Inner City Press


In Other Media-e.g. Somalia, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia   For further information, click here to contact us          .

Home -

Search is just below this first article

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07 7/19/07 6/29/07 6/14/7 6/1/7

How to Contact Us


Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"

Inner City Press Podcast --

UN's Congo Force Commander Dodges Reports of Gold Smuggling Involvement, Carries Ammo in the Kivus

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, September 6 -- The UN's lack of transparency, finality and accountability were on display Thursday, during an otherwise informative briefing by Major-General Babacar Gaye, Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Along with providing details on MONUC's involvement in the current conflict in North Kivu in Eastern Congo, Gen. Gaye criticized the press for reporting mere allegations of involvement by some MONUC personnel in smuggling, specifically gold smuggling. Inner City Press interjected that there is a report by the Office of Internal Oversight Services, reported on by BBC, that verified the gold smuggling connection. Video here, from Minute 47:08, and see this August 11, 2007 BBC article.

            Gen. Gaye's response was telling: he turned to Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Michele Montas and asked if the OIOS report has been officially released. No, Ms Montas said. Thus assured, Gen. Gaye said for the cameras that the report was given to "the concerned member state" and that if it was not publicly released, "I am not in charge of that." Thus, as long as OIOS does not officially release its reports, the UN can and will deny what is in them. Why then have an Office of Internal Oversight Services? Could it, like the UN Ethics Office is turning out to be, be mostly for show? With OIOS, a previous detailed investigative report calling for action to be taken against UN Pension Fund officials was never acted on, nor has the non-action been explained. Thursday MONUC performance was just the most recent in a series. But the series is getting serious.

Major-General Babacar Gaye on September 6, 2007

            In other news, Gen. Gaye acknowledged that MONUC transported two companies of Congolese army troops to Masisi, along with "one and a half tons of ammunition." From Masisi to Goma, MONUC carried "27 casualties, 48 families and 50 children." Inner City Press asked for Gen. Gaye's view of reports that rebel Gen. Nkunda had taken over the town of Sake, and then withdrew to spare the civilians from being fired on.  Gen. Gaye said there are three options: it happened, because Nkunda's forces couldn't afford to stay, or to show good faith and negotiation with the FARDC, or it never happened, which is what Gen. Gaye said he believes. We'll see.

* * *

Clck here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (which had to be finalized without Ban's DPA having respond.)  Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Search WWW Search

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service.

            Copyright 2006-07 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540