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On Syria, Ladsous "Studying" Drones, Claims Free Movement, Borrel Scandal Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 -- When Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping, appeared Tuesday for a rare press conference, the UN's deputy spokesman said that only questions about Syria would be accepted.

  This kept off limits not only questions about South Sudan, where Ladsous' Department is bemoaning its lack of anti-aircraft missiles while refusing to issues its report on the dead of Pibor in Jonglei State, and Haiti where peacekeepers presumptively brought in cholera, but Ladsous' own scandals, including arranging flights with cronies of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, and improperly intervening in a death investigation in Djibouti, see below.

  On Syria, Inner City Press asked Ladsous about his previously-exposed proposal that the UN use drones -- did he intend to try to use these in Syria?

  Ladsous replied that on drones, "we are conducting a study: technical, financial and other, one very strong parameter would be to secure the consent of the government concerned." Then he would use them?

  Inner City Press asked about the call for freedom of movement of UNSMIS, how does it compare to the restrictions that Ladsous' DPKO accepts in Western Sahara, as revealed even by the recent report that was watered down under Ladsous, at the request of his country, France?

  Ladsous said, "I won't think the situation compares. We did have some initial, some few restrictions of movement for our people, presented to us as motivated by security considerations, I would say, over last week freedom has been ensured, they can go places they want."

  So Ladsous is both bragging about freedom of movement in Syria, and belated acknowledging but not explaining a less degree of freedom of movement accepted by his DPKO in Western Sahara, restrictions on MINURSO by French ally Morocco.

  Beyond the other controversies Ladsous had refused to substantively answer Press questions about -- his actions as French Deputy Permanent Representative in the Security Council during the genocide by Rwanda forces allied with France, his support for the ouster of popularly elected Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, and "Air Ben Ali" for his boss the subsequently fired Michele Alliot-Marie -- more is out there, including Ladsous' action concerning the Horn of Africa, where Ladsous' UN peacekeeping in involved, via Google Translate:

"The senior judges of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris ruled admissible Thursday, March 2 complaint by Elisabeth Borrel, widow of a magistrate died in Djibouti in 1995, for 'pressure on the judiciary,' complaint against a former spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Hervé Ladsous, said on Friday, March 3 judicial source. In a statement dated 29 January 2005, the Quai d'Orsay had regretted the expulsion of six French aid workers of Djibouti before announce that a copy of the court record on the death of Bernard Borrel would 'soon' sent to the Djiboutian justice.

"[The] magistrate's family filed a complaint in February, whereas this announcement ten days before the French investigating judge was formally received the request for judicial assistance issued by Djibouti, could be interpreted as 'pressure on the judiciary.'"

How is this man the head of UN Peacekeeping, and how does he get away with answer no questions, and then appearing in such a way that questions about only one country - on which his duties are eclipsed by former (second of four Frenchmen) DPKO chief Jean Marie Guehenno? We aim to have more on this.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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