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As Sudan Orders Halt to Oil Flow From South, Test for Post-Rice USUN?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 7 -- Sudan's president Omar al Bashir has ordered his minister of oil to cut off the flow from South Sudan on June 8, accusing Juba of continuing to support rebels in Sudan.

  Not only the African Union but also the UN, through now part-time envoy Haile Menkerios, has been trying to keep the oil flow deal on track. But where is Menkerios and the UN now? Recently Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave Menkerios another job, as UN representative to the AU in Addis Ababa, while still filling the Sudan - South Sudan post.

  Is part time enough? Now we'll find out. (It also remains unclear what will happen with Menkerios' Assistant SG salary line, now that he's paid a higher Under SG salary in Addis.)

  With Susan Rice leaving the US Mission to the UN -- her farewell reception is June 13 -- this may also be an early test of Samantha Power, if confirmed before the US Security Council presidency that starts July 1, or for a Rice-less USUN.

  Many Security Council ambassadors have told Inner City Press that the bi-weekly Sudan / South Sudan consultations were entirely at the request of Susan Rice. Will they continue with her gone? Would Powers take a different approach?

  For now, will the US Mission under Rice or any other mission call for Security Council meetings on what could be a return to war? Watch this site.

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