Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

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

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In DRC, On FDLR Abuse in Lubero, Belated Action by Kobler, in OCHA Race?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 22 -- After the UN claimed to be jointly fighting the FDLR rebels with the Congolese Army FARDC, then to be supporting the FARDC to do so, on February 6 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric more questions, and he said "the military actual fighting has not, as far as we know, has not commenced." Video here.

  Now UN-supported Radio Okapi reports on FDLR abuses against civilians in Lubero, here. Since the UN has insisted that it will live up to its protection of civilians mandate, will the MONUSCO mission under Martin Kobler but ultimately Herve Ladsous take action?

  Kobler is an interesting UN official, now as Inner City Press first reported in the mix to replace Valerie Amos at UN OCHA. (Before that he was in first place to be the UN's Middle East Coordinator, until one of the Security Council's Permanent members chimed in and Robert Serry got the job. Now, as also first reported by Inner City Press, it goes to Kobler's successor as UN envoy in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov.

  But some wonder, shouldn't Kobler finish as he promised with the FDLR in the Dr Congo? Also, how to view Kobler's recent acquiescence to Ladsous, refusing to answer on camera questions about his MONUSCO? Video here. He did come back and answer off camera, to his credit. But is he his own man? We'll have more on this. This may be the test.

   (Proud Tweeter Kobler has been asked, but has yet to answer. Click here for a review of the UN's UNresponsive social media strategy - for the record, with praise for at least three UN officials.)

  On February 18, Inner City Press asked Dujarric the question of why Herve Ladsous' MONUSCO has not itself taken action on the FDLR:

Inner City Press: A spokesman for the Congolese Government, Lambert Mende, has said that MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] is free to do its own operation against FDLR [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda].  He says that the Government has nothing against that.  And I know that it's come up that, somehow, the UN, because of its stated human rights concerns is not going to work with the Government to go after the FDLR.  But, if the Government there is essentially giving its consent, what am I missing?  Why isn't the UN doing what was said it would do following 2 January?

Spokesman:  I would… I would check with the Mission itself.  I have nothing to say from here.

  The UN - and Ladsous, given his history - SHOULD have something to say.

  On February 17, Inner City Press asked again, "Are you aware of any action taken by the Congolese Army against FDLR? Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq replied, "I'm not aware of offensive military operations, no."

  Nevertheless Reuters on February 10, calling it an exclusive, quoted an unnamed UN official that the UN's support to this non-existent fight had been "paused."

  Then on February 14, still without reporting UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous' history with the Hutu rebels and FDLR, for example here, nor the more recent sale of UN posts in the DRC under Ladsous, Reuters without any of that context quotes anonymous UN official(s) on how committed to rights the UN is, here.

  It 'reports' that "'The next step is the dispatch of formal letters to the relevant Congolese authorities concerning the cessation of support to the FARDC in these anti-FDLR operations,' said the U.N. official."

  What anti-FDLR actions? Tellingly, the story doesn't even purport to give a reason for according the "UN official" anonymity.

   So what is Reuters' policy on granting anonymity? Shouldn't the reason be stated? Reuters has previously refused to explain basic policies - including on censorship like this.

  This Reuters series, praising the UN for "pausing" or suspending action against the FDLR that never even began, is affirmatively misleading. UN Peacekeeping hands faux secrets to Reuters in exchange for positive, uncritical coverage.

  On February 11, Inner City Press asked Spokesman Dujarric about this Reuters "exclusive" on a spoonfed quote: how can something that never began be paused? February 11 video here.  There is as yet no answer.

On February 17, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq

Inner City Press: I want to know whether the UN can say whether the FARDC has, in fact, begun any operations against the FDLR.  And you read the resolution and it says “unilateral”.  It says that the MONUSCO can take action as it did on M23 [23 March Movement], and so, I'm wondering, are there preparations to do just that?

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Well, that same resolution 2147 (2014), also spells out the phrase “consent of all parties”, and that's an important phrase for us.  MONUSCO will act under the instruction of the Security Council, like I said.  It's got the technical capacities.  It has sufficient enablers and is well-trained and it has well-trained and well-equipped professional peacekeepers to conduct such an operation successfully.  If there's any UN operation to be taken against the FDLR, it would have to be taken in line with international humanitarian law.  In this regard, contingency plans are being reviewed...

Inner City Press:  And is there a FARDC action yet?  Sorry.  I just wanted to get back to that.  Are you aware of any action taken by the Congolese Army against FDLR?

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of offensive military operations, no. 

 In full disclosure, Reuters at the UN has asked Google to censor access to its anti-Press complaint to the UN, here.

 We also note this, that Reuters pays for (sometimes false) exclusives.

The February 6 transcript is here.

On February 5, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq when Inner City Press asked if ANY support from the UN is being given, did not say Yes. Video here.


 The UN has been dissembling for some time about its role in the Congolese Army's stated attempt to "neutralize" the FDLR. While refusing to answer Press questions publicly, Herve Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping on February 4 once again used friendly scribes to appear to be strong on human rights - in this case, to explain NOT fighting the FDLR.

  Ladsous did this on the Congolese Army rapes in Minova, using the same scribes; he is preparing the same scam to explain his mission's covering up of rapes in Tabit in Darfur, Sudan (more on this to come).

  Here's Ladsous' DPKO's most recent use of Reuters. And here is Ladsous' history with the Hutu rebels in 1994, supporting their escape into Eastern Congo, where now this false fig leaf is used to explain not fighting... Hutu rebels. Here is Agence France Presse; here is Ladsous' DPKO's most recently use of Reuters:

"The United Nations has threatened to withdraw support for a planned Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) military campaign against Rwandan rebels if the government does not remove two generals accused of human rights abuses by the end of next week, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the world body has told Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda: 'If you keep these guys we're not going to be in a position to support you ... get these people out.'"
  Reuters and AFP of course do not mention Ladsous' history, not only in 1994 but in refusing openly to answer questions about the rapes in Minova, or more recently, this. No, in this story the UN comes off as heroic. Really?

 Inner City Press asked more on February 4, video forthcoming.

 Inner City Press on January 30 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: Since it's UN Social Media Day, MONUSCO 46 minutes ago said that — I'll say it in French: Les operations militaires contre les #FDLR, lancées hier jeudi, seront dirigées et planifiées conjointement par la #MONUSCO et les FARDC.  So unless I'm misunderstanding this, they're claiming that it's a joint operation, “conjointement”, on their Twitter feed.  I wanted to know, why would they be doing that, given what you've just said?

Spokesman:  I think without going into a deep analysis of French and English, which you obviously are able to do and I couldn't try to keep up with you, I think it is a different characterization maybe, a different use of words, but I think the point is that it's an FARDC-led operation with the support of the UN.

   On February 2, Inner City Press asked Dujarric more specifically, video here,

transcript here

  Reuters has again misrepresented the UN's and Herve Ladsous' (non) enforcement of the human rights due diligence policy. The anonymously trolling Reuters correspondent -- reviving that on January 26, after Reuters' Stephen J. Adler et al were told but did nothing -- "reports" that

"The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo threatened in 2013 to withdraw support for two Congolese battalions accused of involvement in the mass rape. The mission decided to keep working with the battalions after 12 senior officers, including the commanders and deputy commanders, were suspended and about a dozen soldiers were charged over the rapes in Minova."

  This is propaganda -- only two lower ranking soldiers were convicted. The Reuters implication is that Ladsous' DPKO is tough on human rights: false.

  On January 22  Ladsous made a speech about freedom of the press in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Thursday to the US Security Council, and made excuses for not acting to “neutralize” the Hutu FDLR rebels as the UN did the largely Tutsi M23.

Then Ladsous came to the Security Council stakeout, ostensibly to take questions.

  Inner City Press asked, “On the neutralization of the FDLR, what is the hold up?”

  Ladsous said "I don't respond to your questions, Mister." Video here and embedded below.

   Then Ladsous turned and gave the question to Reuters, the same trolling correspondent. When that back and forth was over, Inner City Press asked if any of the countries in the UN's Force Intervention Brigade are well than willing to attack the FDLR, as senior diplomats at the UN have told Inner City Press.

   Ladsous refused to answer this question, and gestured that Ban Ki-moon's envoy to the DRC Martin Kobler, standing behind Ladsous at the stakeout, shouldn't answer it either. Reuters took or was given another question, distancing the FDLR from genocide.

   Finally Inner City Press asked both men what if anything UN Peacekeeping has done as the Kabila government has frozen the accounts of the Panzi hospital for rape victims.  Ladsous waved this off -- for months he waved off Press questions about mass rape in Minova by his partners in the Congolese Army, video here -- and walked away with this spokesman.

 (One can only imagine the advise this “communications professional” is giving Ladsous. Perhaps he can help Ladsous address his history with Hutu groups as evidence in this memo. These are Press questions.)


Share |

* * *

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

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

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]