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On UN Report of Peacekeeper Rape in Congo, Ladsous' DPKO Says Nothing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 7, updated -- Sexual abuse by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, now under Herve Ladsous, has not stopped.

  Now, however, DPKO cannot even muster up a response to outrageous reports, including one public not for at least four days.

  Inner City Press at the August 7 noon briefing asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about the study by Dr. Victoria Fontan of the UN-mandated* University for Peace in Costa Rica, finding that

"In February, 2011, two orphans, Gisele, then 14, and her sister Esperance, 15, were attacked by five soldiers, three from MONUSCO and two from the Congo's notoriously undisciplined and brutal army. While the Congolese were beating Gisele, Esperance was gang raped and beaten by the three white MONUSCO soldiers. She was both badly injured and pregnant. Last October, Esperance gave birth by cesarean section. Her son died two days later."

  Nesirky said that UN is of course aware of the report, and that if DPKO or the MONUSCO mission "have anything to say, then we'll let you know." Video here, from Minute 16:20.

  How is this acceptable? DPKO is aware of this report, public for at least four days, of three MONUSCO "peacekeepers" gang raping two underage Congolese girls. And there is a question about whether DPKO under Ladsous will have anything to say?

  Have the three DPKO "peacekeepers" been investigated or are they still out in the field -- perhaps at Hotel Uvira? Inner City Press reported on UN leisure in Uvira while accompanying a Security Council trip to the Kivus and elsewhere. Now it has gotten worse -- under Herve Ladsous.

  Ladsous, as reported, refuses to answer any questions from Inner City Press. Responding to this is, however, his job. Watch this site.

* - Rather than any substantive response from DPKO, the response so far has been to argue that the University of Peace has nothing to do with the UN. But its website says "the United Nations-mandated University for Peace was established in December 1980 as a Treaty Organization by the UN General Assembly."

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