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On S. Sudan, ICP Asks Jal of Cluster Bombs, He Cites Government Raids

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 -- The UN has refused to release its findings about the use of cluster bombs in South Sudan, just as UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous refused to release his report on weapons accompanying Ghanaian troops, and refused to answer questions about it.

  Emmanuel Jal, by contrast, answered on cluster bombs and killings in UN compounds, even citing chemical weapons, when Inner City Press asked him on June 6. Video here and embedded below.

  Jal replied, “We have to pressure UN to follow its words, what it says.” On cluster bombs he said, “we want to know, who authorized them?” He mentioned hearing of “chemical weapons used in other areas. Who ever used them should be held accountable.”

  While the UN invited him to a June 6 concert including Sumi of Bangladesh's band Lalon, Jocelyn Beroard of Kassav and Machel Montano, Jal said, “if UN is getting lost, we the people have the responsibility to speak out.” He mentioned the “UN compound raided by government soldiers.”

  Some in South Sudan e-mailed Inner City Press when Jal did a previous concern, calling him anti-government. He is a musician, and it is too rare to have someone answering questions in the UN briefing room -- as UN official Herve Ladsous refuses to do -- without having to watch his or her words so carefully. More on the concert to follow.

Footnote: While Jal answered, Inner City Press had to also cover the African Union's stakeout with the UN Security Council president - this is because the UN gave the first question to its UN Censorship Alliance, UNCA, whose board has tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN. More recently UNCA's board did nothing when the UN evicted the News Agency of Nigeria.

 The new Free UN Coalition for Access opposed the eviction, opposes any privileged place for the UN Censorship Alliance, which has also defended Ladsous. This UN... is lost.


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