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UN Silent for Week on Deaths of UN Peacekeepers in Cote d'Ivoire

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 4 -- What is wrong with UN Peacekeeping and at least some of its Missions, under Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous?

  On February 4, following African media reports of two separate crashes in Cote d'Ivoire killing a total of nine peacekeepers -- three Moroccans back on January 27 and six Egyptians on February 3 -- Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric why neither had been announced by the UN or its Mission?

   Dujarric said he would check. Inner City Press asked what is the protocol, to announce the death of UN Peacekeepers? Prior to Ladsous, these were announced, and more. Now there is silence, and as noted Ladsous refuses Press questions about the functioning of UN Peacekeeping.

   Before the February 4 UN noon briefing ended, two separate times Dujarric was handed belated ONUCI mission statements: first for the February 6 death of six Egyptian peacekeepers, then a week late for the January 27 death of the three Moroccans.

   Inner City Press asked Dujarric, what's the dateline on that? He said, February 4. So why did ONUCI wait a full week? Other countries with peacekeepers in Cote d'Ivoire include Brazil, Cameroon,  Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ireland, Jordan and of course France, including through its Force Licorne.

   For the Moroccans who died a week ago, we report that they were Officer Kamal Tahiri, Corporals El Hachmi Khalad and Abdalilah El Baghzaoui. We will have more about the Egyptians, whose deaths were announced by a spokesperson for the Egyptian Army.

  What is wrong with Ladsous' DPKO?

   Previously, having found Ladsous unwilling to answer any questions and even telling others not to answer, Inner City Press wrote to UN missions asking them to send information. Some have begun to -- but like MINUSTAH the mission in Haiti, whose role in bringing cholera to Haiti Inner City Press has closely reported on but which refuses to send even basic information it sends to others to Inner City Press, ONUCI did not send these belated statements.

We and now the Free UN Coalition for Access call this the “Ladsousification” of UN and its DPKO. It and Ladsous ill-serve the peacekeepers, and peace. Watch this site.


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