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UN Won't Confirm Denmark on Syria Ship, Dane Tweets From S. Sudan, Disappeared

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 8 -- After Denmark's defense minister Nicolai Wammen said his country is contributing a ship to help remove chemical weapons from Syria and soldiers to protect the UN's envoy there, Sigrid Kaag, Inner City Press Friday asked UN spokesperson Farhan Haq to confirm the offer is being accepted. Video here, from Minute 7:01.

  Haq declined to confirm, saying that nothing will be decided until a November 15 meeting of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

 It all depends, Haq said, on the OPCW's acceptance of the plan the Syrian government has submitted.

  But Danish officials' statements make it appear it's a done deal. Development minister Christian Friis Bach told Jyllands-Posten that the chemical weapons will not be brought to Denmark for destruction.

  Defense minister Wammen was quoted, "We will go in with a broad approach from the Danish side and support the mission to destroy the weapons in Syria. We have not confirmed the actual number [of soldiers] yet." How does he know there will be any, before the November 15 meeting, according to the statement of UN spokesperson Farhan Haq?

  Another Dane elsewhere in the UN system -- Mathilde Kaalund-Jørgensen of the UN Mission in South Sudan -- earlier this week tweeted this:

"#breaking Lou Nuer youth are mobilising in big numbers leaving #Akobo town empty heading towards Dengjok #Southsudan"

  Given previous bloodshed between the Lou Nuer and Murle, and UNMISS inaction, this gave rise to concerns. So much so that the Mathilde Kaalund account profile is now gone from Twitter.

  This came after Akobo county commissioner Kuang Rambang accused the UN Peacekeeping mission of unfairness. One way or another, the UN should have responded. But instead, the account simply disappeared.

  The head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous has adopted a "farcical" policy of refusing to answer Press questions -- video here, UK coverage here -- so for now we report only this, the "disappeared" cautionary tweet. With Ladsous' previous history, there are concerns. Watch this site.


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