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Kerry at UN Vague on FDLR & US Training of Rapist DRC Army Units

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 25 -- Amid unanswered questions about the US training to the 391st Battalion of the Congolese Army, implicated in 135 rapes in Minova and now desecration of corpses, John Kerry came to the Thursday morning.

  His photo op with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was scheduled for 9:20 am; the Press was told it had to come at 8:30, and did. But once upstairs on the 38th floor, there was another 20 minute wait. Kerry and his entourage came late.

  When they did, Ban Ki-moon made a statement without taking questions, saying that he would address Syria "first." What about the Great Lakes and DRC, and the UN's Herve Ladsous' continued support to the 391st Battalion, after the 135 rapes, even after the desecration?

  Kerry mentioned South Sudan and its Jonglei state, which Ban Ki-moon didn't -- Ban has said nothing about the mass firings by Salva Kiir -- but once down in the Security Council, he alluded to "external support to M23" and to collaboration with the FDLR, without specifying: collaboration by whom?

  Just the Congolese Army FARDC units named in the Group of Experts report, the full text of which Inner City Press exclusively put online in June? Or by Ladsous' MONUSCO mission itself, as alleged?

  Kerry and Ban both referred to rape, without acknowledging as to the rapist 391st Battalion the US training, and continued UN aid. Kerry introduced Russ Feingold, just as he had up on the 38th floor. Will Feingold speak on this?

  The questions include, what has the US learned from this? How does it relate to French Ambassador's July 24 statement to Inner City Press that the 391st Battalion is the "best unit" in the DRC Army, and that it's a "problem for the Americans"?

  Up on the 38th floor, and again behind Ban in the Security Council, sat Herve Ladsous, now the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping, but in 1994 the Deputy Permanent Representative of France, arguing to allow genocidaires to escape into Eastern Congo. Those votes and speech came in the same room as now. Watch this site.


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