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Media Advisory: UN Whistleblower Available for Interviews in New York, Washington, D.C. to Speak about UNAMID Cover-Up in Darfur

December 09, 2014
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(Washington, DC) – Government Accountability Project (GAP) client Aicha Elbasri arrives in the U.S. this week and is available to speak with journalists in New York from December 9-16 and in Washington, D.C. from December 17-19.
 
Elbasri served as spokesperson for the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) between August 2012 and April 2013. Elbasri maintains that during her assignment, UNAMID and the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations routinely misled the media and U.N. Security Council members by concealing atrocities committed by Sudanese government forces, including ethnic targeting; forced displacement & bombing of civilians; systematic, mass rape; and attacks on U.N. peacekeepers.
 
In July, the U.N. Secretary-General set up a Review Team to examine Elbasri's claims that UNAMID concealed crimes against civilians and peacekeepers. This announcement followed a three-part report published by Foreign Policy magazine in April 2014 based on hundreds of internal U.N. documents disclosed by Elbasri – in one of the biggest leaks of documents in U.N. history – and a call by the International Criminal Court's (ICC) prosecutor to have the U.N. investigate her claims.
 
But the review fell far short of the full, independent investigation called for by the ICC. Despite numerous findings by the Team that suggested an intended cover-up, they “found no evidence to support the proposition that UNAMID or DPKO would have intentionally reported in such a way as to cover up crimes against civilians and peacekeepers." For additional information about this report, its findings and its shortcomings, click here.
 
Elbasri is calling for a new, impartial investigation conducted by trained investigators reporting to the Security Council. She believes that an external commission ordered by a Council resolution is the only viable option to uncover the truth about UNAMID and DPKO reporting about Darfur, and to hold the wrongdoers to account.
 
In recent weeks, UNAMID has come under renewed fire for failing to investigate the alleged rape of hundreds of villagers in northern Darfur, prompting renewed media interest in Elbasri’s disclosures.
 
To schedule an interview with Elbasri, contact GAP International Program Consultant Shelley Walden at shelleyw@whistleblower.org or GAP Communications Manager Sarah Damian at SarahD@whistleblower.org or 202-457-0034 ext. 130.
 
 
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

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