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UN Silent As Staffer Killed in Mali, Ladsous Berated Malians About France

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 7 -- When UN Peacekeepers are determined, by the UN itself, to have killed three civilians in Mali by using excessive force, what accountability is there?  None - and UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous on April 2 refused to answer questions about his own responsibility. Video here. Vine here. 

  On August 7 at the UN's noon briefing Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric if it was true that a UN staff member was killed in an attack in Sevare in Mali, and another taken hostage. Dujarric said he would not answer "for this podium."

  But throughout the afternoon of August 7, Dujarric did not answer in any other way. Amid increasing reports of the UN staffer's death, allegedly confirmed by MINUSMA - which sent out no announcement -- Inner City Press re-inquired with the spokesperson's office and obtained a hard-copy only statement, re-typed below. Then the UN Spokesperson's Office closed. Ladsous, it seemed, remained on vacation. Here is the statement:

  “Early this morning, unidentified armed men launched an attack on a Malian military site in the town of Sevare, in the Mopti region. The attackers, who were pushed back by the Malian Armed Forces, then took refuge in a hotel in town (Byblos). Confrontation between the attackers and the Malian Armed and Security Forces continued throughout the morning and shots continue to be fired sporadically at the hotel and in its vicinity.

  “Available reports indicate that a member of the international personnel associated with MINUSMA was killed in the attack. MINUSMA condemns this despicable attack in the strongest terms. MINUSMA continues to very closely monitor developments and to coordinate its efforts with the Malian authorities and the representatives of the international community and Barkhane.

  “At the request of the Malian authorities, MINUSMA has taken measures to ensure the transport of a Malian rapid intervention team from Bamako to Sevare as reinforcements for the national armed and security forces who are on location. This team is accompanied by MINUSMA Police experts who will provide technical support, if necessary. MINUSMA has also reinforced security at the Sevare - Mopti airport and deployed a medical team that is already stationed at the airport to provide any necessary assistance.”


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