In Congo, UN Blocked from
Civilian Protection, Bosco in the Mix, UK Hears Nothing
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, January 21 -- The
joint Rwandan and Congolese offensive on Hutu rebels in the Eastern
involved barring access to UN peacekeepers and to the press, and
have involved indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda. At the UN on
Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador John Sawers about the blocking of
peacekeepers and Red Cross workers from areas in which civilians are in
danger. "I haven't heard
that report," Ambassador Sawers said, while saying of the operation
as a whole... it is good." Video here,
from Minute 5:59.
Apparently the Security Council or at least
Ambassador Sawers is so
focused on the conflict in Gaza that events more directly implicating
are being ignored. Minutes later on Wednesday, Inner City Press asked
of UN Peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, about event in the Congo. Le Roy
that peacekeepers had been blocked. Has this not been conveyed to the
or UK Mission to the UN?
Previously, Ambassador Sawers said he wasn't aware
of the involvement of
South Sudan in the offensive against the Lord's Resistance Army
the Congo. That botched operation has left in its wake more that 600
killed. What will be the body count in the parts of North Kivu from
peacekeepers are being barred?
As to the involvement of Bosco Ntaganda, indicted by
Criminal Court, UN spokesperson Michele Montas on Wednesday told Inner
Press that "whether Bosco participates in it is not of our concern."
from Minute 23:45.
Blue helmets fly white flag in the Congo,
Bosco participation "not of our concern"
Not only is the ICC connected to the UN -- its State
Parties are meeting
in the UN Headquarters basement this week to elect judges -- but the UN
Ki-moon are on record as opposing impunity, and for the enforcement of
warrants, for example in Sudan. The UN Secretariat, too, has been
Ms. Montas had read out a statement from the UN's
Alan Doss that his
mission, MONUC, has not be involved in the offensive which is a
"bilateral" arrangement between the governments of Rwanda and the
Congo. But Congolese legislators in Kinshasa now say they were not
just as they were not consulted on President Joseph Kabila's $9 billion
arrangement with the Chinese. Inner City Press asked Ms. Montas if
statement implied that the UN views the agreement with Rwanda as
approved by all necessary Congolese authorities. No, Ms. Montas said,
"has nothing to say about that." Video here,
from Minute 23:03.
Inner City Press asked the Ambassador of the
Democratic Republic of the
Congo to UN, Atoki Ileka,
Bosco and the legislator's protest. Ileka called the former "murky,"
and pointed out of the legislator that "he comes from the area, he has
say that." People, including the Ambassadors on the UN Security
seem to want to close their eyes and hope the offensive against the
out, certainly better than the one on the Lord's Restistance Army. But
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
Reporter's mobile (and
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]