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As Sudan Says Araud Agrees "No Point" in US Draft, France's Month Nears End

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 25 -- Can countries just say whatever they want to about what happens in the UN Security Council?
  On August 25, state media Sudan Vision said that the country's Permanent Representative had spoken with this month's Council president, Gerard Araud, who said that France sees "no point" to the draft Presidential Statement proposed more than two weeks ago by the US Mission to the UN.

  On the afternoon August 23, Inner City Press covered the Council's consultations on the draft, and reported a number of members' frustrations with the talks.

  But earlier on August 23, Inner City Press asked Araud, what about the PRST, the Presidential Statement? He said that some members feel it is taking too long, and that there would be a consultation of Deputy Permanent Representatives in the afternoon.

  Prior to that, but unreported until now, Inner City Press observed Sudan's Ambassador in discussions with Araud. What was said? Will France respond or let stand this Sudanese statement? It's month atop the Council's almost over, with Syria and to some degree Congo its remaining focus.

  And so now more than two weeks after Thabo Mbeki briefed the  Council about Sudan and South Sudan, the disputes on the draft Presidential Statement include how to characterize aerial bombardments, and whether the Statement should criticize Khartoum for not "accepting Mbeki's map."

   Back on August 16, South African Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu told Inner City Press, it is important that the Council agree on a statement soon, so that the parties don't think the Security Council is divided.

  Well, the Security 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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