Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

More: InnerCityPro

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On DR Congo UN Bachelet Silent Like Guterres on Disenfranchisement of Yumbi Just Counts Bodies

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter The Hill

UNITED NATIONS GATE, January 16 – In the DR Congo where the UN uses a "Force Intervention Brigade" but on which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has refused to answer questions from the Press he has banned for 196 days, voting was further postponed into official meaninglessness, it seems, in Beni and two other largely opposition cities, Butembo and Yumbi. Even as the ICGLR but not Guterres calls for a recount, Yumbi never voted. Now Guterres' human rights front Michelle Bachelet chimes in on the number killed in Yumbi - that rationale for disenfranchisement - without mentioning the inability to vote. These silos, Bachelet on death, her Colville on executions, Guterres cutting deals in secret, is making the UN more and more of a travesty. Here's the statement by Bachelet, who still has said and done nothing about Guterres' retaliatory roughing up and banning of the Press: "The UN Human Rights Office said Wednesday that according to allegations from credible sources, at least 890 people were killed between 16 and 18 December in four villages in Yumbi territory, Mai-Ndombe province in the west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in what appear to have been clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities.     Reports suggest that at least 82 people were also injured in the attacks, but the actual number of casualties is expected to be higher. Some 465 houses and buildings were burned down or pillaged, including two primary schools, a health centre, a health post, a market, and the office of the Commission Electoral National Independante (CENI). Most of the population of the affected villages has reportedly been displaced, including an estimated 16,000 people who sought refuge by crossing the Congo River into the Republic of Congo. The UN Human Rights Office has launched an investigation into these alarming reports. National judicial authorities have also initiated an investigation.     “It is crucial that this shocking violence be promptly, thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said. “This is essential to ensure justice for the victims of these horrific attacks, but also to prevent new episodes of intercommunal strife, and to address the anger and feelings of gross injustice that may otherwise lead to repeated cycles of violence between communities." The UN refugee agency that Guterres used to run has issued an entire statement about Yumbi and inter-communal clashes there, without even mentioning that was the stated rationale to not hold voting for the residents. Some say, this is so "de-politicized" as to be, in fact, political, and pro-Kabila. Now that penholder France has belatedly set up a UN Security Council meeting for this Friday afternoon, is trying to justify the disenfranchisement in Beni and Yumbi on the agenda? Inner City Press is banned by Guterres from even entering the UN, for the 184th day. But we will cover it. Watch this site - if you can: the Kabila government turns off Internet and text messaging, and even FM radio reception. Several countries issued a statement calling for it to be restored. But will they use their positions including on the UN Security Council to address what's happening in DRC, including in Beni? So far, the Security Council hasn't met or issued any statement. Instead, on January 3, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino issued this: "The United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the polls across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30 to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly elections.  Since independence in 1960, the DRC has never experienced a peaceful, democratic transfer of power.  The December 30 election was therefore one of the most important elections in DRC history.   The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several international election observers and media representatives.  We also noted that confusion on election day over the location of polling stations, the posting of voter lists, the late delivery of some election materials, and CENI's unfortunate decision to cancel elections in Beni and Butembo in eastern DRC disenfranchised voters.  Nevertheless, despite these challenges, millions of Congolese citizens turned out peacefully across DRC on election day to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. ‎ CENI must now ensure that these voices and votes are respected.   As the Congolese people, the region, and the world await patiently for the results of these elections, the internet must be restored and the media allowed to report freely.  We strongly urge the CENI to ensure that votes are counted in a transparent and open manner, with observers present, and that the results reported by CENI are accurate and correspond to results announced at each of DRC's 75,000 polling stations.  We support the African Union Election Observation Mission to DRC’s expectation, expressed on January 2, that the announced results align with votes cast by the Congolese people.  As official results are tabulated and reported, we continue to urge DRC government officials, leaders of the DRC security forces, opposition party leaders, civil society representatives, and stakeholders from all sides to respect the law and reject violence.   There are moments in every nation’s history when individuals and political leaders step forward and do the right thing.  This is one of those moments for the DRC.  Those who enable a peaceful, democratic transfer of power out of respect for DRC’s constitution and the results of this election will be hailed, while those responsible for undermining democratic institutions and processes, threatening the peace, security, or stability of DRC or benefiting from corruption ‎will be held accountable.  Those who undermine the democratic process, threaten the peace, security or stability of the DRC, or benefit from corruption may find themselves not welcome in the United States and cut off from the U.S. financial system.    On December 30, millions of Congolese went peacefully to the polls.  Now is the time for CENI to affirm that these votes were not cast in vain by ensuring the accurate reporting of election results."  Watch this site. On December 30 people in Beni, Kasindi, Oicha and Butembo organized their own election using their own and 2011 materials, no thanks to the UN; they say they will turn the results into the CENI.  On December 31, banned Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Staphane Dujarric in writing: "December 31-2: On the DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the disenfranchisement of 1.2 million Congolese - does he believe the CENI should accept and count the votes tallied by the disenfrancised in Beni and the other excluded cities? the PGN-ing of the EU's representative to the country? Again, confirm or deny that UN Peacekeepers pushed back protesters in Beni.

Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq, after Dujarric did not answer a single time while Haq was away - Dujarric has a conflict of interest - sent this: "Regarding question Dec. 31-2, we can say the following: The Secretary-General welcomes the holding of the polls in what was described as a relatively calm atmosphere across the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday.

Ahead of these historic elections, the Secretary-General had called on voters in the DRC to cast their ballots peacefully and on authorities and political leaders to work towards ensuring peaceful elections.

It is important that calm continues to prevail, as the votes are counted and results are expected."
There are reports of voting machines lacking or broken and observers blocked in
Lubero, Rutshuru, Walikale (scene of a previous UN cover up), Bunyakiri and Fizi. Also in South Kivu in Walungu, Vital Kamerhe says a police man amid accusations of elections fraud, and then was beaten to death. And the UN of Guterres? Covering its own corruption, with censorship. While Guterres avoid the issue, one of his advisers Aguinaldo Baptista re-tweets Kabila's quote. So either Team Guterres knows but just chooses to avoid, while claiming victory in South Sudan (see here), or Guterres doesn't listen to his adviser(s), like he refused to listen even to Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta about ending his disgusting censorship of Inner City Press, here. We'll have more on this. In Beni UN peacekeepers reportedly beat back a crowd protesting their own disenfranchisement - while their absentee Commander Antonio Guterres refused to answer Press questions about the DRC partial election. Now one might expect Guterres' pro-Kabila UN to gush praise of the election eve arrest of Isaac Chirambiza of Raia Mutomboki in South Kivu province, according to regional spokesman Captain Dieudonne Kasereka. Meanwhile Kabila claims it would be a “disaster” if people vote on Sunday in two large communities in the ebola outbreak zone, asserting that “a single person” could infect scores or hundreds of others. How convenient.  Inner City Press has asked the UN, without response, "December 27-3: On DRC, please confirm or deny that UN Peacekeepers pushed back protesters in Beni and state what is the SG's comment and action on the prospective disenfranchisement of more than 1 million Congolese voters this Sunday."  Now the Kabila government has retaliated against EU sanctions on his handpicked successor by giving the EU's representative Bart Ouvry 48 hours to leave the country. An EU spokesperson has now called it "completely unjustified... On the eve of very challenging elections in DRC, such a decision can only be considered counterproductive." And from Guterres, asked day after day about the DRC by Inner City Press which he banned, absolute silence. He and his lead Spokesman Stephane Dujarric have ordered a UN Associate Spokesperson Ms Keishamaza Rukikaire who actually seems to care, re-tweeting about DRC (and, for example, Bobi Wine in Uganda and China's purchase of Senegal and elsewhere, see here) not to answer any of banned Inner City Press' written questions on these or any topic. At noon on December 28 Inner City Press asked Guterres, Dujarric, Rukikaire and others, "
December 28-1: On the DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the PGN-ing of the EU's representative to the country? Again, confirm or deny that UN Peacekeepers pushed back protesters in Beni and state what is the SG's comment and action on the prospective disenfranchisement of more than 1 million Congolese voters this Sunday." No answer - only, hours later this statement which could have and possibly was written before the Beni disenfranchisement: "As the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) prepares for presidential, legislative and provincial elections on 30 December, the Secretary-General calls on the authorities of the DRC, political leaders on all sides, the Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI) and civil society to continue working together to ensure an environment free of violence so that all eligible voters can cast their ballots peacefully on election day. 

The Secretary-General further encourages  citizens to seize this historic opportunity to participate in the consolidation of the country’s democratic institutions.

The Secretary-General reminds all actors that they have a critical role to play in preventing electoral violence, by refraining from any form of provocation and showing maximum restraint in their words and actions. He also calls on everyone to protect and ensure safe access to health facilities in Ebola impacted areas.

The Secretary-General reiterates the continued commitment of the United Nations to support a peaceful transition of power in the Democratic Republic of the Congo." What about the disenfranchisement... The group LUCHA has denounced it, noting that over 1 million voters would be disfranchised. But the UN of SG Antonio Guterres, who is on a murky junket stonewalling questions about his own conflicts of interest including with the China Energy Fund Committee, has not for five hours answered or responded to this question from Inner City Press: "December 26-3:  On DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the postponement and rendering meaningless the votes in Beni and two other cities, postponed until March? How is that not outright disenfrachisement?"

The questions were emailed by banned Inner City Press, pursuant to USG Alison Smale's promise to UNSR David Kaye they would be answered, also to, among others, Amina Mohammed, Marcia Soares Pinto, Keishamaza Rukikaire, Hua Jiang (who refers to Hak-Fan Lau, Mita Hosali, Joachim Harris and Lydia Lobenthal) and Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, who refers to Arnab Roy and Eihab Omaish - as well as the Guterres' own email. No answers, including on the UN Public Financial Disclosure omissions by Guterres. Birds of a feather. The CENI has said, "“Elections lead to important movements of voters towards polling places, thus leading to concentrations of people ... raising the risk of propagation of this disease and providing the conditions for terrorist attacks.”And from Guturres, off on a junket with public costs undisclosed, has refused also to respond to questions raised by Inner City Press' exclusively report that while Guterres fraudulently omitted his role in the Gulbenkian Foundation from his UN Public Financial Disclosure, Gulbenkian in 2018 was trying to sell its Partex Oil to China Energy Fund Committee which Guterres refused to subject to any UN audit, preferring to rough up and ban Inner City Press, 175 days now. We'll have more on this - including anything on how March 2019 voting in Beni would count, and anything the UN Security Council and its French penholder says on these new frauds. French led UN Peacekeping saying the FIB to neutralize groups. But when on November 16 UN Peacekeeping chief Jean Pierre Lacroix came to the UN Press Briefing Room that UNSG Antonio Guterres has banned Inner City Press from for 175 days, he did not specify when their offensive action was decided on, nor on which Congolese Army units they were working with, see below. On December 21, Inner City Preess asked Guterres and his spokesmen Stephane Dujarric and Farhan Haq: "December 21-8: On the DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the reported further delay of the election scheduled for Dec 23 to Dec 30 and the reasons given? Again, what FARDC units does MONUSCO currently work with?" They never answered... On December 14 this same UN, via its Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet who says nothing about targeted censorship and roughing up of Press by UNSG Antonio Guterres who picked her,  issued this: "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday expressed deep concern at violence against opposition rallies this week in at least three provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the presidential elections to be held on 23 December. Bachelet called on the authorities to ensure that these incidents are promptly investigated, and that “the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – essential conditions for credible elections – are fully protected.” On 11 December, at least three men were killed and several injured after police reportedly fired live ammunition and used teargas and water cannons against an opposition rally in Lubumbashi in the Haut-Katanga province. The convoy of presidential candidate Martin Fayulu also reportedly came under attack by police. In the ensuing clashes between supporters of various parties, seven vehicles, including one belonging to the Police Nationale Congolaise were destroyed and the prosecutor’s office burned down. On 12 December, Fayulu’s campaign was again disrupted, this time in Kalemie, Tanganyika province. A young woman was killed and at least nine others injured, including two by live ammunition. And yesterday, in Mbuji Mayi in Kasai Orientale province, the provincial governor deployed soldiers and police officers on several roads to prevent people from greeting another presidential candidate, Felix Tshisekedi. A 16-year-old boy was reportedly killed by a soldier of the Forces Armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC).

“I am deeply worried about the reports of excessive use of force, including live ammunition, by security forces against opposition rallies,” High Commissioner Bachelet said. “I am also concerned at reports of the use of inflammatory speech by political leaders.”

“Just days ahead of crucial elections in the DRC, it is essential that the authorities ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fully protected and that they take all possible measure to prevent violence." But Bachelet, rarely at her ostensible place of work in Geneva, is silent on Guterres' assault on freedom of the Press, his Security having roughed up Inner City Press and now stonewalling on the complaints filed with the UN Department of Safety and Security and OIOS. She didn't even respond when Guterres' UN DSS openly "barred" Inner City Press, seemingly in retaliation for having complained about being roughed up by UN Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and five others unnamed, from the December 10 event by her New York deputy Andrew Gilmour and video statements, dripping with hypocrisy, from her and Guterres. This is today's UN.On the morning of November 23 Inner City Press in writing asked Guterres, missing in action, Amina J. Mohammed, Alison Smale and spokesman Dujarric who didn't sign his November 23 statements including on Pakistan, the following: "November 23-1: On DRC, please immediately confirm or deny that the UN has suspended any of its peacekeeping operations in Semliki, and separate state who in the UN vetted the 3302 Regiment of the FARDC and if any safeguards were put in place regarding human rights violations." Hours later, no answer. Lacroix is fending off this report from his MONUSCO's former spokesman. Inner City Press at noon asked in writing Guterres, his deputy, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, his deputy Farhan Haq and Alison Smale who promised such questions would be answered six including these: "November 19-1: On DRC, please immediately state how many UN system personnel have been withdrawn from Beni and explain the discrepancy between what WHO (and a former MONUSCO spokesman) say ("#RDC According to the #Beni press, 45 UN staff, including 17 #PAM, 19 WHO and 9 UNICEF executives have left Beni for temporary re-deployment in Goma. This comes 24 hours after the attack of the Battalion base of Malawi #MONUSCO Beni.") and Mr Lacroix's “"The whole of UN, WHO-led operations against Ebola continue in and around Béni, with strong support of MONUSCO which is reinforcing protection in Béni & carrying out operations against armed groups."

November 19-2: Further on Mr Lacroix and DRC, since I was banned from attending his Nov 16 press conference, please immediately state which FARDC units the Malawi and Tanzania FIB forces were working with and how they were vetted." Eight hours later, nothing, nothing at all. But Lacroix had issued a denial: "The whole of UN, WHO-led operations against Ebola continue in and around Béni, with strong support of MONUSCO which is reinforcing protection in Béni & carrying out operations against armed groups." This while Lacroix, in Cairo, declined to answer banned Inner City Press' online questions
here, including about reported rapes by Cameroon peacekeepers in CAR, still no answer from Lacroix or the UN. We'll be continuing to ask...


Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

 Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for