Panel on Sudan Vote Said “Independent from UNMIS,”
Which Pays It $4.3 M
By Matthew Russell Lee
October 29 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named a
three person panel on the South Sudan referendum, it was said that
the panel would be independent from the UN Mission in Sudan, UNMIS.
Inner City Press asked panel members Benjamin Mkapa, Antonio
Monteiro, Bhojraj Pokharel and their staff “are being compensated
or having their expenses paid,” UNMIS spokesman Ashraf Eissa
replied that “the SG's Panel is a totally independent panel from
UNMIS. It reports directly to the SG in NY. The Panel Spokesperson
can be contacted for such information.”
some delay, the Panel Spokesperson told Inner City Press that “the
Panel, including the salaries of its staff, is being funded from the
budget of UNMIS.”
then about the panel being independent from UNMIS, if its members and
their staff are being paid by UNMIS? How can the UN and UNMIS be
credible, including in reporting on troops build ups on the border,
if they call something independent from UNMIS when it is getting paid
fact, in the Secretariat's current budget submission A/65/509 it is
said in Paragraphs 9-10 that
Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan has been
established. This monitoring body will be an instrument for building
trust in the process and acceptance of the outcomes of the
referenda.... The Panel is independent from the rest of UNMIS, to
distinguish it from the Mission and its role in the implementation of
the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other mandated activities,
including support for the referenda and planning for the following
Panel, which has been established for a period of six months,
effective September 2010, involves 41 temporary positions, including
one Under-Secretary-General and two Assistant Secretary-General
positions comprising the Panel itself, supported by 38 international
staff (1 D-1, 6 P-5, 21 P-4 and 10 P-3). Given the urgent need for
these additional staff, 41 temporary positions have been approved for
a period of six months, on an exceptional basis, to enable the Panel
to commence its operations. The cost is estimated at $4.3 million,
including $4.1 million in staff related costs and $0.2 million in
can one square this statement that “the Panel is independent from
the rest of UNMIS” with the later admission that the Panel members
and their staff are paid by UNMIS?
City Press, in writing on October 28, asked both the Panel Spokesman
and Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky. By noon on October 29,
neither had responded, or even confirmed receipt.
At the October 29
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky how the Panel could be
described -- as in the Secretariat's budget submission, above -- as
independent from UNMIS, if its members and staff are being piad by
UNMIS. Video here
from Minute 12:26.
Panel - Monteiro,
Pokharel - $4.3 M & independence from UNMIS not shown
replied that “it's a question of financing and funding... at the
end of the day its by [the UN Department of Political Affairs] that
this is being handled.”
City Press asked why then isn't DPA paying the Panel members and
staff, and how can the UN say the Panel is “independent” from
UNMIS if its members and staff are being paid by UNMIS?
cut Inner City Press off, saying “Next question.” But the
questions will continue. Watch this site.
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Genocide Adviser Refuses to Answer on Sudan, Defers to Khartoum PR
By Matthew Russell Lee
October 28 -- When the UN's Special Adviser on the
Prevention of Genocide hosts an event about “Dangerous Speech on
the Road to Genocide,” it seems fair to ask about Sudan, the only
country subject to an indictment for genocide by the International
Criminal Court -- especially
with the Adviser is from Sudan, and the
UN helps produce and sell his books about Sudan.
when Inner City Press asked Francis Deng and his co-presenter Dr.
Susan Benesch for this opinions of genocide and Sudan, and the place
of media strategies in this, the UN's Deng refused to comment, and
instead deferred to the Ambassador of Sudan, Dafaala Al Haj Ali
Osman, who ridiculed the ICC's genocide charge by only partially
quoting the definition of genocide.
Neither Deng nor Dr. Benesch
offered any response to Sudan, including the misquoting of the
Inner City Press asked its question, Dr. Benesch said, “Mr. Lee
asked Dr. Deng about Sudan and about Sri Lanka and since he's far
more expert over those topics, I would defer to him to answer.”
Deng in turn deferred, to the representative of the very government
accused of genocide. Deng said, “I think we should restrict our
questions and comments on the subject of today's lecture.” Video here,
from Minute 57:08.
the event was about genocide and media, a question about genocide and
the Sudanese media seemed well within the subject. Inner City Press
emphasized this, so that Deng couldn't use fairness as a basis for
not answering noting the presence of Sudan's Ambassador in the room.
ask him,” Deng said. Video here,
from Minute 57:08.
Dafaala Al Haj Ali Osman took the floor, and made a presentation he
later admonished Inner City Press to “reflect.” He began by
saluting “my fellow citizen” Francis Deng, then launched into
Inner City Press, video here
from Minute 58:
the fact that Professor Susan has answered you [that] this is out of
the context of this workshop or lecture, I will try to give you a few
glimpses, how this is related to Sudan. I think you have read this
pamphlet it talks about a definition of genocide, 'the deliberate and
systematic extermination of an ethnic, racial, religious or national
full quote, relegated by the UN to the inside of its pamphlet, is
the “intent to destroy, in whole OR IN PART, a national ethnical,
racial or religious group.']
Deng (2d from right) on a UN Panel, answers on Sudan
and books not shown
Ambassador, using the half-quote of the Genocide Convention,
we want to apply it to Darfur we find a rebellion against central
authority... they killed Army people and Police... I think any
student of law would know that the central authority or the President
is obliged by the constitution of the land to react to put an end to
a military operation, to establish peace and security.. To share some
information not unveiled for one reason nor another, the Prosecutor
General of ICC in his accusation that the President has committed
genocide mentions three tribes. For your information 45 individuals
or more of those three tribes are members of the National Parliament
in Sudan and more than that number are Parliament members in the 25
parliaments in the regional states of Sudan. The federal Minister of
Justice in Sud belongs to one of these tribes. I really don't follow
you, if it really a genocide, how would the President spare all these
people, and not exterminate them?”
survival (for now) of 45 people disproves genocide. One would
have expected Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser for the Prevention of
Genocide to have spoken up against such an interpretation. But he did
not. As Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky on
October 27, it is unclear when Deng is working and speaking for the
UN, and when he is not. From the transcript:
Press: This is also on Sudan, but it’s sort of on the UN. There was an
event yesterday held by DPI [Department of Public
Information] in the North Lawn Building called Event, New Vision, it
was about Sudan and it had Mr. [Francis] Deng speaking at some length
about books that he has written. It had books for sale outside the
room and had the host, the Ambassador of Sudan. But what had led me
to wonder is, I know Mr. Deng is the Special [Adviser] on prevention
of genocide, but it seems… I’ve heard from people that these
books are written on UN time; that this is actually one of the things
that he does in his UN office. And so, I just, I am unclear of what
to make of the book, of the books that he produces. If they are
created on UN time and with UN money, are they UN views or is there
some, what are topics is his office working on in terms of…?
Did you attend it yesterday?
Press: I did attend it.
And you asked him?
Press: And I asked him afterwards what other countries he is
working on prevention of genocide; he said, “We don’t like to be
country-specific.” But it seems like it’s hard to prevent
genocide unless you name countries.
Well, this is obviously something that Mr. Deng can comment on. I
don’t have anything on that.
Press: What are rules, I guess I am saying, for UN, if a UN
official spends his time in the UN building while on UN time writing
books? Does the UN own the copyright?
That’s what you are saying. Or you said, “Some people say”. That is not
an established fact, Matthew. You shouldn’t then turn
it into an established fact. You said, “Some people say”.
Press: Okay. If you can look into it and find that no staff
member’s time is entirely…
As I said, it sounds like you had the chance to ask Mr. Deng
Press: But also, was, is the book being sold…
Any other questions? Yes, Khaled?
Permanent Five member of the Security Council told Inner City Press
on the morning of October 28 that these “Deng book questions”
were good. So while Deng as Special Adviser on the Prevention of
Genocide may have refused to answer the question genocide and Sudan,
maybe these questions about Deng and the UN will be answered. Watch
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