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On Sudan After Amos Speaks & UN Delays, Khartoum's Reply, Here

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- On July 16 in “elements to the press,” the Security Council on the “humanitarian situation in Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile... urged warring parties to allow humanitarian access in accordance with Resolution 2046” adopted by the Security Council, more than two years ago.

  Now Sudan's Mission to the UN has provided to Inner City Press its response, to that and the remarks of Valerie Amos of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Coordination, which Inner City Press in context is putting online here.

  OCHA and many Security Council members have bemoaned the lack of access to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. But why have no steps been taken, as on Syria? Reports under Resolution 2046 are not, as those on Syria are, put out in advance in the UN Spokesperson's office.

And a request by the Free UN Coalition for Access to OCHA's head of communications, previously in the same position for UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous, for a copy of Amos' clearly prepared opening remarks at the stakeout on Sudan and South Sudan (or "if not, why not") was not responded to, at all for an hour and substantively for five hours, whereas Amos' statements on Syria can be disseminated.

 An hour after FUNCA's request he replied, "The written statement will be delivered to media soon, once the text is aligned with what was delivered. This is standard practice. I'm not sure why the 'if not why not' question."

  It was more than four hours after that, and long after filing of the Sudans and other stories, that OCHA belatedly sent Amos' Sudan remarks - after OCHA had sent a number of other statements.

  The next day on July 17 Sudan's Mission to the UN repeatedly tried to get its hard-copy response to Inner City Press. Finally they did, in front of the Security Council, and Inner City Press in fairness has scanned it and puts it online here.

  Inner City Press also asked Amos about a critique of Ladsous' UNMISS mission in South Sudan, as undermining humanitarian independence. Amos gave a thoughtful answer about the need for escorts and security, given the logistics challenges. But how will this be received at the upcoming humanitarian summit?

  After the Rwandan presidency read out the “elements to the press,” Inner City Press asked about the status of Rwanda's June 26 complaint that Ladsous' MONUSCO mission had flown the FDLR militia's leader from Eastern Congo to Kinshasa before any decision by the 1533 Sanctions committee on giving a travel ban waiver (it was denied).

  Ladsous' DPKO has not even responded to the complaint, was the answer. On July 15, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told Inner City Press that the FDLR leader was escorted back to Eastern Congo - but then insisted he hadn't said that the UN did the escorting. Who did, then? Watch this site.


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