[Dehai-WN] Innercitypress.com: UN Still Won't Confirm Sudan Army Invasion of Town in South Sudan

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 23:00:32 +0100

UN Still Won't Confirm Sudan Army Invasion of Town in South Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 8, 2011 -- 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. <http://www.innercitypress.com/icc1ladsudan120511.html>

  Twenty four hours later, not having heard any response from the UN, Inner
City Press asked again
<http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2011/db111206.doc.htm> :

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.

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?


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