UN Keeps Secret Bashir Blockages, Talks to Hand Over 5
Darfur Rebels With No Assurances on Torture
October 20 -- On Sudan, the UN misspeaks and keeps secrets.
In August, Inner City Press asked the UN why it had stopped reporting
malnutrition data for Darfur. The UN - African Union Mission in
Darfur and UNICEF said that data would be released in “one or two
days.” But none was.
months later a
local UNICEF official has admitted that the government blocks the
collection and release of such information. Nils Kastberg of UNICEF
we conduct surveys to help us address issues, in collaboration with
the ministry of health, very often other parts of the government such
as the humanitarians affairs commission interferes and delays in the
release of reports... Sometimes it is security services that hinder
access or delay access, sometimes it is the humanitarian affairs
office that delays the release of nutritional surveys. Sometimes it
is delays in granting permissions and visas. It is different
sections of different institutions which interfere in our work.”
Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Georg Charpentier did not say
this. In fact, when he spoke to Inner City Press in El Fasher earlier
this month, Charpentier handed over a green folder he said he had
given to the Security Council. When asked by Inner City Press if the
malnutrition data was inside, Charpentier said “yes.” But it
asked top UN humanitarian Valerie Amos about this, and she said she
would look into it. Inner City Press understands that Ms. Amos has
privately been critical of Charpentier. But keeping this private and
in secret accomplishes nothing for the people the UN is supposed to
Charpentier, Gambari behind him, data and turn over
talks not disclosed
on Wednesday continued to dissemble about the responsibility of its
Mission on Sudan, UNMIS, to act on complaints about Khartoum's troop
build ups along the border of Southern Sudan when the complaints are,
as they were, filed with the joint ceasefire monitoring commission.
Spokesman Farhan Haq insisted that the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations is looking into the issue. But to simply describe UNMIS'
duty should not require research.
in chiding Inner City Press for publishing
documents showing Gambari
close to turning over five supporters of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid Nur.
Haq claimed that the UN needed secrecy for this, and refuse to comment
on the applicability of the Convention against Torture.
But who is
to engage in stealth negotiations it doesn't even tell the member
states? Watch this site.
* * *
Plans Hand Over to Bashir in Sudan, Torture Complaint Mulled at
19 -- Could the UN, or the chief of its peacekeeping
mission in Darfur
Ibrahim Gambari, be on the verge of violating the UN Convention Against
asked the chairman of the UN Committee Against Torture Claudio
Grossman this question on October 19, referring to the leaked
documents showing Gambari's plan to turn over five supporters of Fur
rebel Abdel Wahid Nur to the government of Omar al Bashir, accused
genocide, war crimes and, yes, torture. Video here,
that “as to the UN system... no one should be sent to places where
he or she will be tortured.” Video here
from Minute 30. He cited
this prohibition to Article 3 of the Convention.
Gambari, hiding in plain sighting, CAT violation not shown
asked, but if a complaint is filed about Gambari's and the UN's
pending turn over of five people to Bashir, how would Grossman's
Committee Against Torture process it? Video here,
while in one sense the Committee's work is limited to member states,
there is creative lawyering. Not only other venues such as Working
Groups and the Special Rapporteur on Torture, but also “journalism
can play a role,” he said.
one wonders why
the SLA, or someone on behalf of the Kalma Five, doesn't start
raising the question as an anti-torture issue, using Gambari's draft
-- which contains no assurances on this -- as the basis for the
complaints? Watch this site.
* * *
IDPs in Darfur or Soldiers in Sudan, Gambari to Violate
Convention Against Torture?
19 -- The UN routinely fails at stopping conflict,
even at stopping rape. But it continues to be counted on to at least
do some counting. It issues reports, to the Security Council and to
the public, about how many security patrols its mission in Darfur
UNAMID conducted, or how many ceasefire violations occurred across a
the UN is hitting new lows. Earlier this month covering the Security
Council's trip through the country, Inner City Press exposed
Humanitarian Coordinator Georg Charpentier was downplaying and even
covering up the destruction of villages in Jebel Marra like Soro,
Internally Displaced Persons' camps like the one
being disassembled in Kalma.
back in New
York, Inner City Press on October 19 asked Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq to confirm or deny
reports of increased aerial bombardment in Jebel Marra, and a stream
of IDPs to the camps in Shangil Tobaya and Tawila.
former, the Security Council was blocked from visiting by the
government, the latter has a Rwandan battalion of UNAMID
with an old statement from Charpentier about Soro, how hard it is to
know. But, Inner City Press asked, can't the UN count the number of
new IDPs arriving, at least at the camps in which it has
peacekeepers? Haq did not answer this simple question of fact. Video here.
appears that the UN, or at least its UNAMID mission under Ibrahim
Gambari, is trying to help cover up the Omar al Bashir regime's
renewed push of ethnic cleansing in Darfur.
Gambari with UK Lyall Grant, US Susan Rice, IDP
counts and CAT not shown
counterpart at the UN Mission in (South) Sudan, Haile Menkerios, was
caught in a misstatement of fact, according to reporters who cover
October 18 press conference, Menkerios told
reportedly one of the media organizations whose Sudanese staff was
thrown off the UN Security Council plane by UNMIS in Juba -- that his
Mission hasn't investigated troop build ups on the border of North
and South Sudan because there were only “in the press.”
army officer Mat Paul told
enterprising reporter “U.N. officials were not owning up to
their lack of access. 'This year, the build-up of SAF (northern army)
started in June in South Kordofan and other areas and we've been
raising this several times with the U.N.' said Paul, who is the
SPLA's representative in the joint north-south ceasefire monitoring
commission (CJMC) chaired by the United Nations. 'They...just keep
quiet so there is no monitoring,' he said.”
according to local reporters, to cover up that it has given in to
Khartoum's blockage of access to monitor troop build ups. UNAMID in
Darfur simply refuses to even count incoming IDPs. Both are (mis?) run
by Ban Ki-moon's Department
of Peacekeeping Operations, although Gambari often freelances.
At what point has
the UN become complicit?
Gambari's planned turn over to the al Bashir regime
of five supporters of Fur rebel Abdel Wahid Nur may, it was argued
Tuesday at the UN, violate the spirit and even letter of Article 3 of
the Convention against Torture. Inner City Press asked the chairman
of the Committee Against Torture Claudio Grossman if the obligation
not to hand anyone over to a government accused of torture applied to
the UN and UNAMID. Video here.
replied that no
one should make such a turn over, and that arguments can be made
about the applicability of the law to the UN (and by implication
Gambari). Watch this site.
* * *
Press on Video,
Darfur after reports of a
brutal campaign by the government of Omar al Bashir against opponents
of his regime and civilians perceived as supporting them.
Inner City Press, is near to turning over five supporters of rebel
Abdel Wahid Nur to that same Bashir regime, in exchange for a promise
by Bashir to commute any death sentence his courts impose.
which ostensibly oversees Gambari's actions
along with the African Union, expressed surprise to Inner City Press
once they saw the leaked documents, consisting of a draft letter and
“Additional Terms” from Gambari to Bashir's foreign minister Ali
Fasher from South Sudan, US Ambassador Susan Rice told
Inner City Press that she intends to inquire into Gambari's offers
about the Kalma Camp Five while in Darfur. This echoed a statement of
intention previously issued by another Permanent Member of the
visiting Security Council members, Gambari
of his military officials, in uniform, came to see the Press.
called Inner City Press' publication of his draft documents
“reprehensible” and told Inner City Press to “be careful...
lives are at stake.” Transcription below.
Yeah, a witness to
Gambari's statements later said, the
lives of the Kalma Camp Five are
at risk if the UN turns them over to a strongman already
genocide and war crimes. “Is this what the UN should be doing?”
caught on video and will soon be
published online as such. For now, here is a transcription, prepared
late Thursday night at a guest house in El Fasher outside of
Gambari's UNAMID compound:
with the Kalma
Camp Five that you are considering turning over to the government...
or that documents indicate you are considering turning over?”
these five sheikhs who
have been accused of some very serious offenses. We have no means as
UNAMID to try them... Down the line if ever there was a death
sentence, the President has the prerogative of mercy. All has been
discussed confidentially. I want to say how reprehensible it was
that somebody leaked the confidential communication of the government
of Sudan...endangering the lives of those in the camps. The recipient
of such a leak I think should also think twice about what they do
considering that they are endangering the lives.. We've lost 27
peacekeepers between UNAMID and UNMIS, I mean AMIS.”
saying that if the Five are
turned over, it will make UNAMID complicit in genocide, and that his
group would not cooperate with the UN any more.
supposed to have
said... I met Khalil Ibrahim yesterday, asked how about how someone
said JEM wants Gambari to resign for Tarabat Market. [He
said he] ever said that, never authorized this... I want to hear from
Abdel Wahid. I've been to Paris twice, I went to Tripoli...What
happened in New York I condemn it. Matthew I have known you a long
time, you should be careful... You are a recipient of a leaked
document... Journalism also is a responsibility. I regard you as a
friend, I used to, I regard you as a friend, I am admitting that.”
“He wants all issues resolved almost
before he comes.”
what are we supposed to do, keep people
when they saw
the leaked documents, said they were not aware that you or UNAMID
were in such discussions, and some expressed worry. How much is this
Mission overseen by the Security Council?”
am responsible to two masters. You
have the AU and you have the UN. The unity of the international
community is key to finding a solution.”
the door toward his vehicle,
“Transparency you can always say is dangerous, but I think it's
probably a good thing.”
a witness to Gambari's statements later said, adding that the lives
of the Kalma Camp Five are at risk if the UN turns them over to a
strongman already indicted for genocide and war crimes. Among other
lives put at risk, without oversight, transparency or explanation.
“Is this what the UN should be doing?”
City Press obtained and
published Gambari's draft letter to Sudan's Ali Karti, Gambari had
already expressed anger at Inner City Press' publication
as UN envoy to Myanmar.
level meeting on Sudan, Gambari didn't
argue about lives being at risk. He claimed the documents were “old”
(2009) and not newsworthy. “Just leave me alone,” he said, having
in the past declined to respond to questions sentto his UN e-mail
address by Inner City Press. Now, the claim that lives are put at
risk. Is it just opposition to transparency?
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
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
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.