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On CAR Rapes, Graca Machel Says DPKO Worse, Boss Ladsous & Scribes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 13, updated -- French soldiers in the Central African Republic allegedly sexually abused children, as exposed in a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights report leaked to the French government by longtime OHCHR staffer Anders Kompass.

 The UN did not, however, give the report to the host country authorities in CAR. And according to UN documents, UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous then urged that the whistleblower Kompass be made to resign. (Ladsous denied this, video here, but then took no questions.)

 On May 13 at a press conference appropriately called "Code Blue" held at the Ford Foundation half a block from the UN, Graca Machel said UN Peacekeeping has gotten worse. In the back, a staffer from Ladsous' DPKO took note. The UN scribes who have protected and spun for Ladsous were present: what would they write?

  Romeo Dallaire said Secrretary General Ban Ki-moon should do more on sexual abuse. Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman if Ban called anyone about the CAR rapes - no, apparently.

Theo Sowa said the line must be drawn when immunity becomes impunity. The panel might also take note of impunity for cholera in Haiti.

Anwarul Chowdhury said a key is transparency: how many cases, which countries. But DPKO chief Ladsous refused questions on rapes, video compilation here.

  Inner City Press asked about Ladsous reported to have urged Kompass to resign, about the UN not telling CAR authorities, and the selective invocation of the UN's stated "human rights due diligence policy," to justifying NOT fighting the Hutu FDLR militia, while not even applying the policy to the French troops the UN works with in CAR.

  Paula Donovan said there should be a Commission of Inquiry with subpoena power, including to get all emails, including Ladsous'.

  Romeo Dellaire spoke about the decision not to fight the FDLR. Story soon.

 On May 12, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about UN Peacekeepers shooting tear gas at protesters in Bangui (Dujarric called it "not a major demonstration") and about HOW the UN will investigate itself. Video here and embedded below.

  Dujarric replied, here, implied that the delay in investigating the rapes was attributable to the leaker, Kompass. But since France acknowledged receipt of the report in July 2014, he is not to blame for the delay. Nor for the UN not formally telling CAR about the rapes.

   Inner City Press on May 12 asked when the independent investigation, implied by High Commissioner Zeid and referred to by US Ambassador Samantha Power, would begin. "At some point," Dujarric replied. More delay.


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