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As Congolese Army Defiles Bodies, Ladsous Brags of Keeping One, Stonewalls

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 16 – The UN claims that while it supports the Congolese Army generally it will suspend support to units engaged in abuses.

UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has refused for many months Press questions on how this applies to 135 rapes at Minova by the 41st and 391st Battalions, despite only two arrests for rape.

Now there are photographs of the Congolese Army defiling the corpses of killed combatants, in violation of the Geneva Conventions and, as a spokesperson for the UN said Tuesday, “basic decency.” But Ladsous' DPKO says nothing.

At the July 15 noon briefing Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: in this recent fighting that you gave the readout on, between the FARDC [Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo] and M23, the spokesman for the FARDC or the Congolese Government has said that they are going to display captured M23 rebels in a press conference in Goma. Since it seems that the intervention brigade is subject to Geneva Convention rules and since MONUSCO works closely with the Government, does it comply with existing international humanitarian law to parade and display captured combatants in an armed conflict?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: I haven’t seen those reports, Matthew. I’d need to check into them first.

Twenty four hours later when Inner City Press asked again, this time with reference to photographs, Nesirky still had no answer from DPKO. He said generally that defiling a body would violate basic decency – there is an outstanding question about Herve Ladsous bragging about “keeping the body” of a slain assailant in Darfur – but said he did not yet have an answer from DPKO.

Now, with for example this photograph, will Ladsous' DPKO finally answer which Congolese Army units it supports, and if this list intersects with those units in the recent abuses or those depicted engaged in abuses in the Group of Experts report the full text of which Inner City Press exclusively put online in June.

That question was received by DPKO seventeen days ago but has yet to be answered. This is the Ladsousification of the UN. Watch this site.


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