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Amid CAR Hostage Taking, UN Mission Won't Answer, Like Ladsous, In Decay

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 20, more here -- This week in the Central African Republic, a French aid worker was taken hostage, then a UN Peacekeeping mission staff member was detained. Given the refusal of UN Peacekeeping chief to answer even basic Press questions, see here and below, Inner City Press wrote for the second time to the mission in Bangui. But nothing.

 So at the January 20 noon briefing at UN headquarters, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the staff members -- he said she was detained but then released -- and about the French aid worker. On the latter, Dujarric said he had no information.

  Previously, Inner City Press has asked Dujarric why Ladsous' mission, MINUSCA, does not report on the more pervasive killings of Central African Republic residents. And the question remains.

 On the MINUSCA mission's website, only one press contact is listed. But it did not answer the Press, eight days ago nor today. Some UN Missions under Ladsous don't even have any contact information. He is taking UN Peacekeeping -- Ladsousifying it, as the phrase has it.

   With UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic guarding prisons, Ladsous on December 9 refused to answer a simple Press question about the practice. Video here, and embedded below.

  Ladsous had told the Security Council that "inmates inside the Bangui central prison seized weapons and shot and threw hand grenades at UN peacekeepers providing static guard duty outside the prison. Three UN troops and one UN police officer were injured in the incident."

  But should UN peacekeepers be functioning as prison guards? When Ladsous left the Security Council -- unlike his predecessors Alain Le Roy and Jean-Marie Guehenno Ladsous does not to question and answer stakeouts on UNTV -- Inner City Press asked him, Does the UN guard prisons in the Central African Republic?

  Ladsous indicated, as he has before, I do not answer your questions, Mister, and walked to the elevator. But he is paid both to run DPKO and to explain it to the public, including answering questions.


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