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Stonewalling on Killings in CAR by Ladsous, Protected at IPI

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 17 -- When UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said he would take questions about peacekeeping in the Central African Republic, Inner City Press arrived early to ask about reports the current MISCA peacekeepers have killed civilians, for example in Bozoum, here.Ladsous however refused to answer the question. Video here.
 
  The next day July 17, Ladsous was to appear on a panel about peacekeeping and the European Union at the International Peace Institute. Inner City Press went, to ask this simple question there. Tweeted photo here.

  But when the time came for questions, the IPI moderator said Ladsous had to leave early, he would choose three or four questions for him.

   Inner City Press' hand was raised the whole time, while no other hands were raised. But the IPI moderator called on a European mission, then a publication funded by EU countries, and an NGO about "traumatic stress."

  These were all the questions that Ladsous would take, even as his UN Peacekeeping is under question for cover-up in Darfur, and has yet to respond to Rwanda's June 26 complaint that Ladsous sought a waiver for, and flew within the DRC, the leader of the FDLR militia.

  There was a lot of talk about deferrin to Africans on peacekeeping, and even specifically about Rwanda -- but Ladsous has refused to answer that Mission's complaint for three weeks, and appears protected by IPI. We'll have more on this.

  Inner City Press also asked the UN about media reports in Nepal that Ladsous will visit that country on July 11, ostensibly to "acquire information on the latest political situation [and] the progress made in terms of constitution writing."

  But do Ladsous and DPKO have any mandate to review constitutions? Shouldn't Ladsous if there review cholera screening, in light of bringing the disease to Haiti? Ladsous did not answer, and neither did Haq.

   On July 16 at the Security Council stakeout, first Ladsous sought out a softball question in French; then when the Press question about MISCA in Bozoum was asked, he shook his head and said, I give the floor to Madame.

  Earlier in the afternoon at the same UN Television stakeout, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Rwanda had answered Inner City Press' question by stating that Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations not only flew a sanctioned FDLR militia leader in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- Ladsous has also refused to answer Rwanda's formal June 26 complaint. Video here.

   So Inner City Press asked that question, politely but audibly. Again Ladsous refused to answer, looking desperately around for a friendly question.

 Ladsous has adopted this position -- video compilation here -- since Inner City Press asked him about his history during the Rwanda genocide in 1994, as France's Deputy Permanent Representative in the Security Council arguing for the escape of genocidaires into Eastern Congo, sample memo here.

  It was and is a straightforward question, the type public officials answer every day. But Ladsous has refused, and has gone further.

   Because Ladsous is protected -- was nominated -- by the French government which has controlled UN Peacekeeping four times in a row now, this anamoly is allowed to go on inside the UN.

  Here's how it look from outside, in the UK New Statesman. And here is a video of Ladsous ordering his spokesperson to take the microphone away so that questions about rapes by his partners in the DRC Army could not be asked.

  Here is a video of Ladsous taking the friendly scribes atop the UN Correspondents Association into the hall for a private briefing. To this has the UN descended.

  More seriously, UN Peacekeeping by most accounts brought cholera to Haiti, which has killed over 8,000 people. Inner City Press asked Ladsous, loud and clear (but nothing but polite) if his DPKO now belatedly screens peacekeepers from cholera hot spots before deployment.

  Ladsous refused to answer. To this has the UN descended. The new Free UN Coalition for Access has formally proposed that UN Under Secretaries General not be allowed to take this approach. Watch this site.


 

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