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If ECOWAS Sends 1000 Ivorian Troops to Mali, Screening for Duekoue?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 28 -- As ECOWAS moves to send 3000 soldiers to Mali, it's reported that up to 1000 of them will be from Cote d'Ivoire, whose Alassane Ouattara is heading up ECOWAS.

  Less than a year ago, Ouattara's fighters supported by the French Force Licorne and the UN captured and then sent former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

  But during that fight and subsequent process, there was talk of an investigation of and accountability for massacres including that at Duekoue, which is attributed to pro-Ouattara (and pro Guillaume Soro) fighters.

  So what safeguards are in place that individuals and commanders involved and implicated in Duekoue are not sent as supposed peacekeepers to Mali?

  Already at the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accepted without protest as one of his Senior Advisers on Peacekeeping a Sri Lankan commander, Shavendra Silva, whose 58th Division is depicted in Ban's own report as engaged in war crimes -- recently upgraded to include the use of cluster bombs, which Inner City Press asked the UN about on April 27, so far without response.

  Nor has the UN responded to a request earlier in the week by Inner City Press that it describe what screening is done of peacekeepers before they are deployed across borders, compared even to UN Volunteers and particularly in light of the UN's essentially proved introduction of cholera to Haiti?

We will have more on all these questions -- and the planned deployment and threatened sanctions on Guinea Bissau -- in the coming days. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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