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On Minova Rapes, Ladsous Refuses to Name Battalions After 4 Months, 1 Question

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 28 -- Even while the UN says that UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous has belatedly set a second “final” deadline for action on the 126 rapes in November in Minova by two battalions of the Congolese Army, Thursday Ladsous flatly refused to answer Press questions on camera.

   Inner City Press asked Ladsous to name the two battalions or to explain why not -- that is, why this silence and cover-up does not further impunity.

   Ladsous looked around, finally finding his favorite and longtime lapdog, Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse, who dutifully asked a get-away question. In order not to hinder any other journalist's work, Inner City Press waited while another French journalist also asked Ladsous a question, in French.

   Then Inner City Press asked more directly, why did Ladous wait four months (so far) on the 126 rapes? What does this say about Ban Ki-moon's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence policy?

   Ladsous did not answer, walked away from the microphone. This week the UN has refused to answer a simple Press question about the training for UN peacekeeping missions of more than 800 troops from 23 countries -- in Nepal, from where the UN brought cholera to Haiti. What safeguards are in place?

   Ladsous won't answer that one either. There remains, it seems, only one question for Ladsous. Watch this site.

Footnote: by contrast, Inner City Press' DRC questions were taken by France's Gerard Araud and the DRC foreign minister, who would not name any action on Minova to be taken before Monday. So what is wrong with Ladsous? Like we said, one question.

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