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Once Ocampo Told Susan Rice of Bashir's $9 B in Lloyds, What Was Done?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 20 -- Sudan's Omar al Bashir has stashed $9 billion overseas, in Lloyds, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has told last year by International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

  The March 2009 meeting was memorialized in a cable Wikileaked over the weekend, see below.

  One wonders what Ambassador Rice did with this information. While Lloyds responded that it is unaware of such Bashir accounts, in January 2009 US authorities fined Lloyds $350 million for concealing the origins of wire transfers from Sudan, Iran and Libya in violation of US sanctions against the countries.

  A cynic might surmise that Ocampo chose to name Lloyds to US Ambassador Rice because of this US fine of the company, only two months before his meeting with the US Mission.

  But Lloyds so recent fine, for concealing the source of money from Sudan, would have given Rice and the Obama Administration leverage to get Bashir's accounts confirmed or denied by Lloyds at that time. Did they?

Susan Rice & UN's Ban, action on ICC report of Bashir #9 B not shown

  At issue is not only corruption by a leader indicted for war crimes and genocide: under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, oil profits were to be split between North and Southern Sudan. Southerns have alleged that the Bashir government had improperly kept and hid revenue.

  Could this have been the money? Or just a story Ocampo tried to float? What did the US Mission to the UN, State Department and Obama administration do to find out? Watch this site.

Footnote: the cable may cause major problems for Ocampo with the ICC. This explains Ocampo's fast December 18 press release putting his spin on the cable. If the Court does not hold a hearing on it, credibility will again be at issue. What do the Court's supporters have to say? The holiday seasons is no excuse.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009, 22:17

C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000306 EO 12958 DECL: 03/23/2019



Classified By: Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff, for reasons 1.4 b/d

1. (C) International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Ambassadors Rice and Wolff on March 20 that Sudanese President Bashir needed to be isolated. Ocampo suggested if Bashir's stash of money were disclosed (he put the figure at possibly $9 billion), it would change Sudanese public opinion from him being a "crusader" to that of a thief. Ocampo reported Lloyd's Bank in London might be holding or knowledgeable of the whereabouts of his money. Ocampo suggested simply exposing that Bashir had illegal accounts would be enough to turn the Sudanese against him, "as with Pinochet."

2. (C) Ocampo said Bashir invents conflict to create a better negotiating position, and thought Bashir was using the expulsion of the NGOs to divert attention away from his arrest warrant. Ocampo suggested the U.S. and the international community also needed to push for Bashir's arrest to isolate him. Ocampo likened Bashir's situation to "a bleeding shark being surrounded by other sharks," with no loyalty, only greed, motivating those competing for power. By promoting the possibility of Bashir's arrest, Bashir would be further marginalized within Sudan's ruling elite, Ocampo thought.

3. (C) Ocampo suggested it would be beneficial to reassure China that its access to oil would not be jeopardized. If China believed Bashir was becoming a destabilizing influence, Ocampo said China might be more open to his removal as long as his replacement would guarantee support for China's economic interests.


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Darfur Seems An Afterthought In Ban Ki-moon's UN, Defense of Gambari, Withholding of Massacre Reports

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 17 -- “Mister Gambari has been working very hard with the Sudanese government,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Press on Friday of his envoy in Darfur.

  Inner City Press had asked why the UN peacekeepers under Ibrahim Gambari's UNAMID command did not leave their base when dozens of civilians were murdered in Tabarat in September, and whether Ban would at least make UNAMID's report on the killings public.

  “We will have to see,” Ban answered. But UNAMID has answered requests for copies of the report by saying it is up to the Secretary General.

Until the very end of Ban's end of year press conference, run by acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, there had been no questions or answers about Sudan, where the UN has two $1 billion peacekeeping operations. After a protest, Haq allowed the Sudan question from Inner City Press:

On Darfur, you said it was one of your priorities. As the year ends, the government of Omar al Bashir is attacking the one rebel group it supposed made peace with, the Minni Minawi group, UNAMID has no access to Jebel Marra and ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo says that UNAMID doesn't report attacks on civilians because it is threatened by the government. You summoned Ibrahim Gambari to meet you... about the massacres in Tabarat, after the UN peackeeepers didn't even leave their base in Tawila to do to the site. Even the report on these Tabarat killings is being withheld. What will you do differently in 2011?

  To this Darfur question, Ban responded largely about the Southern Sudan referendum. He said, “The situation in Sudan will be one of the top concerns of international community starting January 9... There are sticking issues, to establish a commission in Abyei.” Video here, from Minute 51:31.

  After that Ban turned briefing to Darfur, saying that “the security situation in Darfur a serious concern. The recent bombing by the Sudanese government of the north and south boundary of southern sudan... [We are] making demarches that the Sudanese government should be cooperative. This afternooon I meet the Minister for Peace and the CPA for Southern Sudan to discuss this matter.”

Of the so-called Doha process, Ban answered that the “peace negotiation has not been progressing well. Except that government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement LJM have agreed to a negotiation text. That can be done, but without participation of all other rebel movements -- JEM, SLA and Abdel Wahid -- without their participation this negotiation will not be sustainable. Joint mediator Bassole is asserting his best efforts.”

Then Ban defended Ibrahim Gambari, saying that “Mister Gambari has been working very hard with the Sudanese government... to have freedom of movement of UN peacekeepers.”

  This implies that the peacekeepers in Tawila for example tried to go to the Tabarat or Tabra site but were stopped by the government. But internal UN communications obtained by Inner City Press show that the UN Peacekeepers told relatives of those being killed and injured that they had come to late, to come back in the morning.

UN's Ban & Gambari, report on Tabarat massacre not shown

Now the report on the incident is being withheld, with UNAMID saying it is up to the Secretary General, who when asked would not released, instead speaking of “consultations.”

Inner City Press also asked if the report on Sri Lanka war crimes inquiries by Ban's three person Panel of Experts will be made public. Ban did not answer this either. Watch this site.

Footnote: There was widespread dissatisfaction in the UN press corp about how acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq ran the press conference, and about lack of question and answer opportunities with Ban Ki-moon throughout 2010. Ban said he will make an announcement in early 2011 about seeking a second term as S-G. We'll see.

* * *

At UN, Sudan Ignores Finding That It Bombed, Council Largely Ignores Darfur

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 16 -- Fighting continued in Darfur on Thursday, as the UN Security Council met about Sudan, mostly South Sudan. The Council issued a press statement about the secession referendum scheduled for January 9, including condemning Khartoum's bombings in Western Bahr al Gazal State.

  Outside the Council, Inner City Press asked the Sudanese State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Mutrif Siddiq about the bombings, and his government's fighting with the Minni Minawai faction. It's not with the whole faction, he quickly said, naming a subcommander who he said tried to “collect taxes after the harvest.” Video here.

  The fact remains that Minni Minawi, the sole Darfur rebel to sign a deal with Khartoum, has walked away from it. So what does the "Doha process" with the LJM really mean?

Despite UN confirmation of the bombing, Sudanese minister Mutrif Siddiq would only concede that it was under investigation, as if the investigation weren't finished. Inner City Press later asked Council president Susan Rice about this.

  She replied, "you heard Under-Secretary- General LeRoy in the Council speak very plainly to that as he also did in consultations."

  Southern Sudan's Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement came to the stakeout. Inner City Press asked about the bombing and Pagan Amum said it had already been condemned. He called for a peace agreement in Darfur. This seems a long way off.

   Inner City Press asked about comments attributed to Benjamin Mkapa that “some Southerns” were intimidating other Southerns in the North to not register to vote in the referendum.

  Pagan Amum denied that, saying that instead it was the National Congress Party which threatened Southerns with harassment if they voted for secession. Video here.

SPLM's Pagan Amum w/ Alain Le Roy, registration of Southerners in North not shown

  Inner City Press asked Mkapa himself who he blamed for the low registration in the North. He said that it was understandable if Southerners who have lived in the North for years didn't register. Video here. Then he was gone.

Footnote: The International Organization on Migration gave a press conference on Thursday as well. Inner City Press, along with questions about Sudanese refugees returned from Israel and elsewhere, asked about IOM's role in the Sudan referendum. It's in their law, was the answer. IOM was asked to run the process in North Sudan but declined.

  IOM says they didn't choose the sites in the eight diaspora countries. But are they observing for fairness? Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

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.

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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

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