Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

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

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On Rapes in CAR, UK Urges Transparency, But Ladsous Won't Answer, UN No UpdateN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 16 -- With alleged rapes in the Central African Republic by "peacekeepers" from France and the UN still UNacted on, the UN mission MINUSCA on November 11 issued this press release:

"Additional allegations against our troops of misconduct, sexual exploitation and abuse, and fraternization with the local population have come to MINUSCA’s attention today.  In response, MINUSCA on Thursday will dispatch a multifunctional team to the location to gather the facts, sensitize the troops involved, and to take immediate preventive and disciplinary measures; and more broadly to take corrective action against misconduct behavior throughout the mission."

 There has been no update since. On November 16 Inner City Press first asked the man responsible, Herve Ladsous of UN Peacekeeping,
who refused to answer. So at the UN's noon briefing Inner City Press asked Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, presumably Ladsous' boss:

Inner City Press: is there any update whatsoever, since the last time you addressed it, on the sexual abuse charges either against Sangaris or against the UN peacekeepers?

Spokesman Dujarric: No.

   Still, Peter Wilson the Deputy Representative of UK, UNSC President for November, said that the sexual abuse allegations in CAR must be addressed transparently. When? Later Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Matthew Rycroft if the Council was approving Ladsous' request to send more troops, Senegalese, from Cote d'Ivoire to CAR (it's a French thing), and is so, by letter or resolution? Rycroft indicated that Peter Wilson had addressed it, during the UK's press conference on antibiotic resistance.

  But what Peter Wilson said is that the UNSC would issue a statement to this effect. A letter? A resolution? How much longer can Ladsous last?

  The MINUSCA press release responded to a partial report by Reuters -- partial because it did not mention, among other things, that the head of UN Peacekeeping has linked the CAR peacekeepers' rapes to the lack of “R&R,” right in the UN briefing room. How can that be air-brushed from the story? Unlike Reuters, Inner City Press has no problem crediting a story. (Reuters not only pilfers stories, its leadership when repeatedly asked refused to disclose any policy for crediting others -- making its reporter IN CAPITAL repeated tweeting of EXCLUSIVE a bit ironic.) But how is it that Ladsous and his comments are left out of Reuters' reports on peacekeepers' rapes, and peacekeeping generally? We'll have more on this.

On September 28, 2015, the day of the UN Peacekeeping summit at the UN, Inner City Press managed to ask French President Francois Hollande about alleged rapes by French troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) and about French head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous having linked rapes to “recreation” and R&R. Video here.

  Hollande replied that when French troops are charged -- as they have been, in CAR -- France pushes for prosecutions, but also due process. Does that explain the one-year delay in the Sangaris CAR case?  The question was not taken.

  Later on September 28, Inner City Press went to cover the High Level Meeting on Peacekeeping, and found Ladsous slouched in his hair, wanly applauding pledges then glaring up at the photographers booth where Inner City Press was. Something is very wrong at the top of UN Peacekeeping - until it is addressed, the various commitments ring hollow.

A year after French President Francois Hollande tried to privatize the UN Press Briefing Room by having non-French journalists removed, his team on September 27, 2015 adopted a different strategy for the same result. At 8:40 am the UN said there would be a press conference by Hollande in just five minutes, at 8:45 am. Call it innovation.

  Apparently in his press conference, Hollande had many of the seats in the front of the UN Press Briefing Room “reserved” - because Brazil cited this as a precedent for their 11:30 am press conference by Dilma Rousseff (that's another story).  France, returning with Hollande for a session scheduled for 2:15 pm, again tried to control spaces in the front rows, as did the old UN Correspondents Association, which ejected a visiting journalist from “its” seat.

 And the question for Hollande? For Inner City Press, it would be what actions have been taken on the French soldiers alleged to have raped children in the Central African Republic. Watch this site.

Update: After Hollande came in, two people who had sat next to Inner City Press through the entire Japanese briefing from 1:30 pm got up, to give their seat to Laurent Fabuis and Royale. Then a lady approached Inner City Press, in full view of UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, and told Inner City Press to move, she's a "minister." Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access said Non, je suis journaliste, je veux poser ma question.

Meanwhile Ban Ki-moon said Peru's President Humala regretted not being present. But he WAS present, next to Hollande. Inner City Press asked Humala about the Trans Pacific Partnership on September 27: watch this site.

Back on September 23, 2014 the entourage of French President Francois Hollande repeatedly ordered the UN accredited Press to leave the UN's Press Briefing Room.

  A briefing by Hollande had been scheduled for 11 am, then was canceled. But at 10:55 am as a previous briefing about climate change was ending, Inner City Press was told to leave the room.

  The question, On whose orders? was not answered. Instead a woman in the French delegation said the room was "reserved."

   This is not a restaurant, Inner City Press replied, now on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, which advocates for the rights of journalists and for a Freedom of Information Act covering the UN.

  Another member of the French delegation said loudly, "They'll take away his accreditation." It was not necessarily an idle threat: the UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had looked into the room as this happened.

   Inner City Press said, if UN Media Accreditation -- or UN Security -- tell me to leave, I will. But not before. Video here.

  Meanwhile the representative of the old UN Correspondents Alliance meekly left; previously, UNCA did nothing when previous French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud in this room told a Lebanese reporter, "You are not a journalist, you are an agent."

  After a time, the woman from Hollande's entourage said that the chief of UN Media Accreditation, whom she made a point of saying she knows well, was not answering the phone. A French security guard told Inner City Press to leave. But this is not their role, in the UN briefing room.

  Finally the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and the new Permanent Representative to the UN came and sat in the front room with Inner City Press and FUNCA.  Hollande appeared from the doorway Spokesman Dujarric had looked out of.

  Hollande said he had come mostly about climate change, but that a French citizen had been taken hostage in Algeria by a group linked with ISIL or "Da'ech," as he called the group. He said arms deliveries would continue; he noted the previous night's air strikes, by others, on Syria.

  Hollande said he would meet in the afternoon with the Syrian Opposition Coalition's Hadi al Bahra, who he called the only legitimate leader of Syria. Then he left without taking questions.

  The day before, UNCA hosted al Bahra (as they had his predecessor Ahmad Jarba) in the clubhouse the UN gives this group, publicized only to those which pay it dues. Given that UNCA did nothing when Araud told the Lebanese reporter "you are not a journalist, you are an agent," why didn't Hollande hold his press conference in the club of UNCA, the UN's Censorship Alliance?


Share |

* * *

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

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

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]