Dodges Kordofan Mass Graves Photos, Talks of Statement on Access
July 15 -- Amid reports of
mass graves in Sudan's Southern
Kordofan state, the UN Security Council scheduled a briefing by UN
humanitarian chief Valerie Amos on Friday morning. The session was
behind closed doors, and Khartoum's Deputy Permanent Representative
buzzed around outside, trying like the Press to glean what was said
asked a number of exiting diplomats if the satellite images said to
be of mass graves were discussed. No, three diplomats said, including
one from a delegation responsible for calling the briefing.
came out at 11:15, Inner City Press asked her about the satellite
photos: “do you believe them?”
said, “These are allegations that have to be investigated, in my
do you have
access, Inner City Press asked, in order to investigate?
“Access is a
huge problem,” Amos replied. “We've been asking since the sixth
of June, we have not had a positive response from the Government of
Sudan.” She said some NGOs got into their offices in Kadugli, but
have no more access than that.
said the UN is
being told to deliver aid only “through national NGOs, but they do
not have capacity.”
Council, it has been noted, used Chapter Seven of the UN Charter to
authorize what it called the protection of civilians in Libya. Some
wonder, why not move in that direction here? Is it less important?
of the Security Council,” Amos told Inner City Press. Watch this
the briefing and these questions, Council members indicated
that a press statement on Sudan is being worked on at the experts'
level and will issue. Edmond Mulet of Peacekeeping told Inner City
Press he briefing the Council on the progress of deploying the
Ethiopian troops in Abyei.
Ivan Simonovic of the Office of the
High Commissioner on Human Rights came out. He said to “wait until
the noon briefing” to ask questions. Sources tell Inner City Press
he attended the consultations but didn't say anything. Ah, human
* * *
of Mass Graves in Kordofan, UN Won't Back Its
14 -- With the UN peacekeepers in Southern Kordofan
staying in their bases, unable to patrol, there's documentation of
mass graves being discovered and of continued bombing, the latter said
to be reported by the UN. But by whom in the UN?
the UN has said,
UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy on Wednesday
confirmed, that the UN Mission in Sudan “is over,” and force can
no longer be used, even to protect civilians.
chief humanitarian Valerie Amos told Inner City Press that the future
of the UN country team in Sudan is being negotiated with Khartoum. If
the UN has told peacekeepers in Kordofan to stand down due to lack of
host country consent, the same would seem to apply to all parts of
the UN system.
July 13 Inner
City Press asked
spokesman Martin Nesirky about the bombing in
There are these reports of continued bombing in Kadugli
and South Kordofan. It says the UN
has reported, I guess to BBC,
that these bombs are falling. One, can you confirm that? And two,
this would seem to indicate that the UN is at least in a position to
report what they hear or see. I am just trying to figure out what
the UN presence in Kordofan is going to be between now and the end of
August. Is there going to be some kind of at least visual
observation and reporting?
it depends on what you mean by the UN, Matthew,
because there is a UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) which is now being
liquidated, because that’s what has to happen. And there are other
members of the UN family, so to speak, who would also presumably be
in the area, too. That’s the first point. The second is that I
would need to check with my colleagues to see whether they have any
further information on the bombings that you have referred to. But
we’ve made clear, I have made clear from here, that the UN Mission
in Sudan is in now the phase of winding down. It no longer has a
mandate to operate. It’s not what we wanted, but it is a fact. And so,
therefore, it is not possible for the Mission — the
previous Mission — to be active in patrolling and so on. I would
need to find out if these reports are correct and where they emanate
a full 19
hours later, Nesirky had not provide any information in this regard.
Meanwhile satellite imagery was released, not by the UN, showing mass
graves in Kordofan.
July 13, the
UN's Alain Le Roy said that peacekeepers still could and would
respond as humanitarians while in Kordofan. What do they do now?
Watch this site.
* * *
Touts South Sudan, UN Can't Act in Kordofan, Darfur
13 -- As South
was recommended for UN membership
by the Security Council on Wednesday, there were differing views on
the border fighting in Southern Kordofan and ongoing conflict in
Darfur in Western Sudan.
asked US Permanent Representative Susan Rice about the future of Blue
Nile and Southern Kordofan states, which she had mentioned in her
remarks inside the Council, and about Darfur, which she had not.
in Southern Kordofan, “the UN forces are now by necessity having to
withdraw, their ability to act and implement their prior mandate no
with the UN's responses to Inner City Press for two days
its predominantly Egyptian peacekeepers in Southern Kordofan cannot
patrol or use force.
peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy,
when Inner City Press asked him later on Wednesday, added that if the
peacekeepers see someone being killed, they will react as
humanitarians. See video here.
Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, for his part, after saying
that North and South Sudan
are two houses with a single extended though perhaps divorced family
in them, told Inner City Press that the UNMIS mandate is over and the
peacekeepers must leave. Video here.
Khartoum would never block
humanitarian access, even as one of his ministers threatens to halt
the operations of NGOs in South Kordofan and Darfur.
in the Council speeches by the United Kingdom and Portugal,
for example, but not by the US. Asked about this omission, Ambassador
are very much still focused on the crisis in Darfur. It's the subject
of deep concern to the United States, to President Obama, and all in
our government. We have not let up in our focus and attention, even
as we have worked very hard to support the independence of South
Sudan and successful implementation of the CPA. We will have ample
time this month in the Council to give the attention that is
necessary, and that will remain sustained attention to Darfur, as we
renew the UNAMID mandate.”
the US urging the rebel movements in Darfur to sign a
peace “agreement” that most of the groups, from the Justice and
Equality Movement to the SLA faction of Abdel Wahid al Nur, have
rejected. We will have more on this.
Riek Machar in UNSC July 13, Susan Rice at right,
Darfur not shown
Ibrahim remains trapped in Tripoli despite requests that
the UN help to get him out, Abdel Wahid al Nur is in France, which
sent to speak in the Council its new minister for French citizens
overseas, the retired judo champion David Douillet, who spoke
apparently only to the French media and not at the stakeout.
Republic of South Sudan's vice president Riek Machar came out to
speak, and when Inner City Press asked him about this government's
relations with SPLM-North in Southern Kordofan, he replied mostly
about Abyei and the requirement for a referendum there. Video here.
steps is the arrival of Ethiopian peacekeepers -- without a human
rights monitoring mechanism -- who will begin arriving, according to
Le Roy, on July 20 via El Obeid.
history, to put it mildly, between Machar and John Garang,
called the father of South Sudan, Inner City Press asked Machar how
he thought Garang would view the developments.
Machar said, citing a Garang statement quoted in South Africa's
speech to the Council. And then he and his large delegation were
gone, waiting for UN General Assembly admission on July 14. We'll be
Mission's transcript of Ambassador Rice's stakeout:
On Sudan, you said in your statement that, "the
Government of Sudan has wavered in its commitment to this June 28th
agreement about South Kordofan." It seems like they've actually
kind of totally broken it. They've said that they don't stand behind
it. What's your understanding of where it stands? What can the UN
peacekeepers that are there do even pending an agreement? And also
Darfur, which I didn't see mentioned -- what does today's development
in South Sudan mean for the people in Darfur? Is there a loss of
focus? What are the implications for the conflict in Darfur?
of all, with respect to Southern Kordofan, the Government
of Sudan did sign an agreement. And it would be most unfortunate if
they formally reneged on that agreement. We've been concerned to see
that senior leaders in Khartoum have expressed reservations and
concerns about that agreement. It was an important step, and our
view is that it ought to be respected and followed by an immediate
agreement on a cessation of hostilities. I also mentioned in my
statement the United States' deep regret that the Government of Sudan
has compelled the withdrawal of UNMIS forces from the North, and this
will have significant implications for the protection of civilians
and humanitarian access in Southern Kordofan. As the UN forces are
now by necessity having to withdraw, their ability to act and
implement their prior mandate no longer pertains. And they are in the
mode of withdrawal so they are not going to-unless the government of
Sudan changes its mind-have the ability to do what we think is very
important for them to do.
Darfur, we are very much still focused on the crisis in
Darfur. It's the subject of deep concern to the United States, to
President Obama, and all in our government. We have not let up in our
focus and attention, even as we have worked very hard to support the
independence of South Sudan and successful implementation of the CPA.
We will have ample time this month in the Council to give the
attention that is necessary, and that will remain sustained attention
to Darfur, as we renew the UNAMID mandate. And certainly, our efforts
on behalf of the people of Darfur continue.
see. Watch this site.