Silent as Bashir Blocked Food to Khor Abeche in Darfur,
January 5 -- The Sudanese administration of Omar al Bashir
blocked even food resupply to UN peacekeepers near Khor Abeche in
South Darfur last month, a senior UN official off-handedly told the
background briefing about the upcoming South Sudan referendum, Inner
City Press asked the senior UN official -- who insisted on being
identified that way -- about the lack of human rights reporting by
the African Union - UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur under the command
of the UN's Ibrahim Gambari.
official responded that a forthcoming UNAMID report, apparently after
the referendum begins, will document restrictions on access and
movement imposed by the government and the Darfur rebels.
The official said
there have been 39,000 additional IDPs since the Security Council's
visit in October 2010.
the Tanzanian batallion for using their own food supplies to feed
displaced people in Khor Abeche, and running out of food due to
governmental prohibitions on resupply. The official said, "They were not able
to be resupplied for days on end because the government was restricting
our movements of our supply trucks."
why wasn't this reported in real time by UNAMID? By contrast, last
month both Ban Ki-moon and Alain Le Roy speaking about Cote d'Ivoire
openly invited other members states to help break any blockade by
Gbagbo forces on peacekeeper resupply. But in Darfur, the UN and
Ibrahim Gambari stayed quiet.
referendum, Inner City Press asked the official about the status of
oil and water sharing talks, the division and possible forgiving of
Sudan's foreign debt, and the citizenship rights of Southerners in
official said that citizenship has still not be agreed on, predicting
this will have to wait for a package deal including Abyei and the
delayed popular consultation in Blue Nile state and South Kordofan.
admitted that the UN is not much involved in the important debt talks
-- Inner City Press has previously asked the IMF about this -- and
said that water is as important as oil in Sudan.
Press asked the UN official about South Sudan's announcement it will
push out Darfur rebels. The UN official praised this, naming in
particular Minni Minnawi "who has been in Juba." It was the Minni
Minnawi group the government was attacking in Khor Abeche.
UN's Menkerios in Khartoum, praise of Bashir after
Khor Abeche not shown
hook up from UNMIS itself was not held. Inner City Press asked the
senior UN official to explain UNMIS
chief Haile Menkerios' praised of
Omar al Bashir's “courage” and leadership.
official essentially repeated the praise, calling Bashir's recent
statements unexpectedly positive. He noted that "Senator Kery made some
positive remarks." But what about the outstanding
indictments for genocide and war crimes? Watch this site.
* * *
Confirms Darfur Rape, Council Claims IDP Camp Arrests “Addressed”
January 5 -- Sudan will be the issue most frequently
discussed by the UN Security Council in January, but the
deteriorating situation in Darfur is becoming an afterthought with
very little follow-up.
program of work was confirmed Wednesday by Council president Ivan
Barbalic of Bosnia, with three days of briefings about Sudan,
beginning January 6 with a briefing by Benjamin Mkapa and the UN's
Haile Menkerios, who on New Years Eve praised Omar al Bashir for his
“courage” and leadership.
under indictment for genocide and war crimes in Darfur did not seem
to be of concern to Menkerios or the UN Secretariat, whose spokesman
Martin Nesirky on Wednesday spoke of the release of a kidnapped UN
peacekeeper in Darfur “courtesy” of Bashir's government.
belatedly answered a question Inner City Press had been asking since
last month, about two
reported rapes by Bashir's forces in Tawila,
near UN peacekeepers under Ibrahim Gambari's command. Nesirky
a long read out, concluding that one rape was been verified -- but
not two! We will have more on this.
In Darfur, protection and follow through not shown
asked Barbalic about Bashir's arrest of three people who met with the
Security Council delegation to Darfur in October 2010, of which
Barbalic was a part. While Barbalic paused to say how moved the visit
had made him -- he said “we can only cry aloud permanently” -- he
claimed that the arrests have somehow “been addressed.” That is
not the case.
will follow all
three Sudan briefings at the Council -- but will Darfur remain just
an afterthought? Barbalic said that Southern Sudan and Darfur are
connected. Most recently, Salva Kiir of the SPLM has reportedly
agreed to push all Darfur rebels -- and refugees? -- out of South
Sudan. Watch this site.