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On DRC, Questions of Drones, Offensive Mandates, Civilian Structures, Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 26 -- In the wake of the failure of UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous in November 2012 to protect Goma from the M23 rebels, on Tuesday afternoon the UN Security Council negotiated a resolution on the Mission in the Congo, MONUSCO, at the level of Deputy Permanent Representatives.

  Troop contributing countries like Pakistan and Guatemala wanted clarity on what the regular MONUSCO peacekeepers would do, versus the tasks assigned to the so-called intervention brigade: neutralizing, that is attacking, armed groups.

  The TCCs would like the intervention brigade to have a separate mandate.

  The losses suffered in the Central African Republic by South Africa, slated to be a big part of the intervention brigade, would seem to be relevant to the MONUSCO resolution. But at the UN things have a life of their own, even if slow.

(On that, a Darfur Presidential Statement talked up some time ago by the UK mission was still being negotiated Wednesday afternoon, even as the MONUSCO meeting too place.)

  Concerns were raised in the Council, sources told Inner City Press, about whether Ladsous' drones, the bids for which were opened on March 18 without any transparency, would be looking for cross-border arms trafficking, or just arms trafficking pure and simple.

  There were disputes on the language about outside support for the M23 rebels, and on a US proposal for re-structuring civilian and military components that few understood or supported.

   As the afternoon wore on, there were slightly more positive reviews, or at least understanding, of the idea of such a structure. But it was said that "even Western members opposed the US on this."

  Unaddressed by the Council was the decay of DPKO under Ladsous, from lack of action on rapes in Minova by his partners in the Congolese Army, to now in Darfur allowing 31 IDPs to be kidnapped while ostensibly under the protection of armed peacekeepers.

If the UK were to start a PRST on that -- if! -- how long would it take? Watch this site.

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