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On Sudan, As UN Belated Speaks on Za'tari, Silent on UNFPA & OCHA, Findings

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 25, more here -- Amid charges that the UN in Sudan, including Herve Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping in Darfur, has colluded with the authorities in Khartoum to cover up rapes and killing, now the UN's Resident Coordinator Ali Al Za'tari has been ordered to leave Sudan by January 2, Inner City Press first reported earlier today.

  On December 24, Inner City Press similarly exclusively reported and then asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about UNDP Country Director Yvonne Helle being ordered out of Sudan, citing her and Al-Za'tari's e-mails. Video here.

  Later on December 25, Dujarric issued two statements about the UN protesting, then Ban Ki-moon condemning, Sudan's decision.

  Source in Khartoum tell Inner City Press reversal of the decision, particularly as to Za'tari, is unlikely. The Sudanese government has been complaining about Za'tari's quotes to a Norwegian newspaper; perhaps for that reason, Za'tari cravenly did NOT push back against Sudan's December 24 ouster of Helle, which Inner City Press first reported here.

  They point out that the UN did NOT push back when the country chief of UNFPA, the UN's Population Fund, was thrown out by Sudan in April, thereby encouraging this round.

  As Inner City Press reported, another UN staffer has this Fall be "harassed" and chased out of North Darfur and the country by the NISS security forces. Nothing was said then either (although, contrary to Za'tari's dismissive treatment of the UNFPA director, the Darfur aid staffer was at least protected by UN Department of Safety and Security on the way to the airport).

  Others point out a finding this year against Za'tari, in the UN's Appeals Tribunal no less: "The case is referred to the Administrator of UNDP under art. 10.8 of the Statute of the Tribunal for the purpose of considering what action should be taken in respect of the conduct of Mr. Al-Za’tari for his unwarranted public humiliation of the Applicant in the workplace and lack of integrity in the process leading up to the non-renewal of the Applicant’s secondment."

  The Administrator of UNDP, which as yet to answer Press questions about what's called its collusion with Khartoum with (dis) respect to Sudanese national staff's bank accounts in the UN Federal Credit Union, is Helen Clark, who'd like to replace Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary General. This is today's UN.

  This too: A full day after Inner City Press asked about Helle's ouster by Sudan, citing Za'tari's email, at the December 24 UN noon briefing , Reuters reported on Helle's ouster -- typically, for Reuters, with no credit to the Press' prior exclusive story. (Reuters' UN bureau chief has said he has a policy of not crediting Inner City Press' exclusive, and has gone to far as to censor, Sudan-style, his "for the record" anti-Press complains to the UN, click here for that, via EFF's

 Now, after UN Spokesman Dujarric issued two statements on the afternoon and evening of December 25 responsive to the question Inner City Press asked at the December 24 noon briefing, Reuters has run a piece with no fewer than eight journalists listed, and of course no credit. This is policy, untransparenty (when Inner City Press asked top Reuters brass including Stephen J. Adler for Reuters policy on crediting, none was provided.)
 But eight journalists?

  The above-referenced Reuters UN bureau chief, it must be noted, under his own byline sought to exonerate Ladsous, reporting without context complaints made to Ladsous about another UN staff member, without mentioning Ladsous' own role in covering up rapes in the DR Congo and now Darfur. Reuters has not reported the complaints against Ladsous, even as a Permanent Three mission on the Security Council has confirmed to Inner City Press its receipt of the letter.

   On December 24, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Sudan having just similarly "PNG-ed" or declared persona non-grata the Sudan Country Director of the UN Development Program Yvonne Helle, with Za'tari barely pushing back against the government.

  Dujarric said that host countries' ordered to PNG a UN staff member are treated seriously and should be sent to, and considered and acted on by, Ban's Secretariat in New York. But Dujarric in the 18 hours after Inner City Press asked about Helle has not returned with any information or answer. Then Reuters published its story, with no credit.


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