Saturday, October 8, 2016
Inner City Press Asked UN Of Sudan Using Chemical Weapons, US Doesn't Mention, Ladsous Cover Up
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, October 8 -- When Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Sudan's reported use of chemical weapons in Darfur, Dujarric replied defensively that the UNAMID mission has had no access to Jebel Marra in Darfur. Why then hasn't the UN and its Herve Ladsous complained louder?
In fact, Ladsous effectively it covered up, saying on camera that there is no evidence of chemical weapons, Vine here, then refusing questions, even trying to trigger more Ban Ki-moon retaliation for even asking.
Now on October 8, even while there is a protest planned outside the UN, the US has issued this statement about Sudan, which does not even mention chemical weapons:
"The United States notes the Government of Sudan’s intention to hold a General Conference on October 10 to review the progress made by National Dialogue participants. While we acknowledge that the conference will recognize the contributions of the different stakeholders to the National Dialogue, we believe it is equally important to strive for a representative and comprehensive national dialogue with participation from political and armed opposition, for a sustainable end to Sudan’s internal crises.
We urge the Government of Sudan to consider the current National Dialogue a first phase, and to engage with the opposition for its participation in an inclusive dialogue process, as prescribed in the Roadmap agreement negotiated by the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) which the government and opposition have signed. Conclusively ending the dialogue at this stage could seriously impede negotiations of cessations of hostilities agreements with the armed opposition and could derail the completion of the AUHIP Roadmap."
US priorities have moved on.
Given the effort the UN put into investigating chemical weapons in Syria, Inner City Press asked Dujarric if it will do the same on Sudan. The answer is no: Dujarric praised the Syrian government for its assistance, contrasting it favorably with Sudan, which the US has recently praised for counter-terrorism, and which deployed troops - Janjaweed? - to help the Saudi led coalition's assault on Yemen.
From the UN transcript, Beyond the Vine video here
Inner City Press: report of the use of chemical weapons against residents of Darfur and Sudan and Jebel Marra with photographs, very documented. And I wondered, where is UNAMID (African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur) on this? Do they… they, who have the big mission there, have they… do… have they seen this in the past?
Spokesman: Well, obviously, it goes without saying that we're extremely troubled by the information contained in the Amnesty International report. I think, as you know, the UN… UNAMID has regularly reported on the violence in Jebel Marra since the beginning of the year and its devastating effect on the population. We're obviously extremely and particularly concerned about the… regarding the allegations of use of chemical weapons. At the same time, as you will know, the Government of Sudan has denied access to Jebel Marra… to conflict areas in Jebel Marra and this prevented the Mission from being able to effectively monitor and report on the impact of the fighting. We have reinforced our position in Sortony, where a lot of the civilians who have been impacted by the fighting have gone to. We, again, reiterate our call to the Government to let us have access… unhindered access for ourselves, for our humanitarian colleague to Jebel Marra and to all those areas. Obviously, in terms of chemical weapons, Sudan is a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Any allegations of violations of that Convention will be examined by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons). We're told that our colleagues at OPCW are very much aware of these reports and will examine them along with relevant information.
ICP Question: Given… thanks a lot. Given that the UN, the Secretariat and Mr. Kim [Wonsoo] worked with OPCW on… on allegations in Syria, is there any thought within the Secretariat to… to… you said there was no access, but there's very little access in Syria, and in Darfur, you have a peacekeeping mission. Is there some…
Spokesman: It's a different… first of all, there is no access, because the Government has denied us access. The OPCW… the various joint OPCW-UN Missions that have worked well on Syria have also worked well, especially when there's been the cooperation from the Government of Syria for access. Obviously, the report's just come out. We'll take a look at it. And if there's any further steps, we'll come back to you.
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.
Now, Ban Ki-moon's UN has confined to only internal reporting the detention of a UN national staff member, while Ban stealthly attends book parties in New York, taking no questions.
UN whistleblowers have leaked to Inner City Press a UN memo that
"WESTERN BAHR EL GHAZAL: On 20 July at about 14:00 hours in Wau, two SPLA personnel stopped a UN vehicle carrying two UNMISS national staff members (of CAD Section) when they were conducting official duty (commodity survey) at Jou marked area. The SPLA questioned the UN staff members about their activities and forcefully took the shoes of one of the staff members as well as the amount 15000 SSP before releasing them unharmed."
The UN being silent on its staff robbed by the government is one thing. The UN has recently been silent, like the Committee to Protect Journalists which seeks Ban-supported access to the UN on July 25, on the detention of UN Radio journalist George Livio. But what about this?
"On 21 July, at approximately 16:25 hours, in Yambio an UNMISS female national staff member was arrested and detained by National Security Services (NSS). The reason for the Staff's detention is unclear but may be political. UN Security was denied access to the staff member... She is still detained by NSS."
Why has the UN said (and seemingly done) nothing about this? On the evening of July 22, not on his schedule which listed only UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Ban Ki-moon appeared at a book event for the spouse of the US Ambassador to the UN.
It was pre-planned: Ban's personal podium was set up in advance. But it was not on his schedule, and Ban's name was omitted from the squawk announcement by this spokesperson's office. And despite a written claimit was open to all journalists, in front of the event along with bodyguards was a sign, here, "Closed Meeting." We'll have more on this.
The nationalities of UN Police who left their posts amid the recent fighting is being withheld by Ban Ki-moon's UN, see below.
The day after UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said police which left would not be allowed to return, on July 22 Inner City Press asked him about German saying it would return despite leaving, UN Transcript here:
Inner City Press: you said yesterday that you were unable to determine whether there was any memo about the police that left their posts or were pulled out of the country in Juba, so I wanted to know can you now confirm that there is such a memo from Mr. [Hervé] Ladsous to Ban Ki-moon about it, that it doesn't have the Security Council material? But I also wanted to ask you, Germany has said they are going to return. This is a direct quote from Deutsche Welle, Germany's Foreign Ministry spokesman said that German police officers would return to South Sudan when the time has come. So it seems like you have said from this podium that some people won't be returning. Are the Germans returning, as they say?
Deputy Spokesman: I believe there are already still some Germans in the police contingent in the UN Mission in South Sudan, so there are some there. But, beyond that, I don't have anything specific to say about any national contingents, but I believe that they are there already.
ICP Question: They acknowledged they took people out and say that they will be returning, so that is why I'm asking you, will these same officers who left return?
Deputy Spokesman: The officers who left would not return, under the understandings we have reached; unless there is other clarification about how there was notification, the policy that we have is what I've stated a few days ago.
We'll see. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has played fast and loose with the media. On July 21 it was announced Ban would have “press remarks” at 3:30 pm. Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq if the topic would be only Inter-Parliamentary Union, or something else. Haq said IPU, that's what it's about.
But once upstairs at 3:30 pm, Ban Ki-moon launched into a statement about South Sudan, while taking no question on it. Video here. He spoke about the media in South Sudan, when his UNMISS has Banned the media from entering and covering the Protection of Civilian sites at UN House and Tomping for ten days. (Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access asked about it on July 20.)
Ban did not mention the UN Police who left their posts during the violence, nor why his UN is treating them with kidgloves, and not naming them, due to their nationality. Inner City Press asked if it could ask a question and was told no. So it's propaganda. Knowing how Ban's UN retaliates - evicting Inner City Press from its longtime office for merely trying to cover an event in the UN Press Briefing Room that was nowhere described in writing as Closed, Inner City Press did not shout out its question. But this is Ban's UN: censorship.