SUDAN WATCH: Sudan calls UK Ambassador to the UN John Sawers an amateur diplomat

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sudan calls UK Ambassador to the UN John Sawers an amateur diplomat

News analysis from Inner City Press by Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN:
Sudan Calls UK Ambassador an Amateur, of War Criminals in Congo Too

UNITED NATIONS, May 18 2009 – As the UN Security Council traipses across Africa this week, it is notably skirting Sudan. UK Ambassador to the UN John Sawers offered an explanation. "We're not going to meet with someone who is an indicted war criminal," he said, referring to the arrest warrant obtained by International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir in March on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

When the Press conveyed Sawers views to Sudan's Ambassador at the UN, he replied that Sudan has no desire to be visited by the UK, “a country with blood on its hands,” and called Sawers “an amateur diplomat.” Beyond the overheated rhetoric, a long time Council diplomat consulted by Inner City Press agreed that Sawers had erred in his comment on the Council bypassing Sudan. It appears that the UK Mission to the UN has sought response from Sawers; if and when one is made available, it will be published on this site.

More seriously about Sudan, experts consulted by Inner City Press see the North – South peace deal unraveling, and predict war by mid-2009. “Much of the Darfur conflict grew out of the South,” one of them said. “Now war in the South will throw everything back into chaos.”

Ironically, with the Council in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is visit a UN Mission which works with an army that has incorporated at least one indicted war criminal, Jean-Bosco Ntaganda. As Inner City Press showed prior to the Council's trip, an April 4 memo from within the Congolese Army listed Bosco Ntaganda as Deputy Coordinator of Operation Kimia II, to which the UN Mission MONUC provided assistance.

The UN's shifting answers, first that they wouldn't work with an army that included Bosco, then that they wouldn't work with operations in which Bosco has a formal role, finally only that no pictures will be taken with Bosco, cast a different light on the UN and war criminals.


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