday morning after its long weekend, no member had raised the
subject of Sudan.
political coordinators filed into the Council for a meeting on Nepal,
Inner City Press asked them about the killings in Darfur. No one has
raised it, two Ambassadors replied. Another spoke vaguely about
expecting increased violence until the South Sudan referendum slated
for January 2011.
Council created the billion dollar UNAMID peacekeeping mission, whose
chief Ibrahim Gambari is now being blamed by the Justice and Equality
Movement rebels for failing to respond to the killings.
Press exposed three days ago, UNAMID refused to respond to the
killings in Tabra until it received approvals from Al Fashir and, it
is clear, Khartoum. The Council's pronouncements about the protection
of civilians are dead letters on the ground -- but in the basement of
the UN, the game goes on, Nepal this morning, Liberia tomorrow.
UN's Ban, Gambari and Pascoe: action on Darfur
murders not shown
spokespeople refused to respond to questions, perhaps at their
direction an Associate Spokesperson in New York forwarded to Inner
City Press their canned summary:
further three inhabitants of the Hamadiya internally displaced
persons (IDP) camp in Zalingei, West Darfur, have died as a result of
injuries sustained during a firefight in the camp on 3 and 4
September. The development brings the number of fatalities to nine
and injured to more than 20.... UNAMD Deputy Joint Special
Representative Mohamed B. Yonis yesterday addressed local community
leaders at a Ramadan Iftar dinner in Nyala, South Darfur. He stressed
the importance of close working relations between the Mission and the
the name or service of “close working relations [with Sudan's]
Government authorities” that UNAMID refused to respond to the
initial reports of the janjaweed murders in Tabra -- which were not
included in UNAMID's summary. Watch this site.
* * *
Calls for Gambari to Resign, No Responses, UN Speaks
6 -- The UN was supposed to be an honest broker in
Darfur. Most recently, however, UN staff member Al Tijani Al Sissi
Ateem was recruited from the UN Economic Commission on Africa to head
up the new Liberation and Justice Movement.
Press asked the UN, and Joint UN-African Union Special Representative
Ibrahim Gambari about the propriety of a UN paid staff member heading
a “rebel” movement to negotiate with Khartoum, both have said
that only joint AU-UN mediate Bassole can answer. But he won't. And
apparently Bassole has no spokesperson.
and Equality Movement has called for Gambari to resign, in light of
his inaction as civilians have been killed throughout Darfur. Inner
City Press directed a request for comment to the spokeswoman who
accompanied Gambari to the UN during his last visit, Theresa Pirkl.
She has simply passed the request on UNAMID's spokesmen, Chris
Cycmanick and Kemal Saiki, who have refused to answer these
UNAMID yet gained access to the site of the mass killing in North
Darfur? If not, why not, and how is this consistent with the
Mission's protection of civilians mandate? Can you provide the views
/ quote from JSr Gambari? How are the discussions about the Kalma
Camp possible relocation going? WHat is the status of the FAO and
UNHCR officials in West Darfur? What is the UN's estimate of
casualties? Who is responsible? What will UNAMID be doing?”
“exclusive” interview to the UN's own radio
station, Mireya. This is reminiscent of Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon giving a "stakeout" -- fake out -- to UN Radio, rather than
independent UN correspondents who would have asked questions. Ban has
yet to speak on the killings in Darfur.
UN's Ban & Gambari, spokespeople's comments on
Darfur killings not shown
UN in Darfur refuses to answer questions from
independent media which cover the UN, but gives canned interviews to
the UN's own friendly media. Who is more responsible: the UN or the
regimes in Khartoum, even Pyongyang? Watch this site.
* * *
Dying, UN Leak Shows Failure to Respond, Stonewalling, UNSC Soon?
4 -- Proof of UN inaction on slaughter in Darfur,
received today by Inner City Press, is matched by silence from the
UN, in Sudan and at the level of UN Spokesperson.
dozens killed by janjaweed in the North Darfur village of Tabra,
Inner City Press on the morning of September 4 sent questions to the
spokesman for the joint UN - African Union Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID), Chris Cycmanick, as well as to the spokesman for UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Martin Nesirky, and the spokeswoman
for UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari.
UN was “aware of the reports [and] checking further.” Eight
hours later, however, no further information was provided. Cycmanick
never responded, but was quoted by CNN that “men on horses and
camels slaughtered 37 and left 30 injured at a market elsewhere in
Darfur... it was unclear who was responsible for that attack.”
the UN could claim a lack of knowledge of killing of dozens of people
in the Tabarat Market in Tabra was that the UN peacekeepers told
family members of those killed and wounded -- some of whom later died
-- that they could not go to the site of the attack, until approval
from El Fasher and ultimately from the Sudanese authorities.
has now obtained the following account from inside UNAMID:
about 1800hrs on 02 Sep 2010, UNAMID Police Advisors received
unconfirmed information from locals in Tawilla IDP camp that
unidentified armed men attacked Tabarat Market near Maral village
about 28kms southwest of Tawilla, where about 30 people were killed
and more than 70 others were injured.
information was received by the PF Force Commander Major Aimable
Rukondo from relatives of victims in Tawilla IDP camp. At about
2030hrs, people from the Tawilla IDP camp gathered near the gate of
Tawilla UNAMID Base requesting for assistance to evacuate their
relatives who were in Tabarat market. The PF Commander together with
the Acting Team Site Commander advised the relatives that prior
approval from El Fasher Headquarters is needed before proceeding to
the place and with that they were advised to be back to Tawilla Base
tomorrow morning for possible medical evacuation movement to Tabarat
market once it has been approved by the higher Headquarters.”
UN's Ban in North Darfur, delay and failure to
respond not shown
While the above only refers to need approval from Al Fashir,
could be obtained quickly. But the background here is the UN's
accepting of the need to get Sudanese authorities' approval to move,
even in cases of medical emergency.
Not only is
this inconsistent with UNAMID's protection of civilians mandate -- it
also calls into question the UNAMID spokesman's statements (and
refusals to answer media requests), and Ban Ki-moon's spokesman's
ostensible inability to provide information about the UN's actions.
What will Ban
Ki-moon, and the UN Security Council, do? Watch this
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
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Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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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.
* * *
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AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.