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Ladsous Won't Say Who'll Disarm MNLA, Minova Rapes, Drone, MINURSO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 25 -- How unaccountable can the UN get? On Thursday after the adoption of the French drafted resolution on Mali by the Security Council, Inner City Press asked French ambassador Gerard Araud about the MNLA separatist group. UN Video here.

Araud said that there must be only one army in Mali, with territorial integrity. So who will bring it about?

Inner City Press asked Mali's foreign minister Coulibaly what he thought the role of the UN peacekeeping force should be, to disarm the MNLA? He replied, yes they must disarm, but he pointedly said, ask the UN. UN Video here.

  So Inner City Press asked UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, “Who will disarm the MNLA.” UNTV edit here, and below.

He had just said, at the Security Council stakeout microphone, that he would take questions. But he said nothing. Inner City Press asked again: who will disarm the MNLA?

I don't respond to you” Ladsous said, then pointing to get a question in French. Video here.

  Previously Ladsous has refused to answer Press questions about the 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, his partners.

  So, after the questions in French, Inner City Press asked Ladsous for an update on the rapes in Minova -- as it had asked on April 24 at the UN noon briefing by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky, so far without answer.

  Ladsous did not answer about the Minova rapes. Perhaps he'll find a way, as before, to spoon-feed some inaccurate half-answer to friendly scribes at Agence France Presse and Reuters, through his “spokesman” who was on the scene Thursday, Keiran Dwyer.

  When Inner City Press asked about the Minova rapes, one of the biggest -- but by no means the only -- scandals during Ladsous' shameless tenure at DPKO, it was Dwyer who answered or refused the questions, saying that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was not the topic of the day, DPKO or at least Ladsous wanted to focus on Mali, on the Council's agenda that morning.

  Fine, then. Inner City Press asked about the day's two other Security Council topics. On Western Sahara, where Ladsous' mission which is supposed to run a referendum with independence as an option has Moroccan license plates on its vehicles, Inner City Press asked, “On MINURSO--”

  Ladsous did not answer. In fact, Ladsous began to prepare to flee the stakeout, grabbing his papers as he fielded a question about the French-dominated Mali operation.

  On Cote d'Ivoire, Inner City Press asked Ladsous, do you have any approval for the drone (unnamed aerial vehicle) you put in the ONUCI mission's “budget submission to ACABQ?”

  Ladsous didn't answer this one either. How much is Ladsous paid? Is he returning any of his tax free salary? Because it is part of his job to answer questions.

  We have previously reported being approached by a range of diplomats who call Ladsous' behavior on this and other things “shameful,” a new low for the UN system, unacceptable. But who will do anything?

Inner City Press also asked Araud of France -- which is responsible for foisting Ladsous on the UN -- about Western Sahara and the outcome France has in previous years advocated for: the non inclusion, of human rights monitoring in the UN mission's mandate.

  Araud seemed to deny advocating for this, even in previous years -- as to this year, he said it was between Morocco and the US. US Ambassador Susan Rice did not come to the stakeout.

Of those who did come to the stakeout Thursday, the Permanent Representative of France and the Foreign Minister of Mali answered Inner City Press' questions, saying “ask the UN.”

  But the UN's Ladsous, paid with public money, simply refused to answer. Increasingly, we think we know why -- the initial questions about his role and memos during the Rwanda genocide. Click here. Should this person be the head of UN Peacekeeping? Watch this site.

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