Central African Republic Beats Up Reporters Amid Silence From UN of Guterres Who Bans Press

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Central African Republic Beats Up Reporters Amid Silence From UN of Guterres Who Bans Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video here, Vine here

UNITED NATIONS GATE, June 16 -- In the Central African Republic, right under the nose of a billion dollar UN mission, journalists were beaten up while reporting on a protest. And the UN has said nothing, typically - since UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres himself ordered the roughing up of Inner City Press as it reported on his shameful deal with Cameroon in the UN Budget Committee which it chaired, silence on the killing of Anglophones in exchange for procedural chairman's favors.

   Now those who collaborate with Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric on their censorship virtue signal about expecting "strong UN condemnation." This while they prepare to party with Guterres on June 19 as he remains silent on China and covers up his links to UN briber CEFC China Energy. To this has the UN descended. From Bangui:  Security forces in Central African Republic beat and detained two journalists covering a banned opposition protest in the capital Bangui, the reporters said Sunday. Charles Bouessel, 28, and Florent Vergnes, 30, said they were held for more than six hours and questioned three times on Saturday after having been manhandled by members of the Central Office for the Suppression of Banditry (OCRB). The pair also had their equipment confiscated and a camera smashed up."The protest was going well, the (police) let us film and clearly saw that we were not part of the rally," Bouessel said Sunday. "Then the protesters were quickly dispersed. Trucks carrying OCRB members arrived and we heard live bullets being fired", he added. The reporters said they were prevented from leaving the area despite telling the security forces that they were accredited journalists allowed to work in CAR. The OCRB "seemed furious that we were filming the scene and charged at us," Bouessel said. "One of them grabbed my camera and smashed it on the ground. I put my hands up in the air but received a first slap to the head. My backpack was snatched from me and thrown to the ground. When I asked to get them back... I received more punches." Justice Minister Flavien Mbata said the two journalists had been arrested because they were present at a protest banned by the police. "We demanded yesterday that they be released, which has happened," Mbata said  adding further steps would be determined "once we have all the details".

   Right. Guterres says he has a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment, and for retaliation. But on March 15 he took his administration's "press briefing" about UN sexual abuse off the record, in a room he has banned Inner City Press which most asks about it from for 308 days.

 On May 9, still without providing basic if-asked information about rapes by UN peacekeepers at least identified as being from Cameroon, the UN partially disclosed yet four more sexual misconduct cases, declaring three "unsubstanted" including the alleged rape of a child in Guinea Bissau by a UN civilians whose nationality the UN declined to disclose. The fourth involves a UN person from DRC, but the position in the MONUSCO mission is undisclosed. Even the UN's initial disclosures are getting more and more evasive. Will they continue, as they began after physical ousting and banning Inner City Press which asks, to not provide if-asked information? Or will the Deputy Spokesman, as he did earlier this week and then more than a month before, provide at least that information? Watch this site.

On May 2 the UN disclosed two cases, both in CAR, by "peacekeepers" from Senegal and from Gabon, another country Guterres' UN is failing on. On May 3 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric and others for the if-asked information on these cases, and one from Guinea Bissau. For five days, nothing. Inner City Press reiterated the questions early on the morning of May 8. Then this, from Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, which we publish in full minutes after receipt: "Regarding question May 8-2, here is the relevant information from the missions:   

 The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has received two allegations of sexual exploitation involving members of its military contingents deployed to the Mission.    

 The first allegation refers to attempted transactional sex by a Gabonese peacekeeper, involving an adult woman, that allegedly took place in March 2019.     The second allegation refers to transactional sex involving an adult woman by a Senegalese peacekeeper that allegedly also took place in March 2019. The Mission informed the alleged victim of available assistance in line with the UN’s victim assistance protocols, which was declined by the victim.      The UN has accordingly separately informed both Member States. Further, the UN has requested the countries to appoint their own National Investigation Officer within five working days and for investigations to be completed within the reduced 90-days timeframe.    

Meanwhile, the Mission reports that the Senegalese peacekeeper is currently confined to barracks, while the peacekeeper from Gabon has been repatriated. The UN has withheld payment for both peacekeepers.    

The United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) has received an allegation of sexual exploitation involving a civilian international staff.  The allegation refers to transactional sex with an adult woman. The alleged victim was offered medical, psycho-social and legal assistance and the Mission is maintaining continuous contact with her to keep her informed of the status and progress of the investigation which is being conducted by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)." Why is the time frame of the abuse in Guinea Bissau not given? And why is the nationality withheld? We'll have more on this.

Background: On April 20 the UN went even more murky with sexual abuse in Guinea Bissau by a UN "international" it would not even say where from. Could it be Guterres' colonial Portugal? Inner City Press has asked in writing and more than a day later, no answer at all. We'll have more on this.

 On April 17, the UN data dumped new sexual abuse allegations, by troops from Burundi in CAR and South Africa in DRC and others it wouldn't even specify the nationality of of. Photo here. On the same day his UN denied in one line the application for re-entry by Inner City Press which asks about these UN rapes, here.

Now on April 22 the UN, still not having answered written questions about the Burundi and South Africa rapes, data dumps another one, by a Democratic Republic of the Congo UN "peacekeeper" in the already ravaged Central African Republic, photo here.

Antonio Guterres is covering up rape - he is scarcely better in terms of being an ongoing threat than a defendant sentenced on April 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, here, where the briber he covers up for, CEFC and Patrick Ho, was sentenced last months. Video here. It's a patter with Guterres:  March photo here. Disgusted UN interlocutors had already leaked the report that was the subject of this shamefully collusive briefing to Inner City Press which nevertheless voluntarily decided to abide by the printed 18 March 10 am embargo. Still Guterres, Amina J. Mohammed, Alison Smale and "spokesman" Stephane Dujarric refused to answer written Press questions, then Dujarric bragged about the report to a noon briefing of hand picked scribes not one of whom asked him about the rapes.

 Alison Smale's UN News Centre, as pure rape cover up propaganda while refusing outside questions, "reported" that "The United Nations recorded a total of 259 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) during 2018, according to the latest report by Secretary-General António Guterres presented to the General Assembly. Although the figures rose compared with the previous two years, the report shows increased awareness among UN and UN-related staff, and improved and harmonized reporting tools across the Organization." This is cover up of rapes #DumpGuterres: no second term. Here's from Guterres' report: "54 allegations reported in 2018... the majority (74 per cent) of the allegations received in 2018 emanated from MINUSCA and MONUSCO, with the remaining 26 per cent associated with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSTAH, the United Nations Mission in Liberia and UNMISS... The allegations reported for peacekeeping missions were associated with 94 victims, of whom 83 per cent were adults and 17 per cent were children. Alleged perpetrators included 64 military, 14 police and 14 civilian personnel. Of the allegations reported in 2018, 20 (37 per cent) involved sexual abuse and 34 (63 per cent) sexual exploitation of an adult. 71. Underreporting of allegations implicating personnel from other United Nations entities and non-United Nations personnel working with implementing partners is a continuing concern (see A/71/818). In 2018, 94 allegations against United Nations personnel in entities other than peacekeeping were reported. Reports of allegations related to personnel of implementing partners has increased, from 25 in 2017 to 109 in 2018, suggesting that awareness-raising and outreach efforts are having an impact and that there is increased trust among victims and witnesses and increased understanding of the need to report."

So when the numbers go up, it's good news too, according to the UN. Inner City Press has asked, "March 18-1: On the SEA report which was not sent to Inner City Press by the UN but by others, and which Inner City Press voluntarily refrained from reporting on until the 10 am deadline, please before 10 am explain (a) six allegations were considered conduct in violation of non-fraternization policies and not to contain indications of sexual exploitation or abuse - question: did these cases not involve sex? (b) four allegations involved sexual harassment, physical assault and paternity claims, which were considered not to contain indications of sexual exploitation and abuse - question: isn't fathering a child with a beneficiary of UN "assistance" per se exploitation? (c) three allegations involved sexual assaults between United Nations personnel, but not with beneficiaries of assistance - question: confirm this was "blue on blue," on which the UN has previously refused to answer Inner City Press; (d) one allegation involved a member of United Nations personnel not associated with a peacekeeping mission; one allegation did not involve sexual exploitation and abuse - question - what are the bases of these statement?; and one allegation was received by OIOS in 2018 but will be recorded in 2019, once it is referred to the Member State concerned - question: what is the member state concerned and what have they done, as of 18 March 2019?" The report states, "The Special Coordinator will prioritize achieving timeliness, accuracy and consistency in reporting across all levels of the Organization in 2019." That is false - Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric refuse to answer basic requests by Inner City Press for if-asked information they have about UN rapes but choose to cover up. Then there ar the agencies: "In 2018, there was an increase in the rate of reporting of sexual exploitation and abuse at WFP, with its investigations office receiving significantly more reports in 2018 (11 involving WFP personnel and 8 related to its implementing partners) than it had in the previous 12 years (19 in 2018 alone; 26 over the previous 12 years). It is difficult to determine the extent to which the increase is attributable to an increase in incidents or whether outreach efforts have encouraged reporting by staff. There was an increase in the number of allegations reported at UNHCR during the fourth quarter of 2017, which stabilized in 2018. Thirty-four allegations involving UNHCR personnel were received in 2018, compared with 19 in 2017. During the same period, allegations concerning UNHCR implementing partners increased, from 20 to 83. I attribute those figures in part to the UNHCR strengthened global network of 380 focal points on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and efforts to raise awareness and encourage victims to report. UNICEF scaled up training for staff and partners, updated its programme cooperation agreement template to strengthen reporting and broadened prevention and response measures. In 2018, there was an increase in the number of reports of allegations at UNICEF (15 in 2018, compared with 8 in 2017). Of those 15 allegations, 12 involved implementing partners, compared with 4 in 2017." Great partners. A fish rots from the head.


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