Congo, MONUSCO Could Not Protect Civilians from Army, Doss Quits Before
Nepotism Ruling, Ripert to Replace?
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 19 -- The UN Mission in the Congo MONUC, whose embattled
chief Alan Doss is resigning with a mere 12 days notice, faced a
significant scaling back by the government, Security Council sources
tell Inner City Press.
from the Council's trip to Kinshasa said the move is toward limiting
the UN's protection of civilians mandate to only where its
peacekeepers are stationed, and to symbolically renaming the mission
from MONUC to MONUSCO. (Inner City Press suggests going one step
further to MINISCULO.)
member said the fix is in for former French Ambassador to the UN Jean
Maurice Ripert to replace Doss. Ripert is currently the New York
based UN humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan. While there are fewer
car bombs in the Kivus than in Pakistan, for civilians the Eastern
Congo may be more dangerous. But not for high UN officials.
asked Ripert's replacement Gerard Araud, who led the Council's Congo
trip, about each of the above. Araud said that the "name and
format are on the table," but said that the UN would be able to
intervene elsewhere in the Congo "if requested by the DRC
authorities." Video here,
from Minute 3:24.
indicate that "the level of
brutality against women and girls is increasing with survivors
describing being subjected to mutilation and torture, gang rape and
abduction by armed groups" -- including the FARDC, and not
limited to the Kivus.
government's own FARDC army is often accused of killing and raping
civilians, it is difficult to minimize such a scaling back of
And the UN
system has few other mechanisms in place. While US Ambassador Susan
Rice, while speaking about Libya's election to the Human Rights
Council, names as an accomplishing at the HRC since the US joined the
saving of the special rapporteurs on the DR Congo, in fact that
rapporteur was eliminated.
questioning Araud, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky
if MONUC had at least
investigated charges that the government's
FARDC killed more than dozen civilians after it retook the airport at
Mbandaka last month. "I know MONUC has been looking into the
assault on the airport," Nesirky said. Video here,
from Minute 9:20.
DRC government's assault on
As Alan Doss cuts ties with UN, MONUSCO, Ripert
& POC not shown
if MONUSCO -- or
MINISCULO -- has a protection of civilians mandate that is scaled
back, even as Ambassador Araud described it, it could not protect
civilians from army units, even rogue army units of the former CNDP
of Bosco Ntaganda. Perhaps it should be called MON-BOSCO.
asked also Nesirky about Doss' presumptive misconduct, which it first
reported, in telling the UN Development Program to show him "leeway"
and give his daughter a job.
The UN Office
of Internal Oversight
Services has already preliminarily found wrongdoing. But, Inner City
Press asked, if Ban Ki-moon does not rule before May 31, would the UN
still have jurisdiction over Alan Doss, and would be the UN's
recourse? Nesirky said the OIOS report and Doss' non public response
are before the Secretary General and that "we have no further
comment at this time." Video here,
from Minute 10:12.
Ah, UN accountability...
Mission to the UN's transcript:
City Press: It is said that the idea is to limit the protection of
civilians to only where the peacekeepers are, to rename MONUC
MONUSCO, and to replace Alan Doss with Jean-Maurice Ripert. Can you
respond to any of these three?
Doss has officially announced that he will leave his functions, as
for his replacement it is a decision of the Secretary-General of the
UN. As far as I know, this decision has not been taken. Several names
are floating, one of them is the one you have quoted but it is not
the only one. As for the reconfiguration, there are some ideas.
Again, the Security Council has to discuss these issues. The name of
the force and the format of the force are questions which will be on
the table of the Security Council. It has to discuss it, we have not
taken any decision.
City Press: Can you imagine scaling back the protection of civilians
No. It is already a fact that nearly 90 % of MONUC is in the East of
Congo. Now, since the situation has improved, most of the force is
already in the Eastern part of Congo and we have a small contingent
in Kinshasa itself. It is already a fact. It could be a solution to
limit the mandate of MONUC to the Eastern part of Congo, but it
wouldn’t mean that MONUC couldn’t intervene in the rest of Congo
if there is a request by DRC authorities. Again, these decisions have
not been taken and will be the result of the negotiations. There are
different views among the members of the Security Council, which is
legitimate, and we have to find, we will find a compromise at the end
of the day.
City Press: Two francophone battalions, from Senegal and Benin, might
be the ones that will lea[ve].
I really do not know the planning.
* * *
Congo Army Charged With 11 Murders in Mbandaka,
UN Investigation Uncertain
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 21 -- The UN, trying to
convince Congolese President
Joseph Kabila to let its MONUC peacekeeping mission stay in his
country, helped Kabila's soldiers to re-take the Mbandaka airport
April 5. Now a Congolese human rights group is asserting that in the
re-taking of the airport, 11 civilian were killed.
on Wednesday asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky if the UN is aware of
the human rights groups' reports, and if the UN will investigate
them. Nesirky replied that the UN is aware of the reports, but
cannot confirm them.
since the UN
Security Council has repeatedly given the MONUC mission a mandate to
"protect civilians," isn't this triggered by awareness of
reports that, at a minimum, its partner the Congolese Army may have
killed more than ten civilians?
the same line, "what I can say is that at the moment we cannot
confirm this." He added, "it doesn’t preclude what you
are saying that it is being looked into." Frankly, very few
things are "precluded" to MONUC. But isn't this mission,
led by scandal
plagued British SRSG Alan Doss, required to take some
action, under its mandate? Watch this site.
UN transports what
it calls FARDC, investigation not shown
the UN's April 21 transcript, Inner City Press' questions and OSSG's
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the Government re-took
the airport that had been taken by rebels or was ascribed to ethnic
tensions, a Congolese human rights group has said that the Government
killed 11 civilians during its re-taking of the airport. I am
wondering, since the UN has such a, you know, big presence in the
Congo and works with the Government, are they aware of this and are
they going to anything to look into this alleged killing of civilians
by the Government?
We’ve heard the report, but we can’t confirm this information.
But is the UN going to look into it, I guess, is my question. It’s
within its mandate to look into that.
At the moment, what I can tell you is that we can’t confirm this
Does it have, I mean, I know that MONUC -- I’m sorry to -- has a
human rights component and has a mandate to protect civilians. Would
this, would looking into alleged killing of civilians by the host
Government fall within the mandate of protection of civilians?
Well, what I can say is that at the moment we cannot confirm this. But
it doesn’t preclude what you are saying that it is being looked
into. But what I can tell you at the moment is what I have told you.
* * *
UN's Doss Hit by OIOS, Council Tries to Save MONUC, Rice Defended,
NGOs on Tap
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 14 -- The day after the UN's top envoy to the Congo
Alan Doss dodged the Press by canceling a scheduled question and
answer session, it emerged that Doss is named as a wrongdoer in the
long delayed Office of Internal Oversight Services probe of his
e-mail urging the UN Development Program to show him "lee-way"
and give his daughter a job.
first published Doss' nepotism e-mail, and reported on the macing and
arrest of the UNDP staffer whose job was given to Rebecca Doss,
Nicola Baroncini. Mr. Baroncini remains waiting for his day in court.
Inner City Press asked chief UN spokesman Martin Nesirky how it could
take nine months to investigate Doss' six line e-mail, and Nesirky
did not explain. Now Nesirky's associate Farhan Haq has said to
Turtle Bay that "There is a draft investigative detail, provided
only to Mr. Doss for his comment before a report is finalized. Once
finalized, the report will be sent to the secretary-general."
has in the past asked both Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his top
Peacekeeper, Alain Leroy, about l'affaire Doss. Now with the Security
Council headed Friday to Kinsasha to try to save the peacekeeping
mission Doss has overseen, the negative finding against Doss hurts
not only him but the UN.
UN's Doss pensive at last stakeout, which he now skips: it's over
this trip, the
French mission has said that eight of the Council's 15 members are
sending their top representatives, five are sending "Deputy
Permanent Representatives" and two, only advisors. While the
U.S. seems to qualify for this last designation, since DPR Alejandro
Wolff is not going, it emerged on Wednesday that France was
considering the U.S. Brooke Anderson as a DPR, despite her current
"number four" (at best) status in the U.S. Mission.
and Chinese were targeted by France as only sending advisors, from
these quarters came a cry of double standards, that the U.S. would be
let off the hook. China has no sitting DPR at present, unlike the US.
And Mexican Perm Rep Heller is in fact going to more countries in
Africa at the same time, for the Somalia Sanctions Committee.
Austria has pushed to have Congolese NGOs flown from Goma to Kinshasa
to brief the Council. A US Mission representative, reflexively
defensive of Susan Rice's non attendance on family issues grounds,
nevertheless trashed the Council for not traveling to Goma. But
others asked, if you send your Number Four, who are you to criticize?
Watch this site.