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On Haiti Cholera, Guehenno Switches "Come Clean" to "Make Others Pay"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 9 -- When a hole opens in the UN's armor of immunity, there are fast moves to close it.

   On August 7, with the UN of Ban Ki-moon and Herve Ladsous still denying all claims that Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping brought cholera to Haiti and killed 8,000 people, after Inner City Press again asked Ban's spokesperson about it, Ladsous' predecessor Jean-Marie Guehenno tweeted this:

"Peacekeepers have done a lot for Haiti, but UN needs to come clean on cholera crisis."

  Inner City Press retweeted then wrote about it, noting that this is a former chief of UN Peacekeeping. So where is Herve Ladsous on this? He's out of headquarters, after refusing Press questions then spoon-feeding spin to a friendly scribeAugust 7 Q&A with's Ban's lead spokesperson Martin Nesirky, here.

  Thursday August 8 was a UN holiday. So in its August 7 story, Inner City Press asked: what will the UN say about its own former head of peacekeeping, a post now devolved to Herve Ladsous who was rejected in favor of Guehenno, then in favor of Alain Le Roy, then a third strike in favor of Jerome Bonnafont -- only to be put in the job by France after Bonnafont bragged about getting it?

The flaw was that Ladsous has a record, of arguing for the escape of the genocidaires from Rwanda into Eastern Congo. How can he lead an (all African) intervention brigade now in the Congo?

On August 9, Inner City Press asked Ban's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq about what Jean-Marie Guehenno said. Haq replied there would be no UN comment on what Guehenno said in his "private capacity." Video here, from Minute 2:07.

But lo and behold later on the afternoon of August 9, Guehenno who is now a professor at Columbia but still in the UN loop, having had at least one Under Secretary General job, and a posting on Ban's Senior Advisory Group of Peacekeeping Operations (with a Sri Lankan military leader depicted in the UN's own report as engaged in war crimes), "clarified" his August 7 tweet:

"UN can take responsibility by pushing harder on member states to fund health and sanitation in Haiti with substantial donations."

  Suddenly Guehenno's (re) definition of coming clean has nothing to do with taking responsibility, but rather "pushing" others to pay for the consequences of DPKO's ongoing negligence.

  Here's the question: how can the UN, and DPKO which Guehenno used to head, preach rule of law if it never takes responsibility? Blaming plaintiffs' attorneys is not enough: to merely push others to pay, and not accept responsibility, is lawless.

  Who "got to" Guehenno? Or is the promise or desire for future UN-world posts enough to bring about such a quick reversal? Watch this site. And this video, before Guehenno's "clarification," from Minute 2:07:


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