Sunday, July 10, 2016

On South Sudan, ICP Asks UNSC President Japan About Arms Embargo, Which Troops Requested, Of Ladsous and Burundi

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 -- In the UN's continued withholding of news and answers about South Sudan, the reports of the UN's own knowledge of abuses are now being withheld from its own impacted national staff.

Leaked to Inner City Press: two fatalities in UN "Protection of Civilians" camp 3, seven Chinese peacekeeper injured, three to four critically. And the role of Paul Malong, see below.

After more than three hours of meeting, the UN Security Council members emerged. US Samantha Power spoke briefly, about getting more troops from regional countries.

Inner City Press then asked the Council's president for July, Koro Bessho of Japan, if an arms embargo had been discussed - no - and which countries are being looked to. He said he would not name names.Video here.

Could it be, as the UN's Herve Ladsous seeks to continue using in Central African Republic, from Burundi? We'll have more on this.  TheCouncil's Press Statement, has put online here.

Belatedly reaching the US Security Council stakeout on July 10, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre about the injured peacekeepers - nothing -- then asked US Ambassador Samantha Power about the role of Paul Malong, should he be sanctioned? Again, nothing. After 6 pm, Inner City Press asked Angola's Ambassador about the use of attack helicopters; he said heavy weapons shouldn't be used.

The head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, who should know or quit, said he couldn't give any casualty figures. Inner City Press asked about the seven Chinese peackeepers seriously injured it reported hours earlier; Ladsous said two more, beyond the Chinese. Inner City Press asked if his DPKO has dealt with Paul Malong. No answer. Video here.

Some say the US has been too quiet, even as aircraft are prepared in Djibouti for an evacuation. From US sources, citing a "hero from Benghazi," comes word of US personnel "trapped" in Juba, amid ambushes and NSA Susan Rice set to meet with South Sudanese diaspora / in exile.

US officials Donald Booth and Susan Page have been informed of SPLA-IO reinforcements on their way and the role of Paul Malong, with Ugandan backing. Meanwhile officials of the UN, which has helped in the cover up, blithely tweet "shame on their leaders" -- are they aware of Malong? 

Inner City Press was delayed in getting to the Security Council stakeout by the eviction and accreditation downgrade by Team Ban Ki-moon as retaliation for reporting.
Here is a letter from NGOs to the Security Council, put onling by Inner City Press here.

Here is the most recent UN DSS situation report, leaked to Inner City Press:

"Update as of 20.30 (LT)

Tomping: Observed SPLA build-up including tanks at the airport to defend against IO advancing from building across from the Western Gate. So far, no one has entered MSA 5. More sources corroborating potential attack on Tomping

UN House:

Mortar/RPG has landed immediately adjacent to the main gate of UN House on the outside wall of Guard Force. No injuries reported.

Latest number of Chinese injured increase to 7, 3-4 are in critical condition.

1 additional soldier from ETHBATT injured, reached ETHBATT-1 level 1 Hospital and taking Medical assistance, bringing number of injured UNMISS soldiers to 9.
2 Mortar/RPG have landed inside PoC 1.
All IDPs from F cluster within UN House are being moved in the area of building 8-9 UN House.
At least 2 confirmed fatalities and 35 injured inside PoC 3.

Greater Juba: NSTR”

Belatedly on Sunday July 10 the UN Security Council is to meet at 4:30 pm.

  Inner City Press has published below multiple leaked documents like this one from inside UNMISS and from non-governmental organizations - and compares them to contradictory official statements by the UN.

The UN has responded by evicting Inner City Press from its long-time shared office in the UN on April 16, video here and here (Periscope). Still,  exclusively from inside UNMISS Inner City Press published three memos, including the first one listing 150 soldiers as killed. Now this, from the former governor of Western Equatoria State:

From: Joseph Bakosoro
Subject: Rescue South Sudan

SIR, As we mourn thousands of fighters and civilians in South Sudan in a brutal unnecessary war, I am appealing that do not abandon the remaining people struggling to survive from the hand of tyranny government. Seriously people need peace but not at the moment under the current leadership. There is no justification by the present leaders to kill innocent people because of struggle for power. We need to care for life and properties of citizens. If protectors turn predators, what choice can the citizens have. Let the international body and those friendly to the remaining South Sudan come to our aid to stop more bloodshed. I cannot be a leader to lead and govern tombs and empty land. Rwanda type is approaching South Sudan.  At the moment nobody among current leaders has a sense of protecting humanity but only self-actualization. US,UN, and TROIKA members have still upper hand to intervene even if it means military. Intervene on humanitarian ground. International body has full responsibility to stop blood shade in S. S. A country where every body is above the law cannot survive. I am appealing for your intervention Sir.
Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro
Former Governor WES South Sudan

Now as some of those fleeing are forced to climb over the UN's closed gates, with helicopters with links to Uganda's UPDF over Juba, here was the third memo Inner City Press published:

"The overall security situation in Juba remains fluid.
 Bursts of single shots are heard at intervals.  Large numbers of armed government troops are on the streets. Checkpoints and roadblocks have been erected along various routes. The UN Crisis Management Team is presently in session. UN security is compiling locations where UN staff members are held –up in order to extricate them when the situation permits. UNPOL, FPU and the forces are working out the mechanism for an orderly arrangement to return IDPs assembled at various locations inside the UN house back into the POC sites. The whole of Juba city is on UN Security alert status White.  Staff accounting is still on going.”

In essence they’ve no real idea where all their staff are despite radio checks "

Here was the other memo Inner City Press exclusively published

The second memo Inner City Press published:

"Yesterday at about 17:24 hours, heavy gunfire exchange occurred at the Juba Bridge around Gumbo area, spreading towards Cherikat and causing citizens to flee. Heavy gunfire including artillery fire was also heard from around the presidential compound and in the Amarat, Tongpiny, and Jebel neighbourhoods.

These are areas where UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, WHO, UNHCR, OCHA, and WFP are located.

At about 18:30 hours, another round of heavy bombardment started from the direction of POC 1. The intensity and duration of this gunfire, which began with small arms fire was followed by heavy weapons and by large sound of explosions. One shell impacted the residence of a UN staff member and shattered the window of another at the UN house. A Warrior security guard on duty also received gunshot injury and presently at the UN level 1 clinic.

IDPs in POCs 1 and 3, including locals in nearby settlements immediately began fleeing into the UN House for refuge. Similar situation occurred at the Tomping compound with IDPs gathered in front of the Compound.

UN Security subsequently elevated the Security Alert Status to Grey, restricting all staff movements. As the security situation deteriorated, the Alert Status was again elevated to White and staff members advised to move into their safe haven.

Subsequently, IDPs from POC 1and 3 scattered inside the UN House and assembled at different areas within the Compound with FPU guarding them to avoid loitering within the UN house.

The shooting subsided briefly and restarted at about 21:45 hours with volleys of gunfire heard towards Juba city center.

Earlier this morning 09 July at about 07:42hrs, shooting was again reported in the general area of Tongpiny. As a result, UN Security elevated the Security Alert Status from Grey to White. A total number of 63 IDPs including 4 foreigners (3 Rwandese females and 1 Ugandan male) were last night screened and transported to the designated site for IDPs in emergencies close to the Western gate. RWANBATT is providing security. Staff accounting is still ongoing.”

Can't have those IDPs "loitering." A UN staff member's house was "impacted" by a shell.

 Here was the initial memo Inner City Press exclusively published:

“JUBA Nearly 150 soldiers are reported dead from Friday's clash between South Sudan's rival forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to  the First Vice President Riek Machar.

The heavy fighting occurred on Friday near J1, the Presidential Palace, between troops of the South Sudanese army (SPLA) and protection unit of the First Vice President, Machar, of the SPLA in Opposition.

35 of the SPLA-IO soldiers lying dead and over 80 died from the SPLA’s side.

All the bodyguards of the First Vice President who were deployed on the street outside J1 were killed, said a senior SPLA officer.

A huge force came from nowhere and joined up with President Kiir’s tiger force and opened fire on Machar’s bodyguards deployed outside the Palace for protection."
On July 8 amid the surge in violence in South Sudan, the UN Ambassador of Lithuania, until recently on the UN Security Council, tweeted on Friday that the Council would meet that afternoon about the crisis.
But when ICP asked the month's President of the Council, Koro Bessho of Japan, he said there would be no Security Council meeting that afternoon. The Lithuania ambassador deleted the tweet; the UNTV crew took down their camera. This as, for example, World Vision went on lock-down in Juba. Ban Ki-moon, in China, issued a canned statement - this as his spokesman refuses Press questions about South Sudan, calling them "too granular." 

On July 7, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, video here, UN Transcript here and below. Dujarric refused an answer, calling it "too granular." Then Inner City Press exclusively published this, from within UNMISS:

“Please be informed  that  on 07 July at about 20:25 hours,  Mr. Salah Khaled ( UNESCO Country Director) was shot by SPLA soldiers. Several shots were fired at his vehicle at the junction of Panorama Hotel along the Airport road. Incident occurred as he was driving home from an official UN function held at the UNDP compound. Mr. Khaled sustained three gunshot wounds; one to the leg and two shots to the left hand (lower & upper arm). The vehicle windscreen was shattered. He was taken to UNMISS level II clinic where he is presently receiving treatment. His condition is stable.

The circumstances surrounding his being shot at remain unclear.”

UN staff, only on condition of anonymity due to Ban Ki-moon's and Herve Ladsous' proclivity for retaliation, speak of large increase of roadblocks and checks resulting in a normal 20 minute journey taking three hours within the city.  The UN is becoming complicit.

From the UN's July 7 transcript

This UN Department of Safety and Security situation report covers up what other sources say was the targeted assassination of an SPLA-IO soldier:

3.         Crime – Shooting:  On 05 July at about 10:30 hours in Juba, UN military personnel on patrol reported a shooting incident near the NISS HQ on Jebel Road.  The report indicated that an SPLA soldier who appeared to have been shot was taken away from the scene by other Host Government security personnel. The body of a deceased SPLA –IO was reportedly later discovered in the same general area. It could however not be ascertained if this was the same person earlier taken away by HG security personnel neither could it be confirmed if the cause of death was  as a result of gunshots.

On June 21, UN DSS issued and Inner City Press has obtained and exclusively publishes the below advisory about South Sudan - well, Juba - which contrasts to DSS officials' behavior, for example in New York where on February 19 they pushed Inner City Press into the street(apparently ordered to do so by DPI's Cristina Gallach), on March 10ordered it out of the UN contrary to published rules, and since then have harassed the Press even when it has a minder.