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In S. Sudan, UN Separated Dinka & Nuer, Now "Shocked" at Ban of Nuer

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 2 -- While the UN purports to be "deeply concerned" by South Sudan authorities' banning of Nuer national staff from traveling this week, only earlier this year the UN itself segregated Nuer from Dinka in its UN camps.

  So how surprised can the UN be?

   When UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on July 2, fresh from misleading / incomplete answers about the UN flying sanctioned FDLR militia leaders around in Eastern Congo, read out an if-asked of deep concern, he did not say and his partner scribes did not ask about the UN's own segregation - but rather about soccer, with censors. So it goes at this UN.

Back on January 13 with the UN in South Sudan still separating those in its camps into "Dinka" and "Nuer," Inner City Press on  asked Dujarric's predecessor Martin Nesirky what the UN's policy on making such separations, particularly after Srebrenica, is. Video here, from Minute 12:20.

UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous' spokesperson Kieran Dwyer had told some hand-picked scribes that the segregation "initiative is on request of community leaders. Theyíve advised that this is the best way to keep things calm and stable inside the base. If there is any policy here itís not ethnic separation. Itís to work with community leaders."

Nesirky first said that thousands have been saved by sheltering in ten UN bases, and that the separation is ongoing. He said his colleagues in UN Peacekeeping have answered.

But, Inner City Press asked, where would such deference to the requests of "community leaders," such as could have been made even by the authorities in Rwanda in early 1994, stop -- segregation by race or religion? Would this be done in, say, the Central African Republic or Syria? By the UN?

Nesirky said that the situation inside the camps in South Sudan is precarious because things are crowded, and "tensions could arise." All the more reason to have a policy. So what is the UN's policy? Watch this site.


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