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After DRC Crash of UN Drone, UN Has No Answers But Says Will Still Use

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 21, more here -- After hearing from Goma that another UN drone crashed in Eastern Congo, in Munigi, Inner City Press went to the UN's noon briefing on Ocober 20. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric did not mention the crash in his opening statements, but confirmed the crash after Inner City Press asked about it. Video here.
 
  Dujarric said the UN was investigating the crash, and protecting the crash site. Twenty four hours later, with the UN having said nothing - and many of those who excitedly published stories about the introduction of drones into Eastern Congo by UN Peacekeeping chief Herve "The Drone" Ladsous had not reported on this crashed, at a minimum the second crash.

 On October 21 Inner City Press asked Dujarric for why the drone crashed, and if Ladsous would be trying to introduce UN drones to the Golan Heights in Syria.

  Dujarric said "we are in full confidence of the continued use of the unarmed aerial vehicles" - while also saying the investigation is not complete. Dujarric said, "Drones crashed, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be used." Video here.

 
Ladsous, who has refused Press questions since his role in pushing for drones before having any approval, most recently canceled a stakeout and blocked the Press' camera, offering a private briefing to some Western wire services. How will they report this crash? Watch this site.

 Amid reports of the DR Congo government of Joseph Kabila throwing UN human rights official Scott Campbell out of the country, on Friday October 17 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said itís throwing Scott Campbell, the human rights UN person in the country, out of the country.  And Lambert Mende has been quoted saying this has taken place.  Whatís the reaction to that?

  Dujarric had a prepared statement, beginning "On the issue of Scott Campbell, weíve seen the reports.  None of these reports have been confirmed to us." (Full exchange on video here.)

   But Campbell has already LEFT the DRC by then: a UN statement issued on October 19 says "Mr. Campbell left the DRC on Friday for long planned holidays."

  UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous still supports the DRC Army units which committed over 130 rapes in Minova in November 2012 after losing a battle to the M23 rebels, despite only two soldiers being convicted of rape. What message did Ladsous send by non enforcing the UN's claimed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy?

  And after using its Force Intervention Brigade to "neutralize" the M23 - dozens of the disarmed fighters were put in a DRC Army camp and starved to death -- Ladsous' MONUSCO has yet to even try to neutralized the genocide-linked FDLR. What message has that sent?

   When Kabila was in Washington in August, his entourage beat up protesters and left the country without prosecution, as recounted below.

Six weeks after Inner City Press began asking the UN questions about its MONUSCO mission flying the FDLR's sanctioned leader from Eastern Congo to Kinsasha, on August 7 the Press was able to ask MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler directly. Video here and embedded below.

   But the night before Kobler's appearance, along with Mary Robinson and Russ Feingold, at the UN Security Council's Democratic Republic of the Congo debate, DRC President Joseph Kabila's bodyguards were beating up protesters 200 miles south in Washington. US State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf on August 8 said:

"We are troubled by the attacks against several protesters by members of the official delegation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It was Wednesday evening.  Take the right to freedom of expression very seriously, and violence against peaceful protesters is totally unacceptable.  We communicated our concern to the delegation in the strongest possible terms.  We requested waivers of immunity to permit those involved to face prosecution, and if such waivers were not issued, we required that the immediate departure from the country of the individuals involved.  They did not waive immunity and the individuals involved left the country on Thursday."

 So amid the speeches in the Security Council on Thursday, August 7, officials from the DRC were leaving the US after attacking protesters and refusing to waive immunity.

   On August 7 in New York, Kobler said it had been transparent, than when the UN Security Council's sanctions committee denied the waiver requested by Herve Ladsous, the FDLR leader was returned "to the bush."

  Inner City Press asked, isn't he subject to an arrest warrant in Rwanda? Kobler said he was unaware of that.

  On the mere two convictions for the 130 rapes by the Congolese Army in Minova in November 2012, Kobler said the legal process was OK -- video here -- but that the investigation was not sufficient.

  The third Press questions, which Kobler did not answer, concerned the rehabilitation of General Amisi after a failure to investigate the charges against him. We will have more on this.

  On back June 27 amid reports that the UN flew a sanctioned militia leader of the FDLR militia on a UN aircraft in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujurric about it at the UN noon briefing on June 27:

Inner City Press: why did MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] fly him to Goma to Kisangani and then to Kinshasa when, in fact, I think thereís an arrest warrant for him?

Spokesman Dujarric: Iím not aware of any other services provided to him by MONUSCO.

 But it turns out that UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous flew the sanctioned FDLR leader from Eastern Congo to Kinshasa. Rwanda complained about this, in writing, on June 26.

  On July 16, Inner City Press asked Rwanda's Deputy Permanent Representative what has been Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations' response.

  There has BEEN no response - in more than three weeks. Video here, and embedded below.

  Little more than an hour later, Ladsous floated into the Security Council to talk about Central African Republic -- without having answered a written complaint from a Security Council member in more than three weeks. We call this: unaccountable.

Dujarric on June 27, and in the subsequent times Inner City Press asked, insisted that not only Mary Robinson (who today left her post as the UN's Great Lakes envoy) but also US envoy Russ Feingold requested the waiver, and that the FDLR leader Gaston Iyamuremye a/k/a Rumuli had not traveled to Rome, arguing that only that was important.

  Inner City Press disagrees -- why would UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous given his history on Rwanda, representing France in the Security Council in 1994 arguing for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo, fly a sanctioned FDLR figure linked to the genocide around? 

  On July 15,  Haq said Rumuli  was escorted from Kinshasa back to the east. Video here.

  Inner City Press asked about MONUSCO escorting Rumuli.

  Haq said what he had read did not say MONUSCO did the escorting. So who did? And if not the UN, how does the UN know where Rumuli went? Watch this site.


 

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