On Congo, UN Can't Say If Nkunda's Ousted, No New Troops, from
LRA, No Protection
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 6 -- As in the Congo chaos
spreads, the UN on Tuesday said that despite a Security Council
resolution authorizing 3000 more peacekeepers, "troop contributing
countries have not been forthcoming." Also on Tuesday, the UN
could neither confirm nor deny press reports that
rebel general Laurent Nkunda has been ousted from the leadership of the
rebels in North Kivu province. Spokesperson Michele Montas told Inner
Press that earlier that morning, the CNDP had told the UN that it would
the same delegation as last time to the next day's peace talks in
Nairobi. A question
about when anyone in the UN system last spoke with Nkunda went
the UN belated reported on the murderous pillaging of towns in the
Orientale Province. Ms. Montas, after describing 70 deaths, 225
800 houses burned to the ground, told Inner City Press, "I guess you were
asking this recently." Video here,
at Minute 5.
time, her colleague admonished to keep questions to the UN's
humanitarian coordinator John Holmes limited to Gaza. Holmes said it
difficult to know for sure who had done the killings. But Ms. Montas on
said without equivocation that it was the Lord's Resistance Army. She
know if UN envoy to the LRA affected areas Joaquim Chissano had
letter from the LRA requesting an emergency meeting.
UN tank in Kivu, any protection for
civilians in Orientale Province not shown
Ms. Montas said she did
not know if MONUC has moved any troops to the currently LRA-affected
protect civilians, or if any of the 3000 new troops authorized late
by the Security Council have in fact been deployed. Montas said to "ask
DPKO." Video here,
from Minute 8:37.
Monday, Inner City Press asked the
head of DPKO, Alain Le Roy, who replied that moving troops to Orientale
been possible, since the new resolution put all focus on the Kivus. Thus in the country with its largest
peacekeeping mission, where it spends $2 billion a year, the UN has
sent not a
single soldier to stand between civilians and a rampaging war criminal.
Rwandas, echoes of Srebrenica.
After the noon briefing, the
following was received from DPKO's spokesman:
Operations against LRA
elements are being led by Uganda, the DRC and Southern Sudan. While
troops have not been involved in the planning or implementation of
operations they are providing some logistical assistance to FARDC
support of efforts to protect the civilian population.
While there have been some
pledges to MONUC for extra resources, overall TCCs have not been
forthcoming. We continue to appeal to troop contributing
step forward with firm commitments for the additional authorized
that are urgently needed on the ground. In the meantime MONUC forces
to make every effort possible with the resources and manpower
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
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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.
* * *
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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
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