UN Flew Haroun, No Reimbursement or Flight Manifest, France vs UK
February 1 -- When the UN flew
International Criminal Court
indictee Ahmed Haroun to Abyei, they did not even ask for
reimbursement from the government of Omar al Bashir, also indicted by
the ICC for genocide as well as war crimes.
The UN admitted this to
Inner City Press after rebuffing the question for two weeks. It still
refuses to say who else was on the plane with Haroun.
February 1, French Ambassador Gerard Araud confirmed to Inner City
Press that it was the French Mission to the UN which complained to
the UN Secretariat of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about flying
is a question, and I think it is a legitimate question, he is on ICC
so it is really...” His voiced trailed off. Really uncomfortable?
who made the decision to fly Haroun, Araud indicated he didn't know. He
could, one assumes, find out informally: Frenchman Alain Le Roy is the
head of UN Peacekeeping.
has been asking the UN since January 19, after it got spokesman
Martin Nesirky to confirm the flying of Haroun by the UN Mission in
Sudan, for the specifics of the assistance it provided to Haroun, who
decided on it and who was on the flight:
type of aircraft was used to fly ICC indictee Haroun to Abyei? Who
else was on the flight? How much did the flight cost? Are any of the
costs being recouped, or asked to be recouped? Who made the decision
to transport Haroun in a UN plane despite the ICC indictment? With
whom did this person confer, at UN headquarters? When will Ms.
O'Brien of OLA do a briefing?”
ignoring the question for 10 days, on January 31 the UN Department of
Peacekeeping Operations forwarded this response: “On Ahmed Haroun,
we have provided you with our answers previously and have nothing
further to add.”
followed up, insisting that
and you should answer yes or no whether the UN has sought
reembursement from the Goverment of Sudan for flying ICC indictee
Ahmed Haroun to Abyei. If the answer is no, please simply state so.
These are after all publicly financed resources, public money.”
February 1, the UN addressed the question of reimbursement, saying it
had not even been requested:
question on Ahmed Haroun
From: UN Spokesperson [at]
Date: Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 2:17 PM
To: Inner City Press
with its mandate, the Mission provides the necessary
support to those key players in their pursuit to find a peaceful
solution. In this context, at the request of the Government and on a
space available basis, UNMIS provides seats on its flights to
Government officials on official business related to the peace
process, without any financial implications to the Government and at
no additional operational costs to the mission.
not answer who else was on the plane. In fact, footage exists of
Haroun arriving back in South Kordofan on a large UN plane, arranging
to be filmed so as to use the UN to undermine the ICC and its
indictment. Was the plane otherwise empty? Would it have otherwise
flown from Abyei to Kordofan? The UN should provide answers to these
P-5 plus 1, France on right, UK on left, Haroun
& Article 16 not shown
1, Inner City Press asked
Nesirky's deputy Farhan Haq about Abyei:
Press: the Sudan Tribune, in an article about Abyei, quotes a UN
official who couldn’t give his name because he is not authorized to
speak to the media, but has a direct quote saying that UNMIS had
heard reports of an armed group with rocket-propelled grenades and
machetes amassing north of Difra and Abyei. And says, “but the
patrol was not permitted to meet the group”. So, I wanted to know,
who would be stopping UNMIS from carrying out its protection of
civilians duties in Abyei? Would that be the… it is just, it seems
like it is a pretty serious statement by a UN official. Is there
some way to find out who stopped… whether the UN has access
throughout Abyei and who stopped this particular patrol?
Spokesperson Haq: Well, first we’ll have to see whether the
details of that are correct. But we’ll check with our colleagues
in UNMIS whether they have reported any blockages.
Press: And also just now in front of the Security Council, the
French Permanent Representative, [Gérard] Araud, said, or I
confirmed, that he had demarched the Secretariat about the use of
UNMIS air assets to move Ahmed Haroun, saying that, you know, he is
indicted by the ICC [International Criminal Court] as a war criminal.
So, I wanted to know, can the Secretariat confirm that it… who was
demarched and what’s their response?
Spokesperson Haq: I wouldn’t have any details to share on
that. On that, what I can tell you is that we have already spoken
out about the transport of Ahmed Haroun. We made it clear the
necessity of that particular task given the violence in Abyei at the
time and I don’t have anything further to say beyond what we have
already shared on that.
Ban Ki-moon's Secretariat is the position of the UK. When
Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant
about UNMIS flying Haroun around, he said that he wouldn't second
guess the UN.
Inner City Press asked UK Deputy Permanent Representative Philip
Parhan about France's demarche, and whether it would be correct to
infer that the UK and France have a different position when it comes
to requesting answers from the UN about human rights issues.
to speak for France,” Parham said, then pointed back to Lyall
Grant's “no second guessing the UN” stakeout. Parham added,
“There are operational issues where it's right not to second
guess.” He said it is not possible to define where this line is.
Inner City Press asked if the UK's line might be a certain dollar (or
Euro) figure, or number of casualties? Parham laughed and shook his
to the UK Mission say that Lyall Grant has indicated that the UK is not
entirely opposed to the idea of suspending the ICC's case against
Bashir, at least for a year under Article 16 of the ICC's Rome Statute,
if beyond the Southern Sudan referendum he were to recognize the ICC --
for example by turning over Haroun. We hope to have more on this.
if even the
Permanent Five members won't question the Secretariat on the issues
they say they think are important, like accountablity, who will?
Watch this site.