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UN Peacekeeping Com'te Rift on Ladsous' Drones, Despite Spin

By Matthew Russell Lee, Scoops

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 -- The UN's use of "unmanned aerial vehicles" is spun as without controversy, for example by having a recent report spoon-fed to Reuters and a few others but never at a question and answer press conference.

 But on March 13 at the UN's Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations it was clear again that controversy and push-back remain, not least on how UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous would use the information.

 This issue was raised by C-34 members when Ladsous first pitched his drone plan; Ladsous refused to answer Press questions about it. Now Herve "The Drone" Ladsous had gone so far as to try to block the Press' camera, Vine here.

Back on February 24, 2015, Inner City Press asked the UN:

Inner City Press: This has to do with Jane Holl Lute and this report about technology and peacekeeping which some call the “drone report” because it proposes drones.  I’m wondering one, can she do a press conference on it?  How much money was spent on the report and why was it released in this kind of quiet or selective way?

Spokesman Dujarric:  I’ve heard your request and we will pass it on to DPKO. 

  But no response was ever given, nor press conference held. Now maybe some Western countries can trade other issues behind closed doors to clean up or cover up Ladsous' drone mess. But why in secret? Why not answer questions?

  This hypocrisy might help explain it:

When the UN Security Council visited the Central African Republic earlier this week, the issue of the UN underpaying the peacekeepers there was not raised, publicly or at all.

  But back in UN headquarters in the C-34 Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, discontent with DPKO as run by Herve Ladsous was mounting. On CAR, one issue about which C-34 exclusively told Inner City Press was Ladsous' DPKO's refusal to comply with the recommendations of the Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations to pay a risk premium to peacekeepers in the dangerous missions.

   Under Ladsous, DPKO tells Troop Contributing Countries with their soldier in CAR that it is not dangerous there -- while saying quite the opposite elsewhere. Several delegates called this rank hypocrisy.

   Some thanked Inner City Press for publishing the Office of Internal Oversight Services report, here, on how positions in the UN missions in Haiti and the DR Congo were sold by Cote d'Ivoire's Deputy Permanent Representative Ouattara.

 Now DPR Ouattara has become the charge d'affaires since Permanent Representative Bamba, who was not involved the corruption, has been ousted, alleged due to a speech on his watch calling Western Sahara the last colony in Africa (this was, but is not longer, Cote d'Ivoire's position).

  Ladsous, as shown by multiple videos including this and this and this Vine, refuses to answer Press questions.

   The UN Security Council creates peacekeeping operations -- so what is their role in ensuring that DPKO pay the peacekeepers fairly, including in accordance with the Special Advisory Group's report and related General Assembly resolution? What is the Security Council's oversight role, for example on the report of demonstrators in Gao in Northern Mali being shot?

  This month's Security Council president, the French Mission, told Inner City Press that whether or not the Security Council will get any information from the Gao report is entirely up to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. How can that be? And what of Ladsous, and ultimately Ban, claiming CAR is not dangerous, in order to underpay the peacekeepers, as described to Inner City Press by C-34 delegates? We'll have more on this.

   In the UN's first sub-basement on March 13, some delegates suggested that the C-34's forthcoming - or not - report would be “the worst ever.” Watch this site.


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