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UN Admits Chad Troops Walk Off Job in Mali, No Answer on Somalia, Jarba

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18 -- The inclusion of troops from Chad in the UN Mission in Mali MINUSMA has been subject to controversy, including since Chad is on the UN's own list of child soldier recruiters. But UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous overrode that concern. See Inner City Press story, and Ladsous' non-answers.

  On Wednesday before the day's noon briefing Inner City Press asked the spokespeople for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about Chadian troops leaving their post -- Absent WithOut Leave, AWOL -- in northern Mali, among other questions:

"Please confirm or deny that AFISMA troops, reportedly from Chad, have left their positions in Northern Mali, and what the UN is doing about it."

Two hours after a noon briefing in which the UN's credibility was questioned, the UN provided Inner City Press with a response to the Mali question (but not the other ones)

Subject: Your question on Mali
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

We have the following from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations:

The UN Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is aware that some members of the Chadian contingents left their base in Tessalit yesterday.

The Chadian authorities, in collaboration with the Mission, are currently in discussions with the group to understand the reasons behind their action and find a rapid solution.

Meanwhile, MINUSMA has taken appropriate measures to keep performing its mandated tasks.

So were other troops sent to Tassalit? What ever happened with Mauritania's demand to only serve on its own border? Ladsous' refusal to take Press questions... leaves many questions unanswered.

And Ban's Spokesperson's Office for the second day has left these questions answered, along with a new one:

From yesterday: What is the UN's reaction - denial? - of allegation that in Somalia an AMISOM contingent, on information and belief from Burundi, provides services to UNMAS' David Bax?

Please state if the corruption allegations against Ugandan troops in AMISOM (selling materiel in the black market) trigger the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

From Sept. 3: "As brought up in the most recent briefing based on NYT profile, please provide a list of the S-G's golfing partners in the past year who are diplomats, and, separately, a summary of issues discussed."

And the new one:

"Please state whether the current presentation in room S-310 about Central African Republic is a "UN briefing" and explain why it was publicized, at least electronically, only to those correspondents who paid money / dues?"

  This question, troublingly, has still not been answered with regard to the so-called "UN briefing" by Saudi-sponsored Syria rebel boss Ahmad al Jarba held in S-310 on July 26. And the UN wonders why, among other reasons including bringing cholera to Haiti and remaining silent on Sri Lanka, its credibility is under question. Watch this site.


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