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Araud Says Kiir Can Invite Uganda, Ladsous Says I Do Not Answer You, Mister

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 30 -- With reports from UN staff in South Sudan of Ugandan troops on a bridge in Juba, Inner City Press put this question to UN Security Council president Gerard Araud on December 30: is Uganda actually a mediator between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar?

  Araud replied that Uganda is there are the request of the legitimate government and that under international law a government can invite in such support. Araud also praised the mediation role of IGAD -- a grouping Uganda is a member of, and whose "spirit" Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni says he is channeling in his threats to Riek Machar.

  Moments earlier, Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky about Uganda and South Sudan, and whether the UN is providing any support to the South Sudan army now that is subject to the UN's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

 Nesirky said he would check on the Policy, and that the first question might be answered by UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, to take questions at the stakeout with Araud.

  But when Inner City Press asked a question to Ladsous - see below - Ladsous replied, I do not answer you, Mister.  UN Video here, from Minute 4:34; Inner City Press YouTube here & below.

  This was Ladsous' "policy" during the months Inner City Press asked about mass rapes by Congolese Army battalions 41 and 391, which the UN was supporting. Strange policies, this UN has. UK coverage here.

  The question Inner City Press asked Ladsous had to do with something directly in his responsibility: the killing in Darfur over the weekend of peacekeepers from Senegal and Jordan. Inner City Press asked given that, and the reported coup attempt (or "terrorist attack") in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was this the right time to be moving UN battalions from those countries to South Sudan?

I do not answer you, Mister, Ladsous said. Then, looking elsewhere, he said that it is a balance, a "fine judgment call."

 OK -- but is the UN moving battalions out of Darfur, where two peacekeepers were just killed, or DRC, from which is already removed 73 Bangladeshi peacekeepers in a formed police unit?

(Inner City Press asked Nesirky about Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina's pre-election crackdown, including putting Khaleda Zia under house arrest. Nesirky said Oscar Fernandez Tarranco had been there, and that there might be a further statement. We'll have more on this.)

Nesirky said the next "new" deployment to South Sudan will be of Nepalese; Ladsous referred to a contingent leaving Haiti and heading to South Sudan. Since it is widely alleged that it was peacekeepers from Nepal, unscreened by the UN for cholera, who brought that disease to Haiti and it spread due to the UN's negligent sanitation practices, questions should be answered, by Ladsous.

Are is Nepali contingent he is moving to South Sudan coming from Haiti? Are they being screened for cholera?

It emerged that the UN, beyond "inter-Mission" transfers, will be asking for 500 truly new peacekeepers. Where will they come from? Watch this site.

Footnote: UN Under Secretaries General saying they have a policy against answering particular media's questions is something that is being opposed by the new Free UN Coalition for Access, along with cynical use of copyright law to try to ban leaked documents from Google and engage in censorship. More on this, including with regard to the above, to follow.


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