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Ban Asks Rwanda for Proof UN GoE Has, Captured Tanzanian UNknown

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 -- With UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous not answering questions, either in Security Council consultations from Council member Rwanda or from the Press outside the Council, information about Eastern Congo and the Ladsous' controversial Intervention Brigade comes through the UN's noon briefing, on a delay.

  On July 8, Rwanda's foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo wrote to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about among other things “ongoing patterns of enhanced collaboration between the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and FDLR, often with the knowledge and/or support of certain Force Intervention Brigade contingents.”

  When Inner City Press at the July 19 noon briefing asked Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky two questions about the Eastern DRC, his reply included that Ban has replied to Rwanda, saying his inquiries with the UN mission MONUSCO have not verified statements in Minister Mushikiwabo's letter and asking for evidence. Video here from Minute 11:13.

(Rwanda's Mission to the UN tells Inner City Press that “We indeed received that letter on Wednesday. The SG was responding to a letter by our MoFA informing that GoR has credible information and concrete evidence on the collaboration between the FDRL and the FARDC, as well as MONUSCO-FIB. He basically requested our Minister to provide evidence mentioned in the letter. We sent it to Kigali and a appropriate response will be provided.”)

  For some of this evidence, Ban should be asking the UN's own Group of Experts. Inner City Press exclusively put online the full text of their report, which details FARDC arming the FDLR.

  Inner City Press also asked Nesirky on July 19 about a claim by the M23 that they captured a Tanzanian fighter. After 5 pm on Friday, the UN replied:

Subject: Your question on the DRC
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 5:25 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO has no information confirming the capture of a Tanzanian soldier.

  We appreciate the answer, of the type of question that not only Ladsous but his four spokespeople for the last 20 days have refused to provide. To move this issue forward, we note that M23 buttressed their claim with the serial number on the fighter's AK47 (1372) and later a photograph of his passport, as Christopher George Yohana, born on the Fourth of July, 1990.

  If authentic, it would appear that a Tanzanian mercenary was fighting with the FDLR. Already, a well placed UN Security Council tells Inner City Press there are major problems with the national make-up of the Intervention Brigade. This would seem to confirm / complicate that. Watch this site.


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