Questions of Expulsion of Darfur Rebels & Ocampo on
January 6 -- As the UN and Security Council engage in happy
talk about the South Sudan referendum, events in
Darfur get worse and
On January 6 Inner City Press put questions to the UN
Permanent Representatives of the US and Sudan, and to the UN itself. On
background, a number of Council sources said that the African
Union - UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur is not pushing hard enough for
access to civilians in harm's way. But the focus is on the
asked US Ambassador Susan Rice:
Press: this agreement by Salva Kiir to eject or stop the rebel
groups from Darfur from being in South Sudan. Is it a positive thing?
Does it help resolve things in Darfur, the idea that they wouldn't
have to go back? It was announced by Salva Kiir.
Our view has long been that it's vitally important that both
parties to the CPA refrain from, in any way, direct or indirectly
supporting rebel or proxy activity against the other. And so we urged
that, to the extent that that has been the case, that it cease.
if the fighting
that's hurting civilians is by the government against the rebels, how
is pushing the rebels back into Darfur going to make things better?
Inner City Press asked the UN:
Press: yesterday during a background briefing, a senior [UN]
official said — about Sudan — said of Sudan that there had been,
during the fighting in Khor Abeche in Darfur, that a Tanzanian
battalion had fed IDPs [internally displaced persons] with their own
rations and had been unable to be re-supplied due to Government
restrictions on the re-supplying, it seemed to be, of the
peacekeepers. Can you confirm that there was a time during that
fighting that even the UN peacekeepers were unable to get their
supplies in? And if so, was that ever said publicly, and — it
seems like in other countries, they complained when its peacekeepers
were being in any way blockaded. Did that take place in Khor Abeche,
as it seemed to be said yesterday?
Nesirky: Let me find out.
later there was no answer. Inner City Press asked Sudan's Permanent
Representative about Khor Abeche, if Sudan had blocked resupply of
peacekeepers. The Sudanese Ambassador again offered praise for
UNAMID, then said that when there is fighting, movement is restricted
for the peacekeepers' own good.
While top UN peaceekeeper Alain Le Roy had told the press that he
requested a boost in UN troop levels but Sudan would not agree, Sudan's
Ambassador said he was in a meeting with Le Roy on January 5 and Le Roy
made no such request. The UN should clarify this.
UN's Ban & Sudan's Ambassador, Khor Abeche
answer not shown
asked asked Sudan's Ambassador about the allegations by International
Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo that Omar al Bashir
spirited $9 billion out of the country. He replied it was
ridiculous, that Lloyds had immediately denied it.
Press reported at the time, Lloyds was in the news for violating
sanctions in Sudan and elsewhere.)
asked about the meeting on this topic between Ocampo and Susan Rice
and Alejandro Wolff at the US Mission to the UN, memorialized in a
Wikileaked cable. (Ambassador Rice has twice said she doesn't recall
the meeting.) Sudan's Ambassador said this showed that Ocampo was
“taking his orders” from sources other than the ICC. We will have
more on this.
* * *
as Bashir Blocked Food to Khor Abeche in Darfur,
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
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.