Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

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

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


Follow us on TWITTER

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

Amid Attacks on Ex-Seleka in CAR, UNHQ Has Nothing, MINUSCA Condemns,

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 26 -- Amid reports of attacks and counter-attacks in Central African Republic's capital of Bangui on October 26 Inner City Press at the UN noon briefing asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: in the CAR [Central African Republic], there's reports that two high-profile ex-Seleka leaders from Bambari have been killed in Bangui and that… by anti-Balaka forces, and basically a confrontation is brewing.  And I wonder if you have anything on the mission there taking any steps.

Spokesman Dujarric:  I've not gotten anything from the mission today.  I'll get back to you.

 While Dujarric never did get back to Inner City Press, MINUSCA sent out this statement:

"MINUSCA strongly condemns the attack on Monday in Bangui against a UPC delegation (Union pour la paix en Centrafrique, ex-Seleka) who reportedly traveled from Bambari (center) to participate in the consultations with the Forces Vives in the Central Africa's capital.
The delegation was attacked by unknown elements in Combattant Market, Eighth district of Bangui. One representative was seriously wounded and taken to the MINUSCA Level II Hospital in Bangui on humanitarian basis for emergency treatment. The whereabouts of at least three delegates are currently being investigated.
MINUSCA calls on the actors behind this violent attack to release any hostages they might be illegally detaining. The Mission also exhorts all actors to calm and restraint and to resolve their differences through dialogue.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, calls on all armed groups to abide by the Brazzaville Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on July 2014 as well as the DDRR agreement, signed in Bangui in May 2015. “Violence will never be a solution; dialogue and reconciliation are the only way for the Central African Republic to overcome this crisis,” Mr. Onanga-Anyanga stated.
MINUSCA encourages the Government to investigate Monday’s attack with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice and expresses its readiness to assist the authorities in the process. 
Monday’s attack comes at a moment when the Head of State of the Transition, the national authorities, and the international community have been steadfastly engaged in consensus-building dialogue around the establishment of an electoral calendar for the upcoming general elections which remains the only viable option for peaceful exit to the current crisis.  MINUSCA denounces this direct attempt to use violence to disrupt, once again, the positive developments underway." 

Back on October 3, three week after UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous linked peacekeepers' rapes in the Central African Republic to "distraction" and R&R, and three days after Inner City Press asked French President Francois Hollande about it, Ladsous appeared for a Q&A stakeout about CAR. Video here.

  After asking CAR's foreign minister about refugees' voting rights, and getting an answer as it has throughout the UN General Assembly week, Inner City Press asked Ladsous of an update on the rapes. He gave none. In fact, he had a staffer instruct the UNTV boom microphone operator to move the mic to the other side. As he left, Inner City Press asked about his R&R comment, which in many countries could get him fired. Not at the UN, at least not yet. Vine here.

  On October 3, Ladsous' mission in CAR MINUSCA put this out:

"Unidentified armed individuals opened fire in the night of Friday 2 October 2015 on blue helmets guarding the Headquarters of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). United Nations soldiers vigorously fired back in response to this coward act, forcing the assailants to flee riding a motorbike.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the Central African Republic, Parfait ONANGA-ANYANGA, firmly condemns this attack and reminds that it can constitute a war crime, as per relevant international conventions. He welcomes the quick and appropriate reaction of the blue helmets and encourages them to continue to remain vigilant in the daily discharge of their tasks in the service of peace.
The Special Representative invites the population to remain calm and reassures them of MINUSCA’s determination to pursue its action to protect the civilian population, support the political process with a view to restore state authority throughout the national territory.
The Chief of MINUSCA calls for an immediate halt of violence in Bangui and throughout the country so that reason can prevail and that the wide consultations of the Nation’s Forces Vives as announced by the Head of State of the Transition lead the country to a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the crisis."

  After Ladsous fled on October 1, Inner City Press asked CAR's economy minister if there was any legal proceedings against the peacekeepers accused of rape. She said yes, in CAR - then acknowledged that her government does not even have the names of the accused. What kind of legal procedure? The kind where the defendants have no name.

  Ironically, Ladsous had talked about accountability in his stakeout - but only for Africans, it seems, not the French troops of Sangaris. He'll do a stakeout on another Francophone peacekeeping mission, in Mali, later on October 1. Watch this site.

 On September 28, on the day of the UN Peacekeeping summit at the UN, Inner City Press managed to ask French President Francois Hollande about alleged rapes by French troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) and about French head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous having linked rapes to “recreation” and R&R. Video here.

  Hollande replied that when French troops are charged -- as they have been, in CAR -- France pushes for prosecutions, but also due process. Does that explain the one-year delay in the Sangaris CAR case?  The question was not taken.

  Later on September 28, Inner City Press went to cover the High Level Meeting on Peacekeeping, and found Ladsous slouched in his hair, wanly applauding pledges then glaring up at the photographers booth where Inner City Press was. Something is very wrong at the top of UN Peacekeeping - until it is addressed, the various commitments ring hollow.

A year after French President Francois Hollande tried to privatize the UN Press Briefing Room by having non-French journalists removed, his team on September 27, 2015 adopted a different strategy for the same result. At 8:40 am the UN said there would be a press conference by Hollande in just five minutes, at 8:45 am. Call it innovation.

  Apparently in his press conference, Hollande had many of the seats in the front of the UN Press Briefing Room “reserved” - because Brazil cited this as a precedent for their 11:30 am press conference by Dilma Rousseff (that's another story).  France, returning with Hollande for a session scheduled for 2:15 pm, again tried to control spaces in the front rows, as did the old UN Correspondents Association, which ejected a visiting journalist from “its” seat.

 And the question for Hollande? For Inner City Press, it would be what actions have been taken on the French soldiers alleged to have raped children in the Central African Republic. Watch this site.

Update: After Hollande came in, two people who had sat next to Inner City Press through the entire Japanese briefing from 1:30 pm got up, to give their seat to Laurent Fabuis and Royale. Then a lady approached Inner City Press, in full view of UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, and told Inner City Press to move, she's a "minister." Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access said Non, je suis journaliste, je veux poser ma question.

Meanwhile Ban Ki-moon said Peru's President Humala regretted not being present. But he WAS present, next to Hollande. Inner City Press asked Humala about the Trans Pacific Partnership on September 27: watch this site.

Back on September 23, 2014 the entourage of French President Francois Hollande repeatedly ordered the UN accredited Press to leave the UN's Press Briefing Room.

  A briefing by Hollande had been scheduled for 11 am, then was canceled. But at 10:55 am as a previous briefing about climate change was ending, Inner City Press was told to leave the room.

  The question, On whose orders? was not answered. Instead a woman in the French delegation said the room was "reserved."

   This is not a restaurant, Inner City Press replied, now on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, which advocates for the rights of journalists and for a Freedom of Information Act covering the UN.

  Another member of the French delegation said loudly, "They'll take away his accreditation." It was not necessarily an idle threat: the UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had looked into the room as this happened.

   Inner City Press said, if UN Media Accreditation -- or UN Security -- tell me to leave, I will. But not before. Video here.

  Meanwhile the representative of the old UN Correspondents Alliance meekly left; previously, UNCA did nothing when previous French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud in this room told a Lebanese reporter, "You are not a journalist, you are an agent."

  After a time, the woman from Hollande's entourage said that the chief of UN Media Accreditation, whom she made a point of saying she knows well, was not answering the phone. A French security guard told Inner City Press to leave. But this is not their role, in the UN briefing room.

  Finally the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and the new Permanent Representative to the UN came and sat in the front room with Inner City Press and FUNCA.  Hollande appeared from the doorway Spokesman Dujarric had looked out of.

  Hollande said he had come mostly about climate change, but that a French citizen had been taken hostage in Algeria by a group linked with ISIL or "Da'ech," as he called the group. He said arms deliveries would continue; he noted the previous night's air strikes, by others, on Syria.

  Hollande said he would meet in the afternoon with the Syrian Opposition Coalition's Hadi al Bahra, who he called the only legitimate leader of Syria. Then he left without taking questions.

  The day before, UNCA hosted al Bahra (as they had his predecessor Ahmad Jarba) in the clubhouse the UN gives this group, publicized only to those which pay it dues. Given that UNCA did nothing when Araud told the Lebanese reporter "you are not a journalist, you are an agent," why didn't Hollande hold his press conference in the club of UNCA, the UN's Censorship Alliance?


Share |

* * *

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]