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On Rwanda Aid to DRC Mutiny, Meece Lied on May 22, BBC Shows, Credited

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 28, updated -- Regarding whether Rwanda has assisted the mutiny in Eastern Congo, Inner City Press on May 22 asked UN envoy Roger Meece on the MONUSCO Mission to disclose his knowledge of Rwandan support for the breakaway factions. Meece said, "I have not seen and I am not aware." Video here, from Minute 13:57.

  But this was false. Now MONUSCO's chief for Goma in Eastern Congo Hiroute Guebre-Sellassie has told BBC on camera of defectors from the mutineers who say they were recruited to fight in the Rwandan army but in fact deployed in Congo for the mutiny. This include at least one child soldier.

  So Meece was lying or ill-informed; either way, what will the UN do? On May 22, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky cut Inner City Press off from acting any follow up question. Video here at 17:59.

 The UN's own press release of Meece's appearance did not mention Inner City Press' Rwanda question, or Meece's answer, as Inner City Press wrote about, here.

BCC's follow up was brought to Inner City Press' attention by Vincent Harris on Twitter; both are being credited here. This stands in contrast to Reuters' and its Louis Charbonneau's May 21 uncredited theft of Inner City Press' March 28 exclusive that US official Jeffrey Feltman would come to work at the UN, which Foreign Policy's The Cable credited.

Earlier in the Meece press conference on May 22, Reuters' Charbonneau asked about a statement on the Lord's Resistance Army provided to him and "a colleague from Agence Frence Presse," on information and belief Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse, who was used by the French Mission to target Inner City Press for reporting how out of touch the Mission was with Paris that it didn't even know, the day of the announcement, that Herve "The Drone" Ladsous would replace Jerome Bonnafont as the intra-French replacement for Alain Le Roy at UN Peacekeeping.

  Witcher and Charbonneau are part of an old-media scam in which they steal stories withour credit from smaller less corporate reporters then seek to have these expelled by abusing what power they have. This is being opposed.

Update: hours after publication of the above, Reuters promoted a story mimicking the BCC story -- but failed to say that on May 22 at the UN Meece denied the UN knew of Rwanda support for the DRC rebels in the UN noon briefing on May 22 when Reuters' UN "bureau chief" was there (albeit asking about the LRA). So it is a lame wire where the left hand doesn't tell the right hand what it had seen and done? Or is it soft on the UN?

To bylined editor Joe Bavier's credit, his story does credit the BBC -- so it's not that no one at Reuters knows how to credit, it's that Reuters has allowed its UN bureau chief Charbonneau to adopt what he has announced as a POLICY of not crediting Inner City Press, and seeking to have it expelled. What kind of news organization is this? Watch this site.

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

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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