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Asked of Sudan Flying Darfur Militia to Blue Nile, Ladsous Says No Mandate to Track

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 25, updated -- The UN spends over $1 billion a year in Darfur, purportedly peacekeeping. But when SPLM-North alleges that Sudan is flying janjawiid militia from there to Blue Nile state, the UN's Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous tells Inner City Press, "We have no mandate to follow who is flying from where."

  The war crimes charges against Sudanese president Omar al Bashir and his Southern Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun involve the use of the janjawiid to murder Dar, Fur and Zagawa people. The UN and its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says it has a principle of opposing war crimes and genocide and pursuing accountability.

  So how can the UN, or at least its new Peacekeeping chief, say there is "no mandate to follow who is flying from where"?

  A Council diplomat, asked by Inner City Press about Ladsous statement, said "that doesn't sound right." We'll see.

(c) UN Photo
Ladsous takes oath with Ban Ki-moon Oct 3, janjawiid tracking not shown

  Inner City Press asked this question more than 29 hours ago, at Monday's noon briefing:

Inner City Press; on Sudan. The SPLM-North is saying that Janjaweed fighters are being flown by the Government of Sudan from Darfur, specifically from Nyala and Aljenina, into Blue Nile State to actually fight there. And so I wondered, I understand that United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) is no longer on the ground or has some logistical [liquidation mission], but since these will be flights from Darfur, where the UN does have a big peacekeeping mission, can the UN verify this? is ittrue, is it not true? If it were happening, would it be problematic and what would the UN say or do about it?

Spokesperson: Let me ask my peacekeeping colleagues, okay?

  More than 29 hour later, there had been no answer. Ladsous left a closed door Security Council session and as he went up the stairs, Inner City Press asked him the same question, in necessarily shortened form. The response was that "We have no mandate to follow who is flying from where." Really?

  Meanwhile Ladsous is preparing to fly to Juba, Abyei and Khartoum. Will he do anything at all about the more and more detailed reports of UN peacekeepers doing nothing as people were killed in front of their base in Kadugli? Watch this site.

Update: and this position of Ladsous is (now) the position of the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations, from which after 29 hours the following emerged:

Subject: Your question on Darfur
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations informs us that:

"UNAMID does not have a mandate to monitor government flights in Darfur and is hence not in a position to verify this."

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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