How are we to read this one? Is the US conniving with the Sudan regime while trying to appear not to be? Or is the US gearing up for unilateral intervention in Sudan, and trying to make the UN appear ineffectual in preparation? From Reuters, Oct. 11:
John Bolton has blocked a UN envoy from briefing the Security Council on possible human rights violations in Sudan’s Darfur region, saying the council had to act against atrocities and not just talk about them.
The chief U.S. representative was joined Monday by China, Algeria and Russia as they prevented Juan Mendez, Secretary General Kofi Annan’s special adviser for the prevention of genocide, from briefing the council on his recent visit to Darfur, despite pleas from Annan and 11 other council members that Mendez be heard.
The French ambassador to the UN, Jean-Marc de la Sablière, said he deplored the fact that Mendez was barred from speaking.
But Bolton said he had objected to the briefing to make the point the council should be “talking more about the steps it can take to do something about the deteriorating security situation” in Darfur. He gave no new proposals.
“How many officials from the secretariat does it take to give a briefing?” he said, noting the council had just concluded a briefing on Darfur from Hedi Annabi, assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations.
Afterward, Mendez, who visited Darfur for a week late last month, briefed reporters on his findings.
He said Sudanese officials were taking only cosmetic steps to prevent systematic human rights abuses that might amount to genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
He also accused the Khartoum government of refusing to cooperate with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.