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Ladsous Covered Up in Jonglei, on Sri Lanka, Proposed Drones: Part 2 Online

By Matthew Russell Lee, 2d in Series

UNITED NATIONS, August 11 -- There were bodies to be hidden or covered up in South Sudan by Herve Ladsous in January 2012.

  His Department of Peacekeeping Operations did nothing amid mass murder of members of the Murle tribe in Pibor in Jonglei State.

  Ladsous' response? To downplay the numbers, call them false, then refuse to answer questions.

  Inevitably this echoed Ladsous' role as France's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide, when he argued for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo.

  And that's where he headed later in January 2012, meeting "la classe politique" and, it now seems clear, beginning planning the colonial military approach coming to a head in August 2013: a French high commander of an all-African Intervention Brigade charged with "neutralizing" other Africans.

  How else to explain Ladsous' interventions at a "Responsibility to Protect" conference that month in New York, where one observer had him calling France's air drop of weapons into Libya "humanitarian goods"? More reported him denying the death figures in Jonglei state, but offering none of his own.

  Inner City Press asked Ladsous for his figure, when Ladsous held a press conference on February 7, 2012. (At that time, Ladsous answered Inner City Press questions. When and why he stopped will be addressed later in this series.)

   Ladsous had denied "thousands;" the UN had counter-bid "dozens." Now Ladsous said "hundreds." Was it a cover up? What was the figure?

  Since a Sri Lankan military figure depicted in Ban Ki-moon's own report as engaged in war crimes had become a senior adviser on Peacekeeping Operations, Inner City Press asked Ladsous about that. But he wouldn't give a substantive response.

  Ladsous' spokesperson Kieran Dwyer told Inner City Press to "ask the Senior Advisory Group" - which had no spokesperson.

  By February 23, Ladsous refused to comment at all on the de facto banning of that military figure, after extensive reporting by Inner City Press. UN official Margot Wallstrom, by contrast, called it "important." She is no longer with the UN.

  One of the few other UN media tweets about Ladsous, from his press conference, was his bragging about cutting DPKO's budget - it was by Voice of America, run by the US State Department. The US wanted and wants to be seen to be saving money, but does not yet oversee Ladsous: A Problem from Hell.

  Jump-cut to March 23, 2012, something of a watershed: Inner City Press exclusively reported that Ladsous proposed to the C-34 Committee on Peacekeeping the use of drones. While many diplomats in the meeting panned the proposal to Inner City Press, Ladsous refused to explain it.
(Now he's selected, for 10 million Euros, the Selex ES Falco, which has previously crashed in Pakistan and Wales.) 

  On March 27, Inner City Press for the first time referred to Herve "Drone" Ladsous. The rest is history, of a sort -- or at least, is the next installment in this series. Watch this site.


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