Sudan's President indicted – UN in panic about 25,000 staff on ground – interesting blog report from UN about triumphalist press conferences

The President of Sudan has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity — but not on charges of genocide.

The Arab League will meet at ministerial level to discuss the implications etc.

The UN is in a panic, worried about its 25,000 staff on the ground that it may have to evacuate.

Medecins Sans Frontiers announced on Wednesday that it was pulling its staff out. Later, the Sudanese government gave orders to a number of other human rights and humanitarian aid organizations to leave immediately.

In an interesting report from UNHQ/, Matthew Lee blogs here about triumphalist press conferences.

Matthew notes that “in Resolution 1593, the UN Security Council called on Sudan to cooperate and comply with ICC rulings” — aaah, those clever diplomats at the UN have anticipated everything…

Matthew also reports on the matter of casualty figures — hotly contested in many hotspots around the world. He writes:
Update of 11:55 a.m. — HRW’s Dick Dicker, asked about Gaza, cited a figure of 3000 people killed. Less than an hour later in the same seat [apparently in Room 226, where UN press conferences are held], Khouloud Daibes, Palestinian Minister for Women Affairs, told Inner City Press the figure is 1300 killed. The figure in Sri Lanka, just so far this year, is over 2000. It is not clear what the figure is in Darfur so far this year. With a UN mission in the region, perhaps a number should be expected?“.

If this HRW official actually said 3,000 people were killed in Gaza, that would probably be an overestimation — nobody else has a figure that high. But, the Palestinian figures given in Gaza now report 1455 killed in or as a result of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (some died later as a result of their wounds). The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs cites these Palestinian figures, which it regards as official, despite the fact that they come from Gaza (though not necessarily from Hamas sources). So, why is Kholoud Daibes so behind the 8-ball? Is she only interested in tourism? Is it because leading PA figures in Ramallah have not been heard updating their figures beyond the 1300 number given just after the end of the operation?

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