Threatens NGOs, UN Troops “Cannot Patrol,” S. Sudan
July 12 -- As in Sudan the government of Omar al Bashir
threatened to shut down humanitarian NGOs in Southern Kordofan and
Darfur for allegedly helping insurgents, the UN on Tuesday confirmed
to Inner City Press that the soldiers it still has in Southern
Kordofan and Blue Nile states do
not patrol, and presumably would not
defend civilians attacked in front of them and their bases.
already complaints about inaction by UN peacekeepers, particularly
the Egyptians in Southern Kordofan and the Zambians in Abyei, since
mandate expired on July 9 it has become official: “the
peacekeepers who were part of the UN Mission in Sudan cannot patrol
because they do not have a mandate to do so,” as UN spokesman
Martin Nesirky answered Inner City Press.
they are still
there. Does this mean that if civilians were being slaughtered right
outside their base, they would do nothing?
of its July 12 noon briefing:
Press: the Northern Sudan Secretary for the Political Sector,
Gudbi al Mahadi, has said that NGOs face being ejected from both
Southern Kordofan and Darfur on charges of providing logistical
support to insurgents. So I am wondering, is that something that the
UN system, whether in its wind-down capacity or UNAMID [African
Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur] in its still-robust
capacity, are they aware of that? Do they oppose that? And also now
that the resolution has been passed by the Council, what exactly is
the, sort of, the orders in which the peacekeepers in, still in
Kadugli and other places in Southern Kordofan, are under? Are they
allowed to go out of their base if they witness…?
Well, the short answer to that is they are not allowed to
patrol. They do not have the mandate to do so. What the resolution
says, as I think you all recall, is that it requests the
Secretary-General to consult with the parties, the African Union
High-level Implementation Panel and other partners and present to the
Security Council options for UN support to new security arrangements
in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states in line with the 28 June
Framework Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan
People’s Liberation Movement-North. So what I am trying to say is
that the Council has asked the Secretary-General to provide options
what could be done further. The short answer, as I said at the
beginning, is no; the peacekeepers who were part of the UN Mission in
Sudan cannot patrol because they do not have a mandate to do so. Does
that mean that we are concerned? Yes, it does, because clearly
humanitarian workers need to be able to go about their work to help
the people in Southern Kordofan. And they are not able to do so with
the level of confidence that they could before.
Kiir & Bashir in Juba, future in Kordofan and
Darfur not shown
Press: thanks for that... Who in the UN system is actually… is
there any involvement by the UN in talks if they exist between
Khartoum and SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] North about
[Southern] Kordofan? I’ve heard there is not a process in Addis
anymore, but are there processes inside Sudan proper and is Mr.
[Haile] Menkerios or [Thabo] Mbeki or somebody [from the UN
Well, Mr. Menkerios is now going to be Special Envoy of the
Secretary-General to deal with the parties on the remaining details
of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. That is an element of work
that clearly remains to be done. And obviously Mr. Menkerios has the
expertise to do that. I think that’s… I’d leave it at that at
what is the UN
doing? We'll have more on this.
Tuesday evening in the Security Council chamber, with no other
journalists around, a delegation from South Sudan came to meet with
German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and his entourage,
including the able German Africa Director, just in from
the independence celebration in Juba. As emerged
Monday night, Angela Merkel is in Kenya
(where he was Ambassador), and then on to Angola, where oil is
presumably a or the major topic.
evening meeting was to
plan the events of Wednesday, when the Council will vote on UN
membership for the Republic of South Sudan, and then have a debate,
presumably including these issues in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile,
if not Darfur. We'll be there - watch
* * *
UN Confined to Bases in Kordofan, No Answers on Future in
July 11 -- Amid celebrations
of South Sudan's independence,
questions have arisen about the UN's future in the North, in Darfur
and the zones of conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
adopted Monday by the Security Council says the UN peacekeepers have
to be entirely out of North Sudan, except Darfur, by the end of
they will be confined to their bases until then, even as top UN
humanitarian official Valerie Amos told Inner City Press that
questions have yet to be answered about the fate of civilians removed
from outside the UN base in Kadugli and returned to their villages.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky what
the peacekeepers will be doing:
City Press: on this South Kordofan — I understand the
Secretary-General raised it when he was traveling there — I just
wanted to know, what’s the current, sort of, freedom of movement of
the peacekeepers in South Kordofan? There is some footage existing
of them saying that they are not to leave their base until their
status is somehow either agreed on or formalized. Are they
conducting patrols? Is it their understanding they are supposed to
stay in the base until they either leave or authorized to go out?
What’s their current mandate and movement?
Nesirky: Well, as you know, the mandate expired and has not been
renewed or extended, at this point, at least. And that does
obviously have implications for the movement of peacekeepers and
therefore the freedom of access for humanitarian workers that Ms.
Amos just addressed a moment ago. I’d need to check with our
colleagues in Peacekeeping Operations precisely what is happening
with the peacekeepers at the moment. But clearly, if a mandate has
expired, you move into a different phase.
City Press: There is a resolution that is going to be adopted, that
is slated to be adopted, that is called a wind down, but it’s
unclear whether under that even without the consent... If North Sudan
doesn’t consent, what presence--
Spokesperson: That’s precisely why I say we’re moving into a
different phase. And I think that that remains to be clarified. What
unchanged is our concern about our ability to provide the protection
that’s needed for humanitarian workers to go about their work.
the UN is
“concerned,” but can't do anything about it. And so it downplays
its inaction -- for example, the UN's write up of Valerie Amos' press
conference, at which Inner City Press asked her about humanitarian
access in Southern Kordofan, has no mention of that exchange, click
strategy seems to be
to answer few or no questions. Inner City Press asked
asked basic questions
about Darfur, including whether the UN would be appointing a
replacement to Darfur mediator Djibril Bassole. Nesirky said he
didn't know but would check.
hours later he had provided no
City Press: elsewhere in Sudan, Darfur, the Abdul Wahid Nur faction
of SLA [Sudan Liberation Army] has said that it should… you know,
it’s called for a uniting of all remaining rebels in Sudan to
overthrow an Islamist State, and I just wonder what is the
understanding of UNAMID [African Union-United Nations Hybrid
Operation in Darfur], given this large peacekeeping mission, of the
impact of the breakaway of the South on its mandate in Darfur, and is
there going to be a replacement to Mr. [Djibril] Bassolé as a
of joint UN-AU mediator on the Darfur topic or is that mediation
Nesirky: I would need to check on any replacement for Mr.
Bassolé. And as for the mission and mandate of UNAMID — the
Union mission in Darfur — that remains unchanged. That is mandated
by the Security Council. That hasn’t changed.
much has changed.
South Sudan is on track to be voted into UN membership by the
Security Council on July 13 and the General Assembly on July 14 and
have its flag raised. Bashir is ordering peacekeepers to leave
Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and is preparing to crack down in
Darfur. The UN is spending $1 billion a year for a force in Darfur,
but what will they do? Watch this site.