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Bashir to Nigeria, Ladsous of UN Met Him, Takes Ban to Bastille with Chad

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 12 -- Nigeria is set to host Sudanese president Omar al Bashir for a conference on HIV / AIDS; groups including the Coalition for the International Criminal Court are saying Bashir should be arrested on the ICC warrant for war crimes and genocide.

Earlier this month the head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous met with Bashir in Khartoum. At the UN in New York on July 5, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq, who said "the meeting with President Bashir was necessary."

  This “strictly necessary” policy was repeated later in the week by Ban's outgoing lawyer Patricia O'Brien in a meeting exclusively reported by Inner City Press, in which O'Brien claimed that Ban is so concerned about this that he calls her to ask advice. What happened on Ladsous' meeting with Bashir?

It is not clear if the CICC -- we've asked -- commented about UN official Ladsous meeting with Bashir, or if Human Rights Watch did. HRW's Ken Roth refused to disclose even the topics of his meeting with Ban at the UN; his spokesman said secrecy is kept in order to maintain access.

  Ban left the UN on Friday afternoon to rush to France to attend, with Ladsous, the Bastille Day military parade, featuring soldiers of former French colonies Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Chad, which itself has four times hosted Bashir since his indictment.

 Chad is on the UN's list of child soldier recruiters, but Ladsous has agreed to pay them as part of the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA. A question Inner City Press asked the UN this week about that has gone unanswered.

What had Ladsous done to the UN? And more generally, what messages is the UN sending? Watch this site.


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