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As Whistleblowers Accuse Ladsous' DPKO of Caving to Khartoum, UN Spin

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 17, updated Jan 18 -- Amid a serious upsurge in killing and displacement in Darfur, Inner City Press ten days ago asked the UN what had become of its Protection of Civilians Strategy, which UNAMID mission whistleblowers told Inner City Press had been "vetoed" by the Sudanese government since September 2012.

  These UN staff, who feel UNAMID is both disorganized and far too close to the authorities in Khartoum, told Inner City Press they felt debased being part of an organization that lets a government whose president and defense minister have been indicted for genocide and war crimes veto a Protection of Civilians strategy.

  At a minimum, the UN should be transparent about where the Strategy is, and what rights it is granting to the al Bashir government to block it.

So back on January 7, 2013 Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: there was something called the protection of civilians strategy that UNAMID had come up with uh, internally and supposedly run by the Government. It supposedly hasn’t now been released and some people are saying that the Government has blocked it. Is there in fact a UNAMID protection of civilians strategy? Has as some believe the Government blocked its release and is it appropriate for the UN, do they have to check with the Government to protect civilians under Chapter 7?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: On the last part on this particular strategy that you mention, I’ll check with my colleagues.

  In the ten days since, Inner City Press has asked a number of additional questions about Darfur, some answered, some not. But nothing at all came back about the Protection of Civilians strategy.

  This is consistent with DPKO chief Herve Ladsous refusing to answer any Press questions about 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, which his MONUSCO mission supports.

See November 27, 2012 (video), on December 7 & on December 18 (video).

  And so on January 17, ten days after first asking about the Protection of Civilians strategy, Inner City Press asked about it again, specifying the September 2012 turn-over to the government, and the whistleblowers' allegation that the UN let the government veto it.

  Spokesman Nesirky said he would check with DPKO. And less than an hour later, a non-responsive answer arrived:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM
Subject: Your question on Darfur
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question on the protection of civilians in Darfur, the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) continues to engage Government authorities in order to successfully implement its protection of civilians mandate throughout Darfur, in particular through working with Government authorities to overcome obstacles to its freedom of movement. This engagement has been particularly important in light of recent hostilities across parts of Darfur and the resulting access restrictions imposed by the Government of Sudan on UNAMID movement to areas affected by conflict.

   This does not respond to the UN's own whistleblowers' specific complaints about a document, the "Protection of Civilians Strategy," being shown to the government in September 2012 and not being held from since.

   If UNAMID says protection is so important, what happened to it? As the whistleblowers ask, why is Ladsous' DPKO covering up? Watch this site.

Update of January 18: still not directly answering where the Protection of Civilians Strategy is, the UN has sent this:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM
Subject: Re: Your question on Darfur
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

Further to your questions on UNAMID's protection of civilians strategy, UNAMID has advised that it has begun to implement elements of the strategy and expects to fully adopt it once internal consultations have concluded.

  So which PARTS are being blocked? And is Sudan now "internal" to the UN? Watch this site.

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