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As UN Spins Statements on Sudan Separatism, Ban’s Stance on Sri Lanka Recalled

[Inner City Press, Wednesday, 3 February 2010 09:24 No Comment]

Following a protest of the UN in Juba, South Sudan which included calls for "Ban Ki-moon [to] repent before judgment," the UN belated rushed to argue that Mr. Ban was misquoted by AFP about disfavoring a vote for self-determination by the South Sudanese.

Ban’s Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq came in late for Tuesday noon briefing at the UN in New York, read a statement then began to leave the podium without taking any questions. Inner City Press called out, will you take questions later? When he did, later, the UN did not transcribe it.

But Inner City Press asked Haq both what the UN says Ban told AFP, and how Ban’s statement about making unity attractive does not indicate a preference. Haq argued that this language is from the CPA. He said he would later provide Ban’s actually words to those interested. Video here, from Minute 1:50.

When Inner City Press went to Haq’s office before six p.m. on Tuesday, it was closed. The Deputy Spokesperson handed Inner City Press a print out in which AFP had dutifully modified the quote. This was taken at face value.

But also in Haq’s begrudging Q &A period, when Inner City Press asked about UN vehicles stolen in Darfur, Haq answered that this would not undermine the UN’s "relationship" with "military leaders of Sudan." Video here, from Minute 3:33.

Ban Ki-moon, whether due to personal beliefs or by letting others in his administration take the lead, has elsewhere come down firmly on the side of central governments over minorities seeking autonomy.

During the Sri Lankan bloodbath on the beach of 2009, for example, he and his closest advisors were seen as doing little to stop the Rajapaksa regime in Colombo from bombing civilians in norther Sri Lanka, to crush "separatism."

[Full Coverage]

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