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On S Sudan, Inner City Press Asks UN About Nile Petroleum Co Funds, Sex Abuse in Wau

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video here

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 – After UN Police in South Sudan allegedly sexually exploited those they were supposed to protect in Wau, Inner City Press went to the UN Security Council stakeout on February 27 to find out if the report will be made public. (Then on March 7 it asked the UN about reports that pro-Kiir militias are funded from Nile Petroleum Corporation, see below.) When Secretary General Antonio Guterres' representative David Shearer emerged from the Council's closed door meeting, he was glad-handing with Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, right back the stakeout to the elevator vestibule. As Inner City Press streamed Periscope video, anticipating Q&A, the talk was of meeting for drinks at the Trump World Bar. Finally Inner City Press went to the elevator door and asked Shearer, Will the report be made public? First he said he didn't know, then that some of it should be. Then he was gone. On March 2, Inner City Press asked Dujarric about South Sudan's demand, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you again about the South Sudan and the alleged sexual abuse in Wau by the Ghanaian contingent.  It seems like the Government of South Sudan has now… having met with UNMISS [United Nations Mission in South Sudan], they are saying they want an independent… either a joint investigation with their participation or what they call an independent one.  They're not satisfied with OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] doing an investigation, and I wanted to know how does the UN… what's its response to that? Spokesman:  We have… there are procedures in place.  I think the Head of the Mission acted very quickly when he learned that there were allegations, which did not target all… all 46 from what I gather, but it was important, I think, for us to ensure that, you know, as a… as a Unit that they were repatriated together.  I think it's important that it's not… and… and this is not prejudging the investigation, but as a matter of principle, it is not just those who perpetrate those crimes, but it is also those who stand silent while knowing that others are perpetrating those crimes.  There's an ongoing investigation by OIOS.  The government of Ghana has… has also told us they will do their own investigation, and I expect… I expect things will move quickly.  The calendar for these types of investigations has been shortened.  For the time… for the time being, all the police officers remain confined to base. Inner City Press:  But there's a direct quote by the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he says, “we want an independent investigation because we don't believe an investigation conducted by one of their agencies or their employees would be fair and just.”  And I wonder what's the right of a host country? Spokesman:  I'm sure there's… they are… I'm sure there's a dialogue that is going on with the Mission.  Obviously, South Sudan is a sovereign country.  They have the right to investigate any… any crimes that may have happened in… in their country, but I would ask… I would ask people not to prejudge the outcome of the investigation. Inner City Press: But do the peacekeepers have immunity?  I guess that's my question.  They might have… they have a right to do an investigation, but if they find that their citizens were, in fact, abused… Spokesman:  As… as… as you know, when it comes to uniformed personnel, they're under the jurisdiction of the flag country from which… from which they come from.  We hope… and again, I don't want to prejudge anything, that if crimes have been committed or if misconduct may have been committed that those people face the justice that is… that is relevant." After that answer, the UNMISS mission in a statement distributed to some media - but not the Press which asked, not even by the Office of the Spokesperson to which Inner City Press asked on camera - rejected South Sudan's request, saying unilaterally it is not a criminal matter and that OIOS " is not part of UNMISS. It is an independent office and reports directly to the United Nations General Assembly. It is, therefore, appropriate that the OIOS investigate." There are many, including former and even current OIOS investigators, who disagree. And the UN, it appears, doesn't even follow up on others' investigations. From the March 7 UN transcript: Inner City Press: in South Sudan, there's a lot of interest in a study that's come out saying that the Nile Petroleum Corporation is being used essentially by pro-Salva Kiir forces to fund the war, fund pro-Government militias.  And I wanted to know  whether the mission there or any of the other various UN bodies in the country have a view or have noticed this report and intend to look at it given that it would seem to explain some of the killing and armament that's been going on. Deputy Spokesman:  We're, we're certainly aware of the report.  I'll check and see whether the mission has anything in particular to say about it, but this is, as you know, an independent report.  It's not ours." Oh. In South Sudan, pro-government media reported that weapons were found in a UN vehicle. One would expect the UN at the highest level, particularly given its history in South Sudan, to quickly respond, investigate, deny. But in this case, according to Joseph Bakosoro, the allegations are meant to discredit his party. And when Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it on March 5, offering the UN an opportunity to deny or describe its investigation, there was nothing - the spokesman said he was not aware and to ask the Mission, whose chief David Shearer while chatting with Dujarric last week did not deign to take any questions at the stakeout. The UN is failing. From the March 5 UN transcript: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask something about South Sudan.  Over the weekend, there was reporting in the pro-Government press there that a UN vehicle was found with weapons in it.  And opposition, Joseph Bagosora, has said it's not true, has asked for an investigation, said it's part of a cam… you know, campaign by the Government to… to vilify and delegitimize the opposition.  I wanted to know, since it was a UN vehicle, is the UN… are they investigating?  And what can you say about…? Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the case.  You should… I'm not denying that there's a picture of anything.  I'm just saying I personally am not aware of the case.  You may want to reach out to the Mission directly. Inner City Press: Would the Secretary-General be concerned if a host Government of a major peacekeeping mission is saying that UN vehicles are…? Spokesman:  As I'm saying, I'm not aware of it.  I don't want to speculate.  I think if… you can follow up that question directly with the Mission." Right. There's more to this story. Watch this site. On February 28 Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman, UN Transcript here: Inner City Press: on South Sudan since… at the end of… I saw you around, but there was no stakeout at the end of… by the Special Representative.  So, I wanted to ask you whether the report that the UN or is commissioning into the sexual exploitation allegations in Wau what… if there's a deadline for it and if it will be made public.  And I also wanted to ask you or, I guess, Mr. [David] Shearer whether he's aware of the travel ban on a civil society leader that the US Embassy in Juba has denounced.  Does the UN have any view on the Government blocking…? Spokesman:  I haven't seen that report.  You can check with our colleagues in the mission.  On the accusations against the Ghanaians, I think Mr. Shearer and the mission moved extremely swiftly, as soon as he became aware of these allegations of transactional sex, to remove the foreign police unit from Wau to Juba.  They are currently confined to base.  OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] is doing an investigation.  The Ghanaian Government is also doing an investigation.  We hope that that will be finished quickly, and then we will see what measures; if the allegations are founded and turn out to be true, we will obviously be able to take measures, and we would expect the Ghanaian authorities to also take measures. Inner City Press:  Right, but will the report or… or the findings, one way or another, be made…? Spokesman:  We will make it clear once we have concluded the investigation what the all… which allegations were founded and the measures we've taken. Inner City Press:  And does the Secretary-General… I mean, does he believe that, in general, if it's possible, based on timing, that his Special Representatives, when they come to New York and do such briefings, should make… should have some questions and answers with the press… at a stakeout? Spokesman:  I think it's up to them to decide what they feel is best." Ah, leadership on transparency. Half of hour after Shearer ran on February 27 the President of the Security Council, Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi emerged to read Elements to the Press, with a reference to sexual exploitation. Inner City Press asked him if the report will be made public and he said, politely, that this aspect wasn't discussed. Then it was over. UN Security had already locked the glass door; Inner City Press was the only media there, despite being the only media evicted from its UN work space and required to get minders to cover UN meetings on the rest of the second floor. This is attributable, at least since September, to Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, who has not answered this, a petition with more than 5,000 signatures for the full restoration of Inner City Press to S-303, nor explained any rules. Back in September 2017 Shearer spent public money to come to New York and then cut short his press conference, after a few softball questions, in order to meet with his boss Jean Pierre Lacroix. Both are managed by the same hacks who protected Herve Ladsous from questions after Ladsous blamed peacekeepers raping on a lack of "R&R." When Inner City Press asked the UN's equally holdover Office of the Spokesperson about UNMISS under Shearer having pulling forces out of Aburok, leading to civilians being killed there, it was told to ask Shearer's UNMISS. But once in New York, Shearar hit a new low with a less than half hour press conference, after pontificating in response to the first pre-determined question. On September 27, Inner City Press asked Shearer's ultimate boss' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you something about UNMISS [United Nations Mission in South Sudan].  I'd hoped to ask Mr. [David] Shearer yesterday but was unable to.  What is the UN's understanding of who killed American journalist Christopher Allen a month ago in South Sudan?  It's said that he was targeted by the Government as he was embedded and covering rebel forces.  What follow-up has there been by the UN system in the mission in the country given…? Spokesman:  We should… we can… you can check with the mission, or we can check with the mission.  But I don't… Inner City Press: Is he still in town?  How long was Mr. Shearer in town? Spokesman:  "I don't know." And six hours later, nothing. The continuing failure of the UN's billion dollar mission in South Sudan was exemplified when Inner City Press asked about censorship and new attacks, and the UN had nothing, nothing at all. See the UN's June 9 transcript , and below. This has continued, most recently with UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric answering only three of Inner City Press' 21 written questions. Now on September 6, the US has announced: "the Department of the Treasury announced targeted sanctions on two South Sudanese government officials and one former official for their roles in threatening the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan, and three companies that are owned or controlled by one of those individuals.  Treasury also released a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Advisory alerting U.S. financial institutions to the possibility that certain South Sudanese senior political figures may try to use the U.S. financial system to move or hide proceeds of public corruption.The measures taken today against Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, Michael Makuei Lueth, and Paul Malong Awan make clear that the U.S. Government will impose consequences on those who expand the conflict and derail peace efforts." On August 22,  Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  in South Sudan, it's said that the Government is not letting UN planes use the, the Juba airport due to a disagreement about the UN's role in running the airport.  Is that the case, and… and is it in any way hindering the deployment of the new forces, the…

Spokesman:  My, my understanding is that that issue has been, has been resolved, the issue of the, the issue of the airport.  The mission's flights resumed yesterday after having been temporarily grounded due to the non-issuance of security clearances. Inner City Press: And so it's, it's resolved, meaning that the UN has no role in running the airport.

Spokesman:  Well, it's resolved in the sense that the UN, the UN is receiving the, the flight clearances.  We, obviously, apply for flight clearances to the South Sudanese authorities as we would do, it's, we don't control the airspace.  It's a sovereign State.  We, like anyone else, need to get flight clearances.  So whatever issue that existed has now been resolved.

 Back on August 7, Inner City Press asked Dujarric about the taking of Pagak, how many civilians had fled. Despite the billion dollar UN mission in the country, UN Spokesman Dujarric had no information at all. It was only on August 9, and only when Inner City Press asked him again, that Dujarric had anything. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: And Pagak?

Spokesman:  And what?  Sorry?

Inner City Press: Pagak, in South Sudan, I’d asked you whether UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan)… what they believe… what they think about this takeover of the town by Salva… you know, the Government forces.

Spokesman:  I think we… the Mission tells us that they’ve received reports from multiple sources that Pagak came under the control of Government troops on Sunday.  Fighting over the past several weeks has reportedly forced thousands of civilians to flee into Ethiopia.  There is no information on casualties that we’ve received, but the Mission continues to try to gather more information.

  On July 20, the Troika of the US, Norway and the UK has issued this: "The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union condemn the continuing violence in South Sudan, especially the Government of South Sudan’s current offensive against SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) forces near Pagak, as well as ongoing road ambushes and attacks by the SPLM-IO.  The Pagak offensive is a clear violation of the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir on May 22, and calls into question the government’s commitment to reach peace through the National Dialogue, notwithstanding the sincere efforts undertaken by the leaders of the Steering Committee. The Troika and EU repeat and endorse the June 12 call by the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for President Kiir to ensure that his forces respect the unilateral ceasefire, for the armed opposition groups to reciprocate the ceasefire, and for all groups to allow the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need.  We also welcome IGAD’s announcement of a High-Level Revitalization Forum for the South Sudan peace process.  We call upon IGAD to expeditiously convene the Forum, and to include the current principal parties to the conflict.  Likewise, we urge all parties to fully participate in the Forum.  The Troika and EU agree with IGAD that the Forum should focus on achieving a ceasefire and resuming political dialogue that focuses on updating the agreement’s timelines and other provisions that are now obsolete in light of the expansion of conflict since 2015. The proliferation of violence, displacement, and food insecurity renders any discussion of elections in the foreseeable future as an unnecessary diversion from the primary goals of achieving peace and reconciliation. South Sudan’s leaders, neighbors, and regional and international partners must first focus on achieving peace in order to create the conditions needed to hold credible elections.  To achieve these urgent goals, we look forward to the prompt revitalization of an inclusive and credible peace process by IGAD; such progress would be required in order for the Troika and EU to commit further resources to institutions designed to implement the agreement." On July 7, Inner City Press asked, transcript here: Inner City Press:  In South Sudan, the Government itself has expressed concern about threats to residents of Jonglei Province saying that people from Equatoria should leave or face, I guess, death.  So, I'm wondering what is UNMISS [United Nations Mission in South Sudan] aware of this and what are they doing to protect Equatorians in Jonglei, given this public threat.

Spokesman:  Let me check with the Mission.  But, what I mean… we have said repeatedly and expressed our concern at the continued threats of violence against civilians and the actual violence against civilians based on people's ethnicity.

 Three days later, the UN sent this, which we publish in full: "In response to your question on South Sudan on Friday, here is what we can say: The UN Mission in South Sudan has urged youth of all ethnic groups to abide by the spirit of President Salva Kiir’s Independence Day speech on Sunday in which he stated unequivocally that 'war is not an option.' It follows threats made against people from the Equatoria region who are currently living in Bor and then retaliatory messages allegedly made by Equatorian youth against Dinka Bor youth. The Mission advocated for the local authorities to respond appropriately to what is a law and order issue.  UNMISS condemns these threats and welcomes the commitment by local authorities to investigate these acts of intimidation and to take legal action should it be necessary." All right, then. From June 8: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask about this report in South Sudan of renewed attacks.  The rebels say that they killed 14.  Some people have a higher number.  Since there's a mission there, what's the mission's calculation of how many people killed and who did it?

Spokesman:  I did not receive an update from the mission today on the latest findings.

Inner City Press:  And what about on this issue of blocking foreign journalists from reporting?  Regional groups…

Spokesman:  We're looking into it, obviously.  But I think, as I said yesterday, we stand firmly for the rights of journalists to report and especially in a crisis such as South Sudan and where the UN has such a large presence.

   Canned. 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.


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