Even After two Days: UN Still Won’t Confirm Sudan Army Invasion of Town in South Sudan

Posted: December 6, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 6 — Despite having a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, the UN for two days running has been unable or unwilling to confirm that Sudan’s Armed Forces cross the border and occupied the town of Jau in Unity State over the weekend.

  On December 5 Inner City Press asked for the UN’s response, and how it would deal with Sudan’s Defense Minister now that he has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said in essence that the UN will continue to work with the Defense Minister, and that he would check on the attack on Jau.

  Twenty four hours later, not having heard any response from the UN, Inner City Press asked again:

Inner City Press: yesterday I had asked whether the UN especially, its Mission in south Sudan, could confirm the taking and may be relinquishing of this city of Jau —

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, I did check, and my colleagues did check. The UN Mission in South Sudan is aware of the reports, as I mentioned yesterday, of fighting in the Jaw area on the border between Southern Kordofan and Unity State. However, the Mission is not in a position to confirm this information at the moment.

(c) UN Photo
Ban Ki-moon & Herve Ladsous, change after ICC indictment not seen

And for its part, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is telling us that the humanitarian coordination team in South Sudan is concerned that thousands of people have been placed in severe danger following this reported protracted artillery and aerial bombardments that took place this weekend along the border that we’re just talking about. And this of course is already coming amid a worrying increase in hostilities between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the SPLA (North) in that area in South Sudan. Aid agencies have been forced to withdraw staff, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is telling us, and they are concerned, that they cannot provide sustained and uninterrupted assistance, such as food and health, to the approximately 20,000 refugees in the Yida area in South Sudan.

And also, what I can mention is that plans to help 4,000 people, who had fled earlier fighting, moved to safe areas, have been complicated by reports of landmines in the area. So, the team, and that means the humanitarian coordination team in South Sudan, has called on the Government of Sudan and the SPLA (North) to abide by international humanitarian law and refrain from further actions which could harm innocent people.

Inner City Press: for some reasons it strikes me, OCHA, if they are saying that people are fleeing this area, are people fleeing reports of an attack or an attack? It sounds like they may be there or confirming —

Spokesperson Nesirky: I think the point here, Matthew, is that the Mission is not in a position to confirm it by being right there on the spot. They are aware of the reports. It’s obvious that something is happening, or has happened. It’s simply that the Mission is not right there on the spot to be able to confirm the details. I think it is as simple as that. I wouldn’t try to see a discrepancy there, okay, Matthew?

But why hasn’t the UN, especially its peacekeeping mission there, been able to confirm (or of course deny) the violation of the border?

  Again, since Herve Ladsous was installed at the fourth Frenchman in a row atop DPKO, the Department’s answers have grown less frequent and more contrary to accountability and to the protection of civilians, whether dodging questions about any standing claims commission regarding the introduction of cholera into Haiti, monitoring Sudanese Armed Forces flights of Janjaweed militia from Darfur to Southern Kordofan or entry into South Sudan. Things seem to be getting worse daily. Watch this site.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s