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On Darfur, UN Doesn't Answer on Looting of One Village, Corrects on Another

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 12 -- While the UN and its mission in Darfur continue to stonewall on the disappearance of their Protection of Civilians strategy, which whistleblowers tell Inner City Press they allowed Sudan to veto, now UNAMID tries to erase the taking of the town of Rockero by the opposition.

  First UNAMID sent out a press release on January 9 that that "Wali (Governor) of Central Darfur, Dr. Yousif Tibin... informed UNAMID acting chief that armed groups had taken control of the towns of Golo and Rockero in west Jebel Marra."

  Then two days after the release, and after another Inner City Press question about UNAMID went unanswered, the UN purported to correct the January 9 release, saying "UNAMID conveyed inaccurate report regarding the information provided by the Wali of Central Darfur, Dr. Yousif Tibin, on Rockero town."

  The new paragraph dropped the taking of Rockero by the opposition: "Wali Tibin informed UNAMID acting chief that armed groups had taken control of Golo town in west Jebel Marra. He also said the State was, until then, unable to properly communicate with Rockero town. Therefore, they didn't have enough information about the town from their end, he added."

  Meanwhile, on January 11 Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky

Inner City Press: there’s reports that an entire village in central Darfur, Nagadoli, has been destroyed by pro-Government militias. Does UNAMID [African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur] know about this alleged destruction of an entire village, and what does UNAMID make of it, where are things going, is there any plan to either increase patrols, increase the size of the mission?

Spokesperson Nesirky: They are all valid questions, Matthew, and I’ll see what I can get from the Mission.

  But more than 24 hours later, nothing from the Mission, nothing but a correction. And stil no answer at all to the January 7 question by Inner City Press about where the UN's Protection of Civilians strategy has gone, and if Herve Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations has let Sudan veto it. Watch this site.

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