ABN-AMRO and ING Are Facilitators of Congo
Sanctions Violations, ICC Disclosure Not Solved
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 12 -- "We're not
supposed to talk about UN reform or accountability in peacekeeping
operations," the head of the UN's Group of Experts on the Democratic
of the Congo Jason Stearns told the Press on Friday. Inner City Press
Stearns' Group had at least investigated the reports of top UN
Indian colonel praising rebel Laurent Nkunda, now accused of
killed more than
100 civilians in Kiwanja. No, Stearns said, his Group's priority
had been to
focus on the main supporters of Nkunda's group, the CNDP. Video here,
the UN does detailed investigation, shouldn't it include review of
or its peacekeepers are part of the problem? Apparently not.
nevertheless provided one of the more informative UN briefings in
memory. His Group's report names the wife of Laurent Nkunda, and three
which transferred money to her: ING, ABN-AMRO and KBC. Inner City Press
if Stearns thought the financial transfers of these banks were
"Nkunda's wife is not on the sanctions list," Stearns said.
Face of victims in Goma, 1994, plus ca change in 2008
legal hair-splitting obtained when Inner City Press asked whether the
interviews Stearns' Group has done will be provided to the Office of
International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo. Most of it
public record, Stearns answered. But what about the interviews granted
condition of anonymity?
shared with Ocampo, it seems they will have to be
shared with any defense attorneys, as reflected by the ICC judges'
the Congo case against Thomas Lubanga. That's up to to the ICC,
Which makes it appear at the UN system is still in disarray in terms of
confidentiality can be promised to witnesses for information that may
with the ICC, requiring disclosure to defendants. Doctor, heal
Footnotes: The appearance by
Stearns, previously of the International Crisis Group, was a break from
the usual invisibility and lack of accountability of UN Experts Groups.
The Somalia Group, for example, issued a report alleging the Somalis
were being trained in Lebanon, but never came to explain it. Likewise,
those who came before Stearns on the DRC implied that Congolese uranium
was leaking out, which others linked to Iran. Stearns disclaimed that,
and criticized the BCC for implying this Group was wiretapping. Hey,
Bush did it...
Footnote 2: ABN-AMRO is a member
of the UN's Global Compact on human rights, a topic we will explore
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
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
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