As Sudan Admits Expulsions Are For Rape Detection, Offers Jebel
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
* * *
Darfur and Kalma Camp Belatedly Discussed, No Rice, No
Understanding? Elements to the Press Expected, Not on Relocation
August 23 -- After weeks of starvation of the Kalma Camp in
Darfur, the Security Council took up the matter for a second time on
Monday morning. Weeks ago, Alain Le Roy of the Department of
Peacekeeping Operations was charged with coming to a “full
understanding of the facts” of violence in the Kalma Camp.
understanding of any kind, much less a full one, has yet been
announced. Nor, it seems, has either the UK or US sufficiently
planned for an outcome of the Monday meeting. A non Permanent Five
member's spokesperson, on the way into the meeting, said that
informal polling showed a lack of support for even “elements to the
Representative Susan Rice was noticeably absent -- or AWOL -- while
Sudan's new Permanent Representative worked the crowd. He promised to
do a stakeout Q&A about not only the Kalma Camp, which South
Darfur authorities now seek to close down and split in two, but also
about “the new strategy.” This refers to Khartoum looking away
from the so called Doha process, which neither the JEM nor Abdul
Wahid faction rebels are taking part in.
the briefing on
Kalma Camp, outgoing humanitarian chief John Holmes and DPKO's deputy
Atul Khare walked into the Council. DPKO's spokesman told Inner City
Press that UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky had been given a written
update on Kalma before the August 20 noon briefing. But Nesirky did
not read out the update, apparently only willing to do so in response
to a question.
Khare in the Council, Susan Rice, UN update and
understanding not shown
With his announced
regime of limiting questions, this
becomes more problematic -- and emblematic, too, the UN Secretariat's
seeming cover up of civilian suffering. Watch this space.
Update of 11:30 a.m.
-- Not only Sudan's new Permanent Representative, but now the UN's Atul
Khare as well, will be doing stake outs.
Update of 11:56 A.M.
-- Inner City Press asked Sudan's Perm Rep six questions and will write
them up later. Sources tell Inner City Press there WILL be an "elements
to the press" after the meeting, calling for humanitarian access,
supporting UNAMID. But nothing on the relocation of the Kalma camp.