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Even At S. African Moving Mandela Day Reception, Colonialism & Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- At the South African Mission to the UN's reception Thursday for Mandela Day, the room was packed and people stayed though sweating to sing, long live Nelson Mandela.

  One aspect of Mandela's work was downplayed in the UN, or is not being followed in today's UN, and that is anti-colonialism. It was a fine hour for the UN when long time colonies were gaining their freedom, some through the Trusteeship Council which now lies dormant.

  But colonialism is not completely finished, and it is perpetuated at the UN and its Security Council. A recent Security Council trip to West Africa had France co-leading the Cote d'Ivoire leg, the UK on Sierra Leone and the US on Liberia. Click here for Inner City Press story on that.

  Worse, UN Peacekeeping has been led for times in a row now by a Frenchman, culminating (or its opposite) now with Herve Ladsous. He flew to Paris for the Bastille Day parade, at which soldiers from FrancAfrique's Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso marched. At the UN, Ladsous refuses to answer critical Press question about his and France's past and present.  Inner City Press video here.

 Ladsous represented France in the Security Council during the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and bragged about convincing Council members to support the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo. Now without accountability or answer Ladsous runs an Intervention Brigade -- of African troops no less -- in Eastern Congo.

  At least he should answer questions. And there are many questions.

  Rwanda questioned Ladsous in a closed door Council meeting; Ladsous has not fully answered. At Thursday night's reception, along with Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson and Kim Won-soo, Ladsous represented the Secretariat. As usual as such events he looked uncomfortable and left early. Only when ordering Troop Contributing Countries around, it's said, does he look at ease. And this on Mandela Day.

  Colonialism should end at the UN, for its own good. This we pledge on Mandela Day. Watch this site.


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