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After Killing in Sudan, Reuters & UN Peacekeeping Unname South Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 14 -- After the killing of a UN peacekeeper in Southern Kordofan, Inner City Press at the June 14 UN noon briefing asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky whom the UN deemed responsible for the fighting and shelling.

  Nesirky replied that the UN was investigating so he could not say more.

  But the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and Reuters, had already named not only Sudan but South Sudan -- then dropped or "corrected out" the latter, replacing it with the name of the SPLM-North rebel group.

  Since the changes on Reuters / the Chicago Tribune and the UN web site weren't explained, it's impossible to know who made the mis-statement, or received a request for amendment and from whom.

  The initial Reuters story, with fully four bylines ("Reporting By Michelle Nichols in New York and Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Michael Roddy") ended with a quote from DPKO chief Herve Ladsous' spokesperson Kieran Dwyer:

"It is essential that the governments of Sudan and South Sudan immediately cease hostilities, and resume ceasefire negotiations."

  Then on the Chicago Tribune's website the Reuters change is made, under this statement: "Corrects quote in last paragraph to remove reference to government of South Sudan."

  Does that mean Reuters misquoted its go-to Ladsous source Dwyer, and now "corrects quote"? Or that Dwyer corrected himself, to "remove reference to government of South Sudan"?

  On World Press Freedom Day this year, Inner City Press asked Dwyer how DPKO chief Herve Ladsous refusing to answer Press questions, on topics ranging from the UN's introduction of cholera into Haiti to accepting advice from a Sri Lanka military figure depicted the UN's own report as engaged in war crimes to mass rapes in the Congo, is consistent with DPKO's claim to support free press where it runs missions.

  Dwyer defended Ladsous' stonewalling, then changed the topic to return to what he claimed DPKO is most concerned with: South Sudan. Video compilation here.

  Now Dwyer is quoted by Reuters urging South Sudan to cease hostilities -- then the quote is corrected to "remove reference to government of South Sudan."

 What's going on? Don't expect an answer, at least to the Press, from Herve Ladsous. But shouldn't they explain somewhere? Watch this site.

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