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In Darfur UN on Flying Wali, Not Chad Copters & UN's War Criminal Interactions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 19 -- Amid reports that the Chadian military has entered Sudan's Darfur, in conjunction with an assault on rebels led by Sudan's Defense Minister Abdel Raheem Mohammed Hussein, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Inner City Press on November 18 asked the UN for confirmation.

  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's acting deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq had near the beginning of the briefing mentioned Darfur: "the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) facilitated the travel of the Wali, or Governor, of Central Darfur and the State Security Committee, yesterday. They were accompanied by a team of UNAMID officials to Um Dukhun to mediate between the two tribes.. the Salamat and the Misseriya."

  But Haq had not mentioned Chad, or the wider military crackdown in Darfur. So Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: you gave a readout on Darfur, there are reports of Chad soldiers crossing into Darfur in some capacity and actually some of them being killed, in fighting in Darfur. Since there is a UN mission there, one, can you confirm the entry of Chadian troops and what is their role in the tribal fighting that the UN is trying to mediate and flying people to?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Haq: We’ll check with UNAMID

  Twenty four hours went by when at 12:09 the next day, once the next noon briefing has already started (so no research for any follow-up questions could be done), Haq's office provided this:

Subject: Your question on Darfur
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]
Cc: Farhan Haq [at]

Regarding your question on Darfur at yesterday’s Noon Briefing, we have the following from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations:

As Um Dukhun is located very close to the Chadian border, Chad-Sudan joint border patrol forces were the first to intervene and disengage the fighting tribesmen, when the conflict between Misseriya and Salamat erupted in the town. Chad and Sudan have an official agreement to jointly patrol their border.

UNAMID is trying to confirm if there were Chadian soldiers among the casualties.”

  Compare this response by the UN and UN Peacekeeping, led by Herve Ladsous who met with ICC-indicted Omar al Bashir in July with nothing to show for it, to reports that

"Chad helicopters struck at a rebel camp in Tissi, close to the Sudan-Chad border. The base under attack is reported to belong to the Union of Forces for Resistance (UFR). Earlier in the year the rebel group threatened the government that they would reach for their arms after an extended wait for peace talks to be initiated. In a separate attack Chad-Sudan troops are reported to have sustained casualties while battling Salamat tribal fighters in Darfur today. The number of casualties is still unknown. The tribal militia is also reported to have sustained 'heavy' casualties during the battle in Umm Duukhun."

  So how could the UN's billion dollar mission in Darfur have nothing to say about a neighboring country conducting helicopter attacks, instead focusing on its own flying of a Wali?

  It should be remembered that the UN flew Ahmad Haroon, also indicted by the ICC, to meet with (and rally) the Miseriya in Abyei. It must also be noted that Ladsous decided to include Chad's Army in his peacekeeping in Mali, despite Chad being on the UN's own list of child soldier recruiters.

  To this has the UN sunk. Then at Tuesday's briefing, Haq's chiding response, after dodging questions on Uganda's claims against the UN ("ask the AU") and Israel treating those injured in the Golan ("haven't heard of it"), was to say that Central African Republic shouldn't be shortened, as nearly all on the Security Council do, to "CAR."

  So the UN can pronounce very precisely -- but refuses to come clean about Chad attacks into Darfur, or if Ladsous' DPKO has any Standing Claims Commission anywhere in the world. On November 18, it was "not a yes or no question."

  And on November 19? No answer at all. Watch this site.


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