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From DRC to CAR, UN Won't Answer on Leaders Flight or Selection

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 22 -- UN Peacekeeping, what it knows and how its decisions are made, remains shrouded in mystery as questions mount.

  On April 22 at noon Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric three questions: to confirm that ADF-NALU's leader Jamil Mukulu has left Eastern Congo, and to describe how a replacement of the leader of the Force Intervention Brigade in DRC, and of the forthcoming MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic, will be chosen. Video here.

  By six pm on April 22, none of these questions had been answered. In fact, Dujarric said he would have to check if the FIB leader James Mwakibolwa is leaving -- MONUSCO already emailed the media that picture -- and didn't answer an Inner City Press question on South Sudan, that the Ghana battalion is still not in Bentiu, either.

   A week after Inner City Press exclusively reported from well-placed sources that the head of the UN Department of Field Service Ameerah Haq will leave this Peacekeeping job in October, for the UN mission in Central African Republic MINUSCA to begin on September 15 an issue has arisen.

   Congo-Brazzaville's Ambassador to the UN Raymond Serge Bale tweeted that the neighboring African countries of the CEEAC should be represented in the leadership of MINUSCA.

  French Ambassador Gerard Araud, taking a break from vituperatively denying blocking human rights monitoring in Western Sahara, tweeted that the contingents of the CEEAC should be integrated into MINUSCA on a priority basis.

  But the word was leadership - into the leadership, not just as soldiers or contingents to serve under other leadership. Inner City Press pointed this out in reply, and this:

   A problem here is the UN Peacekeeping has been ruled four times in a row now by a Frenchman, most recently long-time French diplomat Herve Ladsous.

  Now Ladsous' co-equal in DFS from South Asia stands to be replaced.

Among the candidates to take over the position, ostensibly co-equal with Ladsous, include American Jane Holl Lute and the current head of the UN Office of Human Resources Management, Catherine Pollard.

  What about an African? Several UN sources muses this would be a perfect time for Ladsous to leave. "Better him than Haq," as one source put it.

  But the alternate theory has Secretary General Ban Ki-moon throwing geographical and ideological balance to the wind in UN Peacekeeping. In this theory, the US would have to give up the Department of Safety & Security -- "he's only an Acting USG," the proponent pointed out -- so as to not have too too many American Under Secretaries General.

  The shame would be, Kevin Kennedy is one of the better and more accessible USGs, by contrast to Ladsous who refuses Press questions about rapes and UN Peacekeeping from the Congo to Mali, and about the Hutu FDLR, click here for video.

  It was back in October 2013 that Inner City Press reported that Ladsous was trying to get Haq out, to assert more control. On October 7, 2013 Inner City Press reported, "While an earlier Ban Ki-moon reform involved splitting Peacekeeping into two separate components, DPKO and DFS, now Ladsous wants to dominate both of them, by pushing Haq out of DFS and installing a person of his own choosing. More on that in a future story." This, is that story. And there will be more, including in connection with MINUSCA and with Araud, at least until he leaves, slated for July. Watch this site.


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