SUDAN WATCH: Sudan removes suspension of UN operations in Darfur

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sudan removes suspension of UN operations in Darfur

Storm in a tea cup? Whenever strange news stories like this appear, it makes one wonder if it's blown out of proportion by Khartoum to deflect the media away from a bigger story, like a Janjaweed attack or GoS bombing raid. [Afterthought: or a flap about something else going. I guess we'll never know what really goes on behind the scenes of a civil war]

A few minutes ago, IRIN reported that UNMIS air operations have suspended all Darfur flights until further notice, after the head of military intelligence of the Sudanese armed forces indicated that all UNMIS flights coming to Darfur would be prohibited from landing.

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Photo: Rebel commander, Suleiman Mohamed Jamous, was the humanitarian coordinator for the SLM/A before it split in November 2005 and the main rebel contact for the approximately 14,000 humanitarian aid workers in Darfur. Jamous was a member of Minni Minnawi's SLM/A faction who signed the Darfur Peace Agreement on 5 May, but was imprisoned by that same faction for his opposition to the peace deal. (IRIN)

Shortly after the above report hit the news wires, an unsourced article at Sudan Tribune June 26, 2006 appeared, saying:
The Sudanese Foreign Minister spokesperson Jamal Ibrahim said in an interview with the French Language RFI, that the head of the United Nation Mission in Sudan Jan Pronk had indicated in a meeting Monday that the transport of Darfur rebel leader Suleiman Jamous was made in good faith and in humanitarian bases.

He further said Pronk had reiterated his engagement to respect agreement between Sudan and the United Nation and to notify details of UN flights to the Sudanese aviation authorities as it is stipulated in the agreement.

"Sudan has accepted the clarifications presented by the UN envoy and the suspension is removed" said the Sudanese official.
Some ten minutes later, the Sudan Tribune had edited its report with a correction notice. The report now states the following text (which sounds more plausible because from what I'd gathered yesterday, Mr Pronk is currently in Europe, not Sudan) and instead of Mr Pronk's photo depicted earlier, shows this one of Taye-Brook Zerihoun:

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Sudan removes suspension of UN operations in Darfur - Correction: Please note that the meeting was held with Mr Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

The Sudanese Foreign Minister spokesperson Jamal Ibrahim said in an interview with the French Language RFI, that the Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, had indicated in a meeting Monday with acting Foreign Minister Sidiq Mutaraf that the transport of Darfur rebel leader Suleiman Jamous was made in good faith and in humanitarian bases.

He further said Zerihoum had reiterated his engagement to respect agreement between Sudan and the United Nation and to notify details of UN flights to the Sudanese aviation authorities as it is stipulated in the agreement.

"Sudan has accepted the clarifications presented by the UN deputy envoy and the suspension is removed" said the Sudanese official.
Note, I'm taking this opportunity to say the Sudan Tribune regularly publishes reprints of reports without crediting sources. It's annoying to have to work the sources of their reprints. Why don't they name their sources? It makes them appear sloppy and dodgy. The word plagiarism [the act of appropriating the literary composition of another author, or excerpts, ideas, or passages therefrom, and passing the material off as one's own creation] springs to mind here.

Half an hour later, Sudan Tribune published a fresh reprint entitled Sudan lifts suspension of UN operations in Darfur.

Here's another peeve about the Sudan Tribune: not knowing who is behind it and why they feel the need to remain anonymous. Simply listing themselves as "Sudan Tribune.com Ltd," their "About us" says:
"SudanTribune is a non profit web site based in France. Its goals are to promote plural information, democratic and free debate on Sudan. Contacts: More information, comments ... please contact us [they simply provide an email address contact@sudantribune.com]
Webhosting information:
Agence des Medias Numerique
AMEN
12-14 Rond Point Des Champs Elysees
75008 Paris
Tel: 0033 892 55 66 77
I am noting this issue now because it has niggled me for a few years and I'm starting to notice biases in their selection of reports, especially when it comes to particular rebel groups. I hate propaganda. This is a personal weblog, I can say whatever I wish. I do not claim to be a writer, journalist, whaterver. I'm not trying to manipulate news. I'm simply interested in learning the truth of matters and, as far as is possible, to know what is really going on. I do not care to be indoctrinated by people with hidden agendas and/or a religious and/or political bent.

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