As US Says No Abyei Referendum Jan 9, UN Silent, on Darfur
December 8 -- On Abyei, the day after US State Department
spokesman PPJ Crowley told the Press “we have a recognition that
that referendum will not go forward on January 9th,” the UN on
December 8 declined to join in the recognition.
had asked Crowley about Sudan, including the referenda and bombings,
regarding which the SPML has asked for an investigation by the UN
Security Council, led this month by the US.
answer about the bombings, but called the South Sudan referendum
among the most important issues of the first half of 2011. He added
on “the situation on Abyei... we have a recognition that that
referendum will not go forward on January 9th, but we continue to
encourage the parties to work on a solution to Abyei.”
December 8 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if the UN and its Mission in
Sudan UNMIS agree or disagree with the US assessment.
woodenly repeated that Abyei is important to the UN, just as he has
from the UN Mission in Darfur, UNAMID, about
looking into Khartoum's actions and statement, in order to speak with
the Bashir government behind the scene.
fact, the lone
Darfur rebel group which signed a deal with Bashir has now broken it
off and had its offices raided. UNAMID won't confirm this. Inner
City Press is informed that when asked for the results of its inquiry
into peacekeepers' inaction while civilians were killed in Tabarat
near Tawilla in early September, UNAMID said there is no report for
Wednesday called this a "long question" -- it has
been a long story, including a claim by Ban Ki-moon himself that he
was taking the killings and protection of civilians by UNAMID
seriously, ending in a whimper: no public report.
Also, the US
Mission has still not answered questions put to it last week and on
Tuesday about murder and bombings in Sudan, including a call by the
SPLM for a Security Council investigation...
US' Crowley, Abyei referendum not shown
is the US'
transcript of December 7 Q&A with PJ Crowley on Sudan (and Yemen)
Press: Thanks a lot. Matthew Lee, Inner City Press. I wanted to
ask about Yemen. You were asked, I think back on December 15th, if
the U.S. was involved in any military operations in Yemen. And you
said no. And obviously, the cables have sort of confirmed air strikes
at least as early as December 17th. I understand maybe you’re going
to say that you – the question was only about the Houthis. Can you
just say – I guess is it –
Well, in fact, the question was about the Houthis.
Press: Does that –
I went back. I was asked about this earlier, and I went back
to the transcript of last year. And the question started with the
Houthis claiming that the United States had bombed them, and the
answer to that question was no. Remember, in Yemen, there are
multiple conflicts, and thankfully, at least for the moment, the
conflict between the Yemeni Government and the Houthis has been
resolved – or not resolved, but it has been arrested. But there is
a conflict between the Yemeni Government and al-Qaida in the Arabian
Peninsula. If you go back to a number of cases where we have been
asked about particular issues, we have given a different answer that
the United States supports Yemen’s counterterrorism efforts without
being specific. So I understand that there is some confusion over how
I answered that question, but I answered that question in the context
of whether the United States was involved in the Yemeni action
against the Houthis, and the answer to that was and remains no.
Press: And also on Sudan, I wanted to ask you – there’s some
who are saying that the government started bombing – has been
bombing in Darfur for some weeks and has actually now twice bombed
South Sudan. So some people are wondering why the U.S. – obviously,
the focus is on the CPA and the referendum, but is the U.S. thinking
of naming an envoy, as some of the activists and NGO groups have
said? What is the U.S. view of – are things going – what’s this
bombing mean? Does it mean that the government is trying to stop the
referendum? And what does – during your Security Council
I’m delighted that you brought up Sudan, and I think
probably working off of the question of accomplishments in 2010, we
can look to probably what might well be the most significant story
that we face in 2011. We are now 30 days away from a referendum about
the future of Sudan. We are encouraged by the voter registration that
has been ongoing in preparation for that referendum. And we have made
it clear to the parties that their future relationship with the
United States depends on working cooperatively towards a successful
and credible referendum on January 9th.
depending on the outcome of that referendum and the will of
the people of South Sudan, who through the CPA have earned the right
to have a voice in their future, we have made it clear to leaders in
Khartoum and Juba that they must cooperate in the post-referendum
phase. And should the people of South Sudan vote for independence,
it’ll be incumbent upon them to work effectively and cooperatively
leading to the creation of a new nation of South Sudan next July.
arguably the most compelling – one of the most – if not the
most compelling story that the world will face in the first half of
2011. And we understand the risks quite compellingly that if this
goes well, it has the ability to transform and have a very positive
effect on many challenges around the region, not the least of which
is the situation in Darfur. And if it goes badly, we understand that
there is a significant risk of a return to civil war. We are doing
everything in our power, working, again, cooperatively with the
international community, to try to make sure that the referendum on
South Sudan moves ahead constructively.
to press the parties with respect to the situation on Abyei.
I think we have a recognition that that referendum will not go
forward on January 9th, but we continue to encourage the parties to
work on a solution to Abyei. Our Special Envoy Scott Gration has just
– is returning to the region today and will be engaged over the
next several days in Khartoum, in Juba, in Darfur. He will also be in
Doha where the Qataris have led a very effective process to garner
international support for this effort. So this is something that we
have been committed to since the Obama Administration came into
office, following up on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was
negotiated during the last American administration, and we are
committed to do everything in our power to see this referendum come
off peacefully and credibly.
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