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Week After Mbeki, UN SC Still Silent on Sudans, of Pipelines, Map & Playgrounds

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 16 -- A full week after Thabo Mbeki briefed the UN Security Council about Sudan and South Sudan, the Council has not been able to agree on a Presidential Statement about the situation.

  Among the disputes is whether the Statement should criticize Khartoum for not "accepting Mbeki's map." Khartoum claims it has four supporters, now including Azerbaijan, and even that French Ambassador Gerard Araud, this month's Council president, was critical of another Permanent member's "playground" approach.

  The playground is expanding, both in space and time.

  On August 15 Security Council experts met on the stalled draft in the Council's consultation room. On August 16 experts wandering the North Lawn told Inner City Press they were still working on it. Talks were said to be bilateral, with the expectation of "coming back together at a higher level" to make decisions on language still left open.

  There is a difference, it is pointed out, between demilitarizing a zone and agreeing on a final border.

  Still, as South African Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu told Inner City Press on Thursday, it is important that the Council agree on a statement soon, so that the parties don't think the Council is divided.

  On August 15 when Inner City Press asked Araud about Darfur, he answered that the Council IS divided on this issue, as on Syria and Israel - Palestine. Sudan / South Sudan was supposed to be one of the issues on which the Council works together. So what's happening?

  Meanwhile, Japan's Toyota Tsusho Corporation has put in a $5 billion bid to build an oil pipeline linking South Sudan to the proposed Kenyan port of Lamu, bragged Dennis Awori, Chairman of Toyota Kenya Limited.

  When Japan sent a few people to the UN Mission in South Sudan UNMISS, the UN hyped it up and media covered it. But this is a more real and telling connection: follow the money. Watch this site.

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