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On Darfur, China Bristles at Misquote, Sudan Blames the West for Rebels' Self-Importance

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

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 -- Since the UN is the House of Words, a perceived misquotation or partial quotation can create an international incident, and slow or stop the diplomatic process.

    On the pending Security Council resolution to authorize the so-called hybrid force to be send into Darfur, it was reported that "China's U.N. ambassador Wang Guangya said the new draft was a 'good resolution.'"

            Thursday at the Security Council stakeout, Amb. Wang told the half-dozen reporters there that "the other day I got a misquotation," adding that on the draft "China... and the African were not happy." Video here

   One wire service reporter at the stakeout was quick to gesture, "it wasn't me." (Previously, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin had dressed down this wire, or a translation of it into Russian.)

            On Thursday, the Chinese mission's spokeswoman nodded -- it was the other wire. After answering Inner City Press' question about the Council's back-room process of the Abkhazia, Georgia and Russia issues, Amb. Wang said it again: "there is always misquoting of me." Video here

   One correspondent noted said that Amb. Wang speaks in code, one has to understand it. Another opined that Khartoum must have complained to China about the quote. A third muttered, Watch, now he's going to cut us all off.

UN peacekeepers in Sudan (the South), wearing the blues

            After the stakeout, Inner City Press asked Sudan's Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad if, to the August 3 meeting in Arusha to unify the Darfur rebels, Abdel Wahid Nour will be attending. "He says he is not going," was the response. "The reason is the mixed signals from the international community." How? "They receive them in their capitals as if they are heads of state, they are very lenient with them -- now they take their time."  And then he was gone, off to speak with Arabic television.

            A topic there was the stalled Presidential Statement on "the humanitarian situation on the Occupied Palestinian Territories." A Council diplomat told Inner City Press that one of the hold-up is the inclusion of the word "Israel" rather than "the parties." Only at the UN.  Amb. Wang told reporters, if they are ready, I am ready. As of Thursday night, there are no Council consultations scheduled for Friday. Developing.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about the ongoing National Reconciliation Congress in Somalia.

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