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UN Congo Committee Unlike Meece Discusses Rwanda, Set to Join UNSC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 13 -- As the UN Security Council's Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo met behind closed doors on Wednesday afternoon, sources told Inner City Press that unlike at DRC envoy Roger Meece's superficial briefing, the topic of Rwanda supporting the Congolese mutineers was front and center.

   "The allegations are serious, and deadly," a Council member said. "Given the history we have to dig into them."

   "Their work is really impressive," another Council member told Inner City Press of the reports they were receiving.

   Rwanda is slated to join the Security Council in January. Another Council member joked that maybe Rwanda could take over the chair of the DRC Sanctions committee.

Rwanda was on the Security Council during the 1994 genocide, representing the Hutu government. Now, a Council member noted, they will rejoin the Council amid controversy about supporting Bosco Ntaganda and his mutineers inside the Congo.

  Rwanda's Permanent Representative to the UN is genial, and President Paul Kagame has tweeted with Inner City Press. But what was presented by the DRC Sanctions committee did not paint a pretty picture.

Rwanda denies the allegations that it recruited and trained the mutineers, we note, and has said Meece should come to Kigali to explain. The UN wouldn't even confirm the invitation to Inner City Press, and on Tuesday in front of the Security Council, Meece more or less dissembled about his previous denial of Rwanda involvement.

After that denial it emerged that the UN knew and had in its care mutineers who said they were recruited and trained in Rwanda. Inner City Press wrote it, crediting BBC and the tweeter who'd made it aware, and then asked the UN about Meece's previous statement.

Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey said, things change. This, the San Francisco Bay View covered, with credit.

  But when Meece appeared at the Security Council stakeout on June 12 and Inner City Press asked him about his previous statement in the video briefing, and the BBC story, Meece denied it all.

  He said he didn't have a transcript of his video briefing -- in fact, as noted, the UN's Department of Public Information entirely omitted from its "press release" about the briefing the Rwanda question, and a detailed question about a moribund project, Meece's Mills, that MONUSCO whistleblowers have said the the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services should investigate.

  On June 12 Meece said he had no updated on the project. But most striking was his statement that the UN has still never said there was a Rwandan role in the mutiny.

  This is not just based on what Meece called a "leaked" report -- there were and are direct quotes from "Hiroute Guebre-Selassie, bureau chief of the UN mission in the DR Congo (Monusco)."

Does Meece not know Ms. Guebre-Selassie? What kind of UN communications are these?

Footnote: in other sanctions committee news, the chair of the committee on Guinea Bissau sanctions voted by the Council has yet to be chosen - but sources exclusively tell Inner City Press it is slated for Morocco. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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