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UN's Ladsous Tells Press "I Do Not Talk to You" Then Appears on France 24

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 17 -- Six months after UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations chief Herve Ladsous told Inner City Press that a Status of Forces Agreement in Abyei was "nearly done," Inner City Press on May 17 asked the representatives of Sudan and South Sudan why this SOFA was in fact NOT done.

 South Sudan has criticized the "unnecessary delay," and Ladsous on May 1 refused to take Inner City Press' question on Sudan.

  And so on the afternoon of May 17 Inner City Press asked Ladsous directly about this seeming failure in Sudan. Ladsous as he walked upstairs from the Security Council preparing to smoke one of his slender cigarettes told Inner City Press pointedly, "I do not talk to you."

  The same day, Ladsous appeared at length on France 24, answering softball questions about the UN's actions in former French colony Cote d'Ivoire. Ladsous is the fourth Frenchman in a row atop DPKO, but by far the least communicative.

  His predecessor Alain Le Roy, for example, a year ago held question and answer stakeouts on April 1, April 4, April 8, April 11 and April 15 - that is, five in 15 DAYS.

  In his entire term since being appointed by Nicolas Sarkozy as a last minute replacement for Jerome Bonnafont, who bragged he was getting the job, Ladsous has only taken questions at the UN on October 13, 11 November, January 5, February 7 (with Roger Meece) and May 1 -- only about Syria, refusing questions about Sudan and Haiti and the introduction of cholera.  That is, five in MORE THAN SIX MONTHS.

  One of the jobs of the head of DPKO is to be the public face and explain the situation of peacekeepers. Ladsous has failed in this, and and failed to protect peacekeepers.

  There are mounting calls for the new French administration from Francois Holland through Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault to new Foreign Minister Fabuis to replace Ladsous with a more credible, and creditable, head of DPKO.

The position should NOT be ceded to any country, just as the Department of Political Affairs should not. But even if it is, surely France can do better than this non-entity who openly says to the Press "I do not talk to you" while appearing on France 24. Watch this site.

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

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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

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