In Congo, 3000 Troops But UN Still in White
Fortresses, France - Rwanda Rift Downplayed
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 20 -- As the UN Security
Council authorized 3000 more peacekeeping troops for the Congo, France
take a central role in an area it talks about a lot, the protection of
humanitarian workers. Inner City Press asked French Ambassador
Ripert if his country's public disputes with Rwanda, most recently
arrest of President Paul Kagame's advisor Rose Kabuye, doesn't
France's role in the region. No, Ripert said, insisting that France has
relations with Rwanda.
Rwanda broke off diplomatic relations and is
threatening to indict former French official Dominique de Villepin and
for France's role in the 1994 genocide. If Rwanda is so central to the
in the Congo, as the UN admits by meeting with Kagame instead of the
rebel in the Congo, Laurent Nkunda, then France's rift with Kagame
preclude it from any central role.
will go to the Congo, and under what rules of engagement? Inner City
asked Ripert to respond to the complaint of the UN's military commander
North Kivu that it is impossible to fight Nkunda's forces from bright
vehicle visible from kilometers away.
Ripert said to ask Alain Le Roy, the (French) head
of UN Peacekeeping,
while adding that the militarization of humanitarian assistance is
Thus are the phrases if not philosophy of Bernard Kouchner, the
of the Responsibility to Protect, present in the Council every day.
France's Ripert + 2, stylin' at the UN
Ripert spoke, no one was manning the microphones of UN Television.
Press is told it is because there is a hiring freeze; the head of the
contractor to whom the workers have been outsources recently had to
While the UN took and spent $25 million from the Spanish government,
from its International Cooperation budget, for a lavish ceiling in
inaugurated this week by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, they cannot
to have a soundman for the French and UK Ambassador to the UN, speaking
a microphone or any amplification on Thursday was South African
Dumisani Kumalo, who loudly called out after Richard Stanley, the chair
Stanley Foundation, who had just met with Ban Ki-moon. Stanley, a
unexplained power behind the thrown at the UN, blurted out about the
responsibility to protect. Somewhere, under a lavish ceiling, even more
invective was prepared. Meanwhile, civilians in the Congo are left to
outside UN bases as the fighting re-heats up.
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
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
Reporter's mobile (and
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]