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On DRC, ICP Asks UN of Fighting ADF Without Gov't, FDLR Left Alone

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 2 -- Amid reports the UN in the DR Congo is fighting the ADF without the government's support, while refusing to similarly fight the FDLR, Innner City Press on December 2 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, transcript here:

Inner City Press:  there are very detailed quotes from South African military officials saying that the Government said, “Don't do it,” and that the Government is trying to use non-cooperation or orders against the attack on ADF as leverage to both reduce the troop strength of MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] and to get the war… generals accused of war criminals to participate in UN war activities.  So, it seems like you should… like, is that not the case?  Do you maintain that the Government is fully cooperating with this…?

Spokesman:  I think what I'm telling you is that the UN operates its… fulfils its mandate in these particular instances in support of the Government.  As for operational or tactical details, I don't have those.

Inner City Press:  Just the one follow-up on that would be, if it's, as seems to be, at least, South Africa is stating, the UN feels comfortable taking military actions that it thinks is in support of the Government without the Government's full support.  Why hasn't it taken any of those against the FDLR [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda], where the lack of Government cooperation is used as the excuse?

Spokesman:  I think each operation has its own… is sui generis, and I'm not going to second-guess the military decisions taken by the commanders on the ground."

 Inner City Press on October 7 exclusively reported the MONUSCO mission's use of 76 rockets and 400 rounds of ammunition near Pinga, which sources told Inner City Press resulted in civilian death, which Ladsous' DPKO then reflexively denied or covered up. Inner City Press raised this within the Security Council's P3 members as well, so far without effective response or reform.

 Now Le Monde belatedly chimes in -- with a story agreeing that MONUSCO is failing, but also trying to say that Ladsous' DPKO is being falsely accused. If so, they have only themselves to blame: rather than respond to Inner City Press' October 7 noon briefing question with details, the UN had a carefully worded statement which remains at odds with what Inner City Press is informed as said at the internal DPKO / DFS meeting about the incident.

  And why WAS Ladsous' DPKO deploying this amount of force against a "minor" group and not the FDLR? Inner City Press has previously noted Ladsous' role in 1994, including this memo. We -- but perhaps not Le Monde -- will have more on this.

   Sources tell Inner City Press of a DPKO meeting concerning an excessive use of force by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), through its Force Intervention Brigade, using 76 rockets or missiles and up to 400 rounds of ammunition near Pinga in Eastern Congo, ostensibly against the Mai Mai Cheka group.

   But at least one civilians was killed. There was no impartial investigation, the sources say. Rather, Ladsous' DPKO went in itself, and conveniently “discovered” a gun near the killed civilians, much like  some police departments “drop a piece” after a questionable shooting.

   Inner City Press is informed, by different sources, that this has been discussed among senior officials in Ladsous' DPKO, at the DPKO / DFS Directors' meeting on the morning of October 7.

   So why wasn't this said at the Security Council and stakeout where Kobler bragged to Inner City Press about the “zero tolerance” policy (while Ladsous has, on camera, linked rape to “R&R”)?

What is the mechanism to disclose the killing of civilians under Ladsous' DPKO? We'll have more on this - and on Ladsous including one of his meetings during UN General Assembly debate week. Ladsous' spokespeople, far from answering questions, go so far as to direct UNTV boom microphone operators to avoid Inner City Press, even preventing the Press from asking any questions to Mali's Foreign Minister Abdulaye Diop last week. We'll have more on all this.


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