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As UN Stands By Amid Ivorian Ethnic Killings, Ladsous' DPKO Stonewalls in NY & on Syria

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 21, updated below -- While ostensibly under UN protection, seven Ivorian in the Niambly refugee camp were killed on July 20 and 5000 more were made homeless, nearly all of the Guere ethnicity perceived to support ousted president Laurent Gbagbo.

  The UN mission in Cote d'Ivoire, headed by Bert Koenders, is supposed to be focused on national and ethnic reconciliation following the joint military effort involving the UN and the French Force Licorne to oust Gbagbo.

  But when Koenders was at the UN in New York this week and Inner City Press asked him about Duekoue, the site of earlier massacres of Guere and now this one, Koenders said he'd had asked for action by the government of Alassane Ouattara, who replaced Gbabgo.

  The UN is in fact proposing to remove a full battalion or 750 troops from Cote d'Ivoire, based on its assessment that things are safer and better.

  There are troubling inconsistencies between Koenders statements in New York and the deadly events on the ground back in the Ivory Coast.

  So before 10 am on July 21 Inner City Press formally asked the spokesman for Department of Peacekeeping Operations chief Herve Ladsous, who has taken to refusing all Inner City Press questions, as well as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's top two spokesmen:

This is a request for UN / DPKO position on how that camp near Duekoue in Cote d'Ivoire could be burned down and people killed while ostensibly under ONUCI protection. What did ONUCI do and what is it doing now? Is Mr. Koenders still in NY?

  But more than six hours later at deadline, none of the Cote d'Ivoire questions had been answered, or even acknowledged. This is Ladsous' and ultimately Ban's UN.

  Inner City Press asked asked one new and two unanswered Syria questions:

Will anyone be filling in for Babacar Gaye? Who? I would still on Syria like a description of USG Ladsous' role in the June 15 notification to the Security Council that UNSMIS has limited its mobile operations in Syria as of 18:00 hours local that day, see

and an explanation of the steps taken since the S-G (and presumably USG Ladsous) received UNSMIS' report on Houla, where in the UN he referred it and why it has not even now been provided to the Security Council, according to several Council members.

   None of these questions have been answered either. While Inner City Press on the evening on July 20 reported on Babacar Gaye replacing General Robert Mood in Syria, it had and has not received even notice of that switch from DPKO. Again, this is Ladsous' and ultimately Ban's UN.

Update: after 10 pm on Saturday, this came in:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Subject: Côte d'Ivoire
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

In answer to your question about events in Côte d'Ivoire.

The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Côte d’Ivoire, Arnauld Akodjénou, today briefed the media on events in the Duékoué area. The Mission condemns the attack on the IDP camp which resulted in the killing of 6 people and at least 15 seriously injured. 

UNOCI had light security arrangements in place for UN and NGO staff operating inside the camp, and contributed to securing the outer perimeter. Ivorian security forces had the primary responsibility for providing security for the Nahibly IDP site.

At the time of the attack, 12 UN police were inside of the camp to provide security to humanitarian workers and control entry to the camp. In addition, 10 military officers were stationed outside of the camp. When several hundred youths approached the site in the morning of 20 July, UNOCI immediately called for reinforcements, which arrived shortly afterwards. Some of the demonstrators by-passed the entrance and pushed the wooden fences to enter the camp and set it on fire. UNOCI escorted humanitarian personnel out of the camp, assisted in evacuating some of the injured IDPs, and provided security to IDPs seeking shelter elsewhere.

UNOCI and national security forces are currently providing enhanced security at Nahibly camp, the Catholic Mission in Duékoué, and near the Mairie and Sous-Préfecture, where large numbers of IDPs have gathered.

UNOCI is conducting a full investigation of the incident.

  While we appreciate the answer and publish it in full upon receipt, it must be noted that the UN and DPKO have said they are conducting an investigation of their alleged direct killing of civilians in North Kivu in the DR Congo, but have yet to provide any updates. Will they here? 

  With much more delay, Haitians are still waiting for the UN to respond to formal complaints about the introduction of cholera by peacekeepers, a topic on which Ladlous directly and on camera refused to answer Press questions, along with why he and Ban have an alleged war criminal Sri Lanka general Shavendra Silva as an adviser.

  On Cote d'Ivoire, we appreciate the answer and publish it in full.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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

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