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Ladsous Seeks Friendly Coverage of Mali, Dodges War Crimes Questions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 -- UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous recently traveled to Sudan, where he met with Omar al Bashir who has been indicted for war crimes and genocide.

  While there, Ladsous bragged that his peacekeepers have become more aggressive, even “kept the body” of an assailant they killed.

  In New York, Inner City Press asked if this complied with the Geneva Conventions, not to say Islamic law. But these questions have not been answered.

  Ladsous went to Mali, where the French government he served for years including at the UN during the 1994 Rwanda genocide has been bragging of its central role in the upcoming July 28 elections.

  In New York, Inner City Press asked repeatedly if Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations supports units of the Congolese Army depicted involved in war crimes, rapes, arming the FDLR militia and even looting UN compounds in the Group of Experts report, the full text of which Inner City Press exclusively put online on June 29.

  That day, 11 days ago, Inner City Press asked Ladsous four spokespeople -- Kieran Dwyer, Andre-Michel Essoungou, Josephine Guerrero and Anayansi Lopez -- for a yes or no answer. Receipt was confirmed, and an answer promised. But no answer has been provided. This is a pattern: video compilation here.

  Now 11 days after that question, and after Ladsous skipped out on a question and answer stakeout he was supposed to hold on July 9, there's this quote in AP: “Herve Ladsous told a group of reporters Wednesday that the new U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali will also be helping to provide security for the election.”

  So rather than answer questions that are asked, including at the UN's noon briefing, Ladsous sneaks around trying to find friendly coverage that will not ask him about war crimes, whether in 1994 or by the Congolese army units he supports in 2012 and 2013.

  The issue is now raised that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over the situation in the DR Congo - that is, Ladsous' MONUSCO mission - and in Mali, the MISUSMA mission.

  Days ago, MINUSMA answered a question about its role in the election to the new Free UN Coalition for Access, formed to make the UN more transparent and officials like Ladsous answer. But now, as predicted, MINUSMA has stopped answering, a simple question about its mandate and the ICC.

This is what Ladsous is doing to the UN, and UN Peacekeeping. #LADSOUS2013. Watch this site.


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