Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

More: InnerCityPro

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In S Sudan, Watching SPLA Prepare to Retake Area, Leaked UNMISS Sit-Rep Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS,  May 8 – The UN's South Sudan Panel of Experts report, obtained by Inner City Press and put online on April 22 by Inner City Press on Patreon here, details among other things asset freeze and travel ban violations as well as weapons sales  involving current and recent members of the UN Security Council. Now we publish this internal UNMISS situation report, leaked to Inner City Press by insiders concerned about the UN's cover ups given the UN's lack of transparency and attempts to censor, despite the situation in South Sudan: "“For your eyes only: Rumbek reported that following hostilities and revenge killing associated with cattle raiding in Pacong, the road from Rumbek to Pacong (Leg of Rumbek-Yirol road) has been declared "Grey" effective 06 May 2017. Malakal reported that unconfirmed information indicates that SPLA around Pagak are planning to launch an offensive attack to reclaim the area, thus the Field Security Office is monitoring the situation. The deployment of additional auxiliary troops to Aburoc (Upper Nile) has been completed. NSTR from the sensitive areas Leer, Pibor, Kudok, Tonga and Kaka. SOC DO.” When is monitoring (the run-up to) an offensive attack enough? UNderreported by UNMISS: Bor - Murle attacks and cattle raiding. We'll have more on this. On May 5 the UN Security Council issued a statement about the attack on the UN base in Leer, which did not mention the UN's off the book "temporary" protection area there, see below. From the UNSC statement: "The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the attack against the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) on 3 May in Leer, South Sudan.  The members of the Security Council expressed appreciation for the actions taken by UNMISS peacekeepers to repel the attack. " On May 2 Inner City Press as UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric about allegations against the UN Mission itself, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  in South Sudan, the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) in Opposition is claiming that UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) airlifted some Government soldiers out while they were in the middle of, they say, attacking non-Dinkas, and so they’re questioning the impartiality.  But also, I just wanted to get from you, did UNMISS… has UNMISS moved SPLA soldiers?  And, if so, why?  They also say, more generally, that… that… that the UNMISS is not investigating the actions of its own peacekeepers that may harm people.

Spokesman:  I don’t really understand that last part.  I think UNMISS through… if you look… if you look at what the Mission has done through the [Patrick] Cammaert report and others, I think we’ve been as transparent as possible into the activities and the work of the peacekeepers and flagging the issues that may rise when they have.  On your sec… on your first question, we’re aware, we’ve seen the reports, and we’re looking into it currently.

  Six hours later, nothing. The UN Mission UNMISS, which has yet to address the issues in it, put out this statement: "The first elements of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have started to arrive in the country. The RPF Headquarters has already been established in Juba under the leadership of Brigadier General Jean Mupenzi from Rwanda. In addition, an advance party of a Construction Engineering Company from Bangladesh arrived on 20 April bringing essential equipment to begin the preparation of accommodation and working areas for the RPF in Juba. Regional troops from Rwanda will follow in June and July. Some other specialist capacities which are unavailable in the region will be provided by troop contributing countries from other UN Member States including Nepal and Pakistan.
In line with UN Security Council Resolution 2304 (2016) and in cooperation with the Transitional Government of National Unity, the 4,000 peacekeepers of the RPF, commanded by Brigadier General Mupenzi, will be based in Juba to bolster the Mission’s capacity to advance the safety and security of  civilians.
The Transitional Government of National Unity confirmed its unconditional consent to the deployment of the force in a communiqué to the UN Security Council on 30 November 2016.
The RPF will provide coordinated protection to key facilities in Juba. It will also provide protection to the main routes into and out of the city.  It will strengthen the security of UN protection of civilians’ sites and other UN premises.
The deployment of the RPF, to be staged over coming months, will free existing UNMISS peacekeepers to extend their presence to conflict-affected areas beyond Juba."

 The Experts report for example states that

" an IL-76 transport aircraft departed  from Kharkiv, Ukraine, on or about 27 January 2017, bound for Gulu,  Uganda. The aircraft manifest indicated that it contained two L-39 jets  and engines provided by Musket OU, a company based in Tallinn, that had  been overhauled and that the flight was operated by the Ministry of  Defense of Ukraine"

The report also states: "128. The Panel has recently received documentation from a confidential source that details a contract, signed in June 2014 by two National Security Service officers, for  a company based in Seychelles to provide weapons to the Internal Security Bureau of the Service, headed by Akol Koor. The contract sum is for $264 million, covering  a very large quantity of heavy weapons, small arms and ammunition. Among the items listed are:

 (a) 30 T55 tanks;
 (b) 20 ZU-23 anti-aircraft weapons;
 (c) 5,000 rounds of T55 tank ammunition;
 (d) 10 BM-21 “Grad” rocket systems;
 (e) 10,000 122-mm M21OF missiles;
 (f) 3,000 S8 rockets for MI-24 helicopters;
 (g) 20 million rounds of 7.62x39-mm ammunition;
 (h) 50,000 AK-47 assault rifles;
 (i) 12,000 RPG-7 rounds.
 129. The Panel is investigating this order to establish whether it was executed as outlined."

Also referenced are sales from "Egypt and Middle East for  Development for the provision of 'Panthera armored vehicles.' The number  of vehicles and the technical specifications are not outlined in the contract, but the stated value of the contract was $7,187,500. The  company contracted to provide the vehicles is registered in Egypt and  based in Cairo. The Panel has established that an individual involved  with the company has extensive connections with senior SPLA personnel.  The individual outlined these connections to the Panel and confirmed  that he had facilitated meetings in Lebanon in 2015 for a delegation of  South Sudanese military officers working for Malong."

The report refers  to the "Spanish investigation" -- Spain only recently came off the  Security Council, after misusing  its two years. As to asset freezes and travel bans, Peter Gadet took an  ownership stake in a trading company, and was in Khartoum at the time  of the report, according to the UN Experts. On April 26 Inner City Press asked the new affable UN SRSG David Shearer about the weapons; he deferred back to the Panel, noting that UN Radio had recently cleared Egypt of flying in jets. Periscope of Q&A here. Similarly, he said he was unaware of any borehole damage or power wire cutting by SPLA in Leer, while saying the UN does not want to "attract" people to its off the books Protection Area there. We'll have more on this. With UN Peacekeeping facing budget cuts, it still cannot get it together to report on abuses by governments, like the Salva Kiir government in South Sudan, even abuses to it own peacekeepers. In South Sudan Inner City Press is informed, including by a UN whistleblower, that the UN learned that Kiir's SPLA soldiers intentionally destroyed the pipe from the drinking water borehole, and the power cable, that supply the UN Troop Contributing Country “Temporary Operating Base” in Leer. Cutting off water, to peacekeepers, is a war crimes. But today's UN says nothing. On April 10 Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric for UN Peacekeeping chief Jean Pierre Lacroix to hold a question and answer session (and not just a private drinking or “toasting” session with selected scribes) and Dujarric laughed it off. Dujarric then refused to take Inner City Press' question about Burundi, another UN failure, after engaging in a long back and forth about “Sex in the City.” This is today's UN.
We note that Lacroix is slated mid-week to only selected correspondents, those to whom Dujarric without any written notice lent "his" briefing room, raise a glass, apparently off the record: “a meet and greet with the new Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, on Wednesday, April 12th from 5:00 - 6:00 pm...Please attend for a toast to welcome the new USG.” Presumably with drinking water (unlike the peacekeepers in Leer) and more. We'll have more on Leer, and more on Wau as well. Watch this site.

Nor will the UN answer questions, including on ethnic cleansing. On April 10 Inner City Press asked UN holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I saw this, the note of correspondents from UNMISS talking about this ambush.  It's sort of implying that it began with an ambush of the army, and then the army fought back.  But, I've also seen an e-mail from… in UNMISS that the SPLA [Sudan People’s Liberation Army] was using tanks as early as 7 a.m. on Saturday on this road to Bagari.  So, I wanted to know, I guess it gives rise to, like, if the UN… if the UN is going to now come out and say they were ambushed, were they, in fact, advancing on… on enemy positions with tanks…?  And, if so, what… what sort of is the… UNMISS's reporting, I guess, procedure…?

Spokesman:  I… you, obviously, have access to e-mails that I don't.  My sense and my hope is that the information that is verified is then reported on.  I can only go by what the Mission told me.  I would, if you have further questions for them and details, I would urge you to get in touch with them directly.  Our concern, obviously, is for the status of the civilians in the area who are, once again, caught in fighting.  I mean, as you said, we've already seen 16 bodies in the hospital, a small increase in the number of people who are seeking, who are seeking shelter.  So, we'll have more patrols in the coming days.  And, as we're able to report, we shall do so.

Inner City Press:  Overall, can… overall, does the UN believe that… that… that this and other incidents involve the, the Dinka-dominated Government and its associated militias… trying to conduct ethnic cleansing of other groups… in South Sudan?

Spokesman:  I'm not… I'm not in a position to say that one way or another. 

  Inner City Press published this leak from the UN in South Sudan: "Security Event: April 7:  SPLA movement of artillery and tanks towards Baggari (30-40km to SE of Wau town) began Friday evening around 1800 and currently ensconced in the Matadu area on the outskirts of Wau town. SPLA began shelling (using tanks) as of 0700 Saturday and it continued for an hour, stopping for an hour, before starting again. SPLA have also blocked the road from Wau to Baggari. Unconfirmed news that helo gunships were in route as back up from Juba Headquarters. No response yet from the SPLA-IO because supposedly the SPLA have not crossed into Baggari yet, but could expect preparation for what seems like inevitable clashes. April 6:  An armed engagement between unidentified groups was reported in Majok area, Wau. No information on casualties was received. April 4: About 18:00 hours in Wau, drivers of UNMISS contracted trucks travelling from Juba to Wau witnessed heavy fighting between SPLA and alleged unknown armed group in Mapel (about 30 kilometers from Wau). The SPLA at the checkpoint in Mapel allowed the drivers to proceed after paying a fee and they arrived at UNMISS Field Office at about 20:30 hours unharmed. However, they reported that they saw about four corpses lying along the road at the scene of the fighting. April 3:  unknown armed men operating in Kuajena area attacked and killed one SPLA officer in the vicinity of Mapel; on 04 Apr 17, some armed cattle keepers launched an attacked on a local population April 2: During evening hours in Wau, armed clashes were reported between SPLA and an unknown armed group in the area of Kuajena about 80 kilometers south-east of Wau Town. The incident took place on the road between Wau and Tonj (Warrap) and casualty figures are not known."

  Hour after publishing the above, and a review of Antonio Guterres' first 100 days including on South Sudan, UNMISS issued this: "The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been informed that a number of government SPLA soldiers were killed in an ambush on Sunday to the south of the town of Wau in the north-west of the country.
Fighting then spread to Wau.
The Mission mounted two patrols into Wau on Monday and said it had observed the bodies of 16 civilians in a hospital. There were ten people who had been injured.
Additional patrols are planned for Tuesday.
Eighty-four people have arrived at the UNMISS POC site, while an influx of at least 3,000 people at a Catholic church in the town, mostly women and children, has been reported.
The fighting follows the movement of SPLA troops, tanks and equipment towards the south-western part of Wau late last week."

   On April 4, Inner City Press at the day's UN noon briefing asked, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: Thought you might have something at the top on this attack by the South Sudanese army on Pajok inside South Sudan, leading to, they say, 3,000 refugees crossing the border.  What's the UN doing to protect civilians?  And does it have any statement on SPLA [Sudan People’s Liberation Army] forces…?

Spokesman:  We're in touch with our mission in South Sudan, and we're trying to get a bit more information on what happened.  Okay.

  Seven hours later, nothing. Even after the UN declared famine in South Sudan, the Salva Kiir government responded by raising the fee on the international NGOs fighting the famine to $10,000 (since dropped). Then we learned of an UNreported "Temporary Protection Area" next to the UN base in Leer, kept quiet by the UN in order to stay in good with the Kiir government.It is shameful - and dangerous. On March 30, the so-called Troika of the US, UK and Norway issued a joint statement, here.

  Children of families who fled Kiir government threats and violence and live in the UN base in Juba were supposed to be allowed to taken the national secondary school test inside the base on March 6. But the government now says they must leave the base to be tested - and UNMISS and UNICEF, which runs the schools in the bases, have said nothing.  More cover up for Kiir: shameful.

On March 7, after reporting on the off the books "Temporary Protection Area" in Leer, Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about it. Video here.
Haq said everything is included. On March 8, Inner City Press asked again, and about the UN's silence on Kiir ordering children to leave the UNMISS camps to take tests. Video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: I'd asked you yesterday about this temporary protection area near the UN base in Leer in South Sudan.  And I'm wondering, you seemed to say it was included in the reports, but I still don't see it.  But, I have another question, which has to do with the base…

Deputy Spokesman:  Yeah, actually on that, before you go ahead, I got this just now.  Let me just see.  And it says… yes, the Temporary Operating Base in Leer was established in November 2015, following a resurgence in violence in the area.  In consultation with humanitarian partners who withdrew due to insecurity, destruction and the looting of their premises and vital supplies, the temporary base was established to mitigate against the deteriorating situation in South and Central Unity.  Leer has a Temporary Protected Area, which is protected by UNMISS [United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan].  It not a full-fledged protection site, as it is not equipped with camp managers or full humanitarian services, neither of which are present in Leer.  UNMISS forces have been providing medical services — they have delivered 48 babies — and water to the displaced population.  The Leer Temporary Protection Area is not represented in the Protection of Civilians Site Update because there are no official figures for the population, as our humanitarian partners have not conducted biometric registration nor a reliable head count.

Inner City Press:  About the base in Juba.  I'm told that South Sudan is conducting a… a secondary school test.  They began Monday.  And they were supposed to conduct them for the students and youths living in the camp inside the camp.  But, at the last minute, the Government said, no, you have to come outside of the camp to do it.  And several hundred children are not going out of the camp because they feel unsafe with the Government and its national security service overseeing their test.  What I'm wondering is, what is the role of the UN in there?  I'm told that UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund] runs the schools.  Does the UN have any comment on the Government, at the last minute, switching and requiring people under the UN's protection to come out of the camp, their fears, and why haven't they taken this up with the Government?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I'll see whether UNICEF has anything to say with that… about that, but you can also check with our UNICEF colleagues.

Question:  Also UNMISS.  I mean, it's an UNMISS Protection of Civilians camp.  So, if the Government is ordering people to leave UN protection camps, isn't that of concern to UNMISS or to even higher up in the building?

Deputy Spokesman:  We'd have to see whether that's what they're doing.  I'm just going by your report on that.  All right.  Have a good afternoon, everyone.

 UN March 7 transcript here:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about South Sudan.  I’ve become aware that there’s, next to the UN base in Leer, something called a temporary protection area that has… is protecting civilians, but it’s not included in the… in the… this Protection of Civilians weekly release that’s put out by UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) so… whereas something called an adjacent area in Wau is included.  So some people there say this is kind of a… kind of an off-the-books or under-the-table.  Can you… maybe you’ll know it from the podium or I’d actually like you today to get an answer whether there is a temporary protection area in Leer and, if so, why it was chosen not to include it in the… the disclosures that the UN puts out of people it protected?  And what would happen if people there were actually attacked by Government forces that they’re seeking to flee from?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we do disclose all of the various Protection of Civilians sites, as well as adjacent areas, so that information is provided.  Depending upon what the facilities are, we… you know, we provide different updates if other areas are set up.  I don’t have any particular information about any site in Leer, but we can check.

 From the UN's March 6 transcript:

Inner City Press: Mr. O'Brien was in South Sudan.  There's a document that's being circulated online [h/t/ Jason Patinkin, here] that the Government is now charging NGOs a $10,000 business license fee.  This  comes in the wake of the famine determination.  Does OCHA [Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] or the UN have any response to the Government increasing its fees on groups trying to address the drought?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, like I just said a few seconds ago about this, Mr. O'Brien has spoken to the press following his visit.  One of the points he made is that aid workers continue to face multiple obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including active hostilities, access denials, and bureaucratic impediments.  And the basic point is, as he said, we need the access and the funds to save even more lives.

Inner City Press:  Right, so this includes this $10,000 fee?

Deputy Spokesman:  It includes all bureaucratic impediments, yes.

    With the UN speaking more about South Sudan, including a four-speaker press conference on February 22 manipulated by holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, its reflexive covering up for the Salva Kiir government continues. Inner City Press has been sent, by outraged whistleblowing UN staff, the following internal directive, which pretends that those robbing UN staff are NOT in fact with the government. Finding no answers from "spokesman" Dujarric even to questions on which he has been given an if-asked answer by those above him in the UN system, we publish it in full.

"Ref: 025/SB/02/23/2017 It has come to the attention of UN Security that criminals in civil clothes operating in pairs or individually and purporting to be personnel of Host Government National Security are operating around prominent supermarkets/stores in Juba and targeting UN/INGO personnel for harassment and robbery. These individuals accost unsuspecting staff members coming out of the supermarket and flash identification cards as personnel of National Security. They immediately accuse staff members of having gone to change money inside the supermarket and seek to search the pockets of staff members to determine if any currency exchange has been made or not. It is their assessment that staff members with more than 5000 SSP must have changed money. Reports received indicate that this scenario is continuously playing out and staff members are falling victims to these criminals.

The following advisory are recommended to ensure the safety and security of staff:

Do not carry large sums of money on you whilst moving in town. Staff members should not agree to be subjected to bodily search except when their lives are in danger.   Park UN vehicles at designated car park inside the supermarket if one is available. Staff members should avoid the temptation of changing money in supermarkets as some of these venders may be collaborating with the criminals. As much as possible avoid driving alone in town. Staff members driving alone are more vulnerable targets. Always remember to drive with doors locked and windows closed. Never leave the car unless forced to do so. Do not display items (phones, laptop- bag, handbags etc) openly in your car. Put them on the floor, under the seat or preferable in the boot of vehicle.  Avoid argument and struggle with an armed robber. Report all security incidents, unusual happenings/activities, or events to the SIOC Duty Officer on 0922777765 or Juliet Sierra Base immediately and pass as much as possible information (who, where, when) to the duty officer."

   The UN system seems intent on covering up the disappearance of South South opposition figures in Kenya, where Ban Ki-moon made his own son in law Siddharth Chatterjee the UN Resident Coordinator.

 On February 7, Inner City Press asked Stephane Dujarric, Ban's old spokesman, still speaking for the UN, transcript here:

Inner City Press: You talked about South Sudan, and I wanted to ask you, are aware of an order among the UN Humanitarian Air Service to basically try to discourage Kenyan nationals from going to any IO-controlled territory because of the capture of IO officials in Kenya?  [Cross talk]

Spokesman:  No...

  Dujarric referred to one of the UN agencies the transition process at which is entirely murky. So here now is the document leaked to Inner City Press, put on Scribd here.

UNHAS Document Leaked to Inner City Press Has UN Discouraging Kenyans' Travel to SPLA-I/O Areas in South Su... by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd

  This comes at a time when the failures of Herve Ladsous' UNMISS are being raised, including in Washington, and is published in light of danger and the UN Spokesman refusing to answer questions. We'll have more on this.

On January 11 after South Sudan said that it will not, in fact, accept the 4,000 new peacekeepers for the Regional Protection Force, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft about it. Video here; UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: On South Sudan, the government say they’re not going to take the regional protection force. What do you think the Council can or should do?

Amb Rycroft: They committed earlier to accept the regional protection force. They are obliged to accept it, given Security Council decisions, and we call on them again to accept that regional protection force in the interest of longer term stability in South Sudan.

When the UN Security Council members met about South Sudan on December 15, the best they could do was extend the mandate of the UNMISS mission for a single day. Even then, there was already news of UNMISS having given arms to warlord, or “rebel general,” James Koang.

 Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Samantha Power about this on December 16 and she said she hadn't read it. On December 19, even while fielding a pre-picked question on South Sudan, Power still refused to answer. Video here.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

 Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for