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On S. Sudan, UN Silent & Power in Chad, Rice Records Speech, What of Yuai?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 20 -- Amid the violence in South Sudan, with the UN evacuating its peacekeepers from Yuai and 11 hours slower than India to report on deaths in Akobo, the United States' messaging is strange.

  From Washington Susan Rice, now National Security Adviser, recorded a five minute speech to the people of South Sudan, posted here by Grant T. Harris. Rice is closely associated with the country's independence; in October 2010 Inner City Press witnessed her giving a pep talk to young recruits a short UN helicopter ride from Juba in Rejaf / Rajaf, click here for that story.

  Her speech, though long, doesn't mention the performance of the UN. Should it be pulling armed peacekeepers out of areas where civilians are under threat, like in Yuai? Why wasn't the UN able or willing to contact Riek Machar in the day or days after the violence began?

  Rice's successor as US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, meanwhile, as been in the Central African Republic and Chad, from which she tweeted Friday night she had raised the issue of the recruitment of child soldiers, for which Chad is on the UN list even as UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous accept this former French colony into the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA.

  Once there, the Chadian troops are charged with gang rape. Did Ambassador Power raise that, as she raised the Congolese Army's rapes in Minovo to Joseph Kabila during the UN Security Council's trip there?

  Chad is part of the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, even as they are viewed as supporters of the Seleka rebels. What Power say about that?

  The UN, since a Friday noon briefing full on contradictions has gone silence other than a statement ostensibly from Ban Ki-moon, who is in the Philippines. The UN says it will have no briefings at all next week, despite developments in South Sudan. Will the US have more to say? Watch this site.


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