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UN Says No JEM in Pariang or Yida, VOA Quotes That, Amos on Militarization

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 2 -- In South Sudan on the situation in and around the Yida refugee camp, the UN continues to disagree with public reports including a quote from a UN aid worker that Sudan rebels from the the Justice & Equality Movement are there.

But the UN has not, it appears, sought any modification from Voice of America, a US state media (which in 2012 tried to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN, click here for that.)

Inner City Press has twice asked the UN about reports of JEM in Pariang; both times, the UN has insisted that its Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, knows nothing about it.

On January 2, Inner City Press asked UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos about a quote in Voice of America: "An aid worker in Yida refugee camp in Unity state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had seen JEM rebels with armored vehicles, weapons and ammunition passing through the refugee camp on their way to Pariang on Friday."

Amos replied that she didn't know about that specific quote, but she hearkened back to UNHCR's warnings that Yida camp was too close to the border and could be militarized. Video here, from Minute 33:55. There have been numerous reports of JEM in Yida.

After Amos' response, UN acting deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq cut in to again say that UNMISS had no information about JEM in Yida or Pariang. Video here from Minute 36:51. Thou doth protest too much?

Inner City Press also asked Amos about humanitarian access in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan. She replied, "We have ongoing discussions in Sudan with the government and also try talk with SPLM-North about cross-line access. With respect to vaccination, we try."

 Amos continued that recently, "Sudan says there are some further areas we would be able to access, the changing lines you yourself mentioned, we have to press, particularly the SPLM-North, to gain access... We have been able to access some of the government controlled areas." Video here, from Minute 17:37. Watch this site.


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