Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Follow us on TWITTER


Subscribe to RSS feed

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book


Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

As Sudan's Karti Says Open to Foreign Troops, US Unclear, UN Takes No Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 20 -- On July 19 Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti said of Southern Kordofan “if there's an agreement with local leaders specifying the sending of foreign troops, it will be welcome.”

  On July 20 Inner City Press asked Sudan's Permanent Representative to the UN Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman about Karti's quote. He said Karti was referring to “international forces, not peacekeepers, not UN.”

  Inner City Press had asked the US Mission to the UN on July 19 about Karti's statement, and on July 20 asked Ambassador Susan Rice about it as she went into the Security Council. “I don't quite know what to think of that,” Rice said.

When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon came to the Security Council stakeout on Wednesday, one expected him to say something about the fighting in Southern Kordofan, and the allegations that UN peacekeepers, even before July 9, were at best inactive, or some say complicit.

 He did not; nor did his spokesman Martin Nesirky respond to request that Ban take “a question on Sudan.”

 We will have more on this, including the UN's own report critical of its peacekeepers inaction in Southern Kordofan. Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Kordofan, Who Should Call for Probe Was Issue, No One Urging Action

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- On Southern Kordofan it emerges that the fight in the Security Council on July 15 was about whether the Council should be calling for an investigation of war crimes.

  “Navi Pillay is already doing it,” a Council member told Inner City Press. “Why do we have to call for it?”

  A UN official confided that a real investigation will show misdeed by the UN peacekeepers from Egypt as well. The conflict of interest is that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was only in Sudan as a component of the peacekeeping mission UNMIS. How can the UN report on itself?

  The balance for the UN involves at least four legs: political, peacekeeping, humanitarian and human rights. And they may well be the pecking order, with human rights right at the bottom, at least under Haile Menkerios -- who flew indicted war criminal Ahmed Haroun on a UN copter -- and Ibrahim Gambari in Darfur.

What should future UN envoys do? How should they be judged? Watch this site.

Footnote: Meanwhile the Justice & Equality Movement is bragging that it teamed up with SPLM-North and fought and killed 100 Northern soldiers. It is a war, and the UN sits impotent. We will continue on this.

* * *

In S. Kordofan, UN Says It Can't Move, No Comment on Sudan Currency War

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- Amid reports of worsening violence in Southern Kordofan, not only at the UN peacekeepers there preparing to leave: even while still there, they “cannot move” even if they see war crimes committed in front of them, the UN told Inner City Press on Monday.

  Last week outgoing UN Peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy told Inner City Press that while they cannot patrol or use force, if the peacekeepers saw something happen in front of them, they would respond “as humanitarians.”

  But Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky on Monday disagreed when Inner City Press asked for confirmation of Le Roy's statement. “They cannot move,” Nesirky said, “whether you like it or not or whether we like it or not, the United Nations does not have a mandate to operate there.”

  If UN personnel present in a war zone are told by the Secretary General's spokesman that they “cannot move,” what does it mean to repeatedly say “never again”? We'll see.

  Beyond saying its peackeepers “cannot move” in Southern Kordofan, the UN didn't even have a comment on North Sudan declaring itself ready for a currency war with South Sudan, refusing to redeem billions in Sudanese pounds circulating in the South.

  Inner City Press asked for comment, from envoy Haile Menkerios or new envoy to South Sudan Hilde Johnson, but Nesirky said the UN has nothing to say.

So what is the UN's role in and on Sudan? From the UN's July 18 noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press: In South Kordofan, I understand that a lot of it rides on the Security Council mandate, but there have been over the weekend more and more reporting of bombing, and of surrendering Nuba soldiers. And so,have any of the existing peacekeepers left the area? Are they there? What are they doing? What does the UN say about events in the last 48 hours in South Kordofan?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, I think the answer remains the same as last week. Whether you like it or not or whether we like it or not, the United Nations does not have a mandate to operate there. It is something that, clearly, we had wished to be otherwise. And the Secretary-General made very clear that there should not be any vacuum or gap in our ability to monitor what is happening. But that is the case. That is the case. And as for the presence of the troops, the peacekeeping troops there, they are in the process of moving out as they are required to do under this liquidation resolution. But they have not yet fully withdrawn. That’s where we are.

Inner City Press: [inaudible -- per the UN]

Spokesperson: I think it’s very important here to look at the reality. The reality is that the Security Council passed a resolution. The reality is that the Government of Sudan did not allow the mission to continue. Did we want it to be otherwise? Yes, we did. That’s why the Secretary-General went to Khartoum. It’s regrettable that we do not have the ability to do what needs to be done.

Inner City Press: Is it Alain Le Roy, when at the stakeout, he’d said they have no mandate to use force or to patrol, but if they witness things, they will respond as humanitarians. So, have they witnessed anything? Have they responded? He seemed to say that they wouldn’t just sit entirely idly by, that there was some sort of baseline--

Spokesperson: Well, they are not in a position to do that, they are not in a position to move. They are not in a position to move, and that’s the reality. That’s the reality at the moment, okay.

Inner City Press: this just less, less physical violence, but there is this idea of a currency war that South Sudan is creating its new currency and so North Sudan has said it is going to create a new currency and won’t redeem any of the Sudanese pounds that are in circulation in South Sudan. I am just… one, I am wondering if the UN has any comment, and two is, is this the kind of issue that Menkerios would work on or who is there? It seems to be…

Spokesperson: No, I don’t think we have any comment on that at the moment. If that changes, I’ll let you know.

Inner City Press later sent the question to the spokespeople of the International Monetary Fund, which is ostensibly a part of the UN system:

We've seen the IMF Survey stating on South Sudan that 'the parties have not yet agreed on what will happen with the Sudanese pounds that are currently circulating in the South.' But the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Sudan, Badr al-Deen Mahmood, has said the north is ready for a 'currency war.' Central Bank governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir say said: 'We do not want to buy [the old currency]. We want them to surrender it to us because it is valueless.'

This is a request for the IMF's view of this 'currency war.'

The IMF has a briefing later this week. Watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -