Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In Sudan, UN Mission Rebuffs Human Rights Complaints, Vets Statements With Bashir Government, Sources Say

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 1 -- The UN Mission in Sudan rebuffs human rights protection outside of normal business hours, and runs its press releases by Khartoum's “humanitarian affairs” minister, Inner City Press has been told by sources. The UN in New York has neither confirmed nor denied, despite more than 24 hours lead time

On August 31, Inner City Press asked the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, Martin Nesirky, the following:

Inner City Press: On Sudan, I wanted to ask two things about UNMIS, actually. So they’re about South Sudan and/or Khartoum. I’ve been told that in two recent incidents, for example there was the Girifna activist, the youth activists that were arrested by the Government, for being pro-democracy. That, in fact, they called the UN. They called UNMIS and asked for to be, when they were surrounded by the national NISS, and were told that UNMIS would only respond during normal office hours and in turn were arrested.

  In another incident, a Darfuri student was in the morgue, having been, it’s alleged, tortured to death. The UN was told to come to the morgue and witness this, and was told it was Friday and a holiday and would not come. So, I’m just wondering, does UNMIS have a policy of not responding to even alleged torture deaths on weekends? And why is it that Mr. [Haile] Menkerios, as much of the press corps in Khartoum and Juba are complaining, has only had a single press conference and says there’s no need to, actually. I mean that’s a separate one. People there are unable to get an answer. I guess if you can get an answer from UNMIS, if it’s true they didn’t respond and, if they didn’t, why they didn’t respond to these two very troubling human rights incidents.

Spokesperson Nesirky: I think colleagues have heard this just as I have and I’m sure we’ll be contacting UNMIS to see what kind of response there is and to what extent there is anything to these reports and, if so, what that response is.

   Twenty four hours later -- and not over a weekend, in either New York or Khartoum -- the UN had provided no response. (Inner City Press had previously asked about the Girifna activists, without yet knowing the full extent of the UN's inaction.) So at the September 1 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky's acting deputy Farhan Haq about the previous day's questions, as well as a new outrage from yet another source, that UN Humanitarian Coordinator Georg Charpentier now vets his press releases with Sudan's Humanitarian Affairs minister before releasing, late and newsless.Video here, from Minute 15:46.

UN's Georg Charpentier, checking with Sudan gov't not shown

  Haq said he forwarded this question to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which is in between departed chief John Holmes and his successor, Baroness Valerie Amos. Inner City Press went to Haq's office to ask for some belated answer to the previous day's UNMIS questions. Minutes later, Inner City Press received this (non) response, or implicit confirmation:

Subject: Your question on human rights and the UN Mission in Sudan
Date: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 1:15 PM
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply <unspokesperson-donotreply [at]>
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question at the 31 August noon briefing:

We can assure you that the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) works seven days a week.

On the question of human rights abuses, UNMIS takes the issue very seriously. We have no further comment at this time on specific cases.

  Watch this site.

* * *

At UN, As Sudan Admits Expulsions Are For Rape Detection, Offers Jebel Marra Access

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 -- After three weeks of blockade of the Kalma Camp in Darfur, the Security Council on Monday issued weak “elements to the press” calling for the camps to be demilitarized.

  Inner City Press asked Council president Vitaly Churkin of Russia if this means the Council supports the government of Sudan's demand to be included, with the UN, in patrols of the camps.

There was some discussion of that,” Churkin replied, adding that the “bottom line” is that the camps are “supposed to be demilitarized.” He said he wouldn't like to go into detail about how that would be accomplished. Video here, from Minute 1:39.

The UN-African Union envoy Ibrahim Gambari, according to at least six high profile residents of the Kalma Camp, threatened to turn them over to the government of Sudan unless they agree to and support government patrols of the camp. (The UN denies that Gambari made this threat.)

Inner City Press asked new Sudanese Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman if his goverment expects the UN Mission UNAMID to turn the six over. He said yes, that Gambari is “collaborating” with the government and that after discussing “modalities, the hand over will take place.” Video here, from Minute 5:43.

Inner City Press asked him about the expulsion of UN officials from West Darfur, and about the exclusion of the UN and NGOs from Jebel Marra. Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman said that if anyone violates their agreement with the government, measure will be taken.

Inner City Press asked, Was this for collecting signatures for an anti-hunger petition, and distributing rape detection kits? Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman admitted, “Most probably this is the accusation directed to them.” Video here, from Minute 8:18.

Strangely, when Inner City Press asked if it isn't precisely the UN's job to distribute rape protection kits, Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman said that while the government is also concerned, it will not acccept that “some want to promote this culture.” What - the culture of rape detection?

The UN, meanwhile, has refused to comment on why its personnel were told to leave. The UN Spokesperson's office says it is still under discussion, while OCHA says it is not authorized to speak.

On the Jebel Marra exclusion, Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman blamed it on the Abdel Wahid faction and the “instability” it causes. Inner City Press asked if the UN is free to enter Jebel Marra. Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman said it was preferred the UN coordinate with the government.

Will you escort them?” Inner City Press asked. “Sure,” replied Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman, adding that his government is coordinating with UNAMID on the “modalities.” Video here, from Minute 1:35.

UN's Gambari in El Fasher, Kalma Six and Jebel Marra not shown

   Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman brings a new style to Sudan diplomacy at the UN. He thanked Churkin for this elements to the press, and afterwards asked Inner City Press, “How did I do?” There is talk of a dinner for UN correspondents, at the Sudan Mission to the UN.

Inner City Press told a representative of the US Mission, if you want your voice heard Susan Rice or in her frequent absences her deputies need to speak at the stakeout, as Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman did twice on Monday. But neither Rice nor the UN's Atul Khare appeared. It was Russia's Churkin and Sudan's Daffa-Alla Alhag Ali Osman, who thanked Churkin for his press statement. Only at the UN.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2010 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -