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For UN in Syria, Mood is Replaced By Gaye, Open Compared to Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 20 -- The day after the head of the UN Mission in Syria General Robert Mood left his post, sources tell Inner City Press because he thought a civilian should lead what remains of the Mission, he was replaced by another military man.

  Babacar Gaye of Senegal, previously the UN's force commander in the Congo, took over for the 30 days that the US calls "final" and others see as a transition to a further extension of mandate.

  Inner City Press has covered Gaye back to his Congo days, when he spoke freely, perhaps too freely, about how Sisyphus-like he found it to ask his soldiers to not have sex for small amount of money with the Congolese they were supposed to protect.

  But since Gaye has been military adviser at DPKO, at first under Alain Le Roy, he has been a straight shooter, most recently this month telling Inner City Press that the report of UN "tanks" in Eastern Congo was inaccurate, "they are APCs with guns."

  Gaye's openness stands in contrast with the stonewalling of the Frenchman who replace Le Roy, Herve Ladsous, who openly refuses to answer Press questions about DPKO killings in the Congo, adviser from alleged war criminal Sri Lanka general Shavendra Silva, or forces in Lebanon.

  DPKO even demanded that Inner City Press remove Ladsous' name from a story in which a Security Council Permanent Representative told the Press, on the record, that Ladsous was going to Damascus.

 While Ladsous had been "blocking release of the UNSMIS report on the Houla killings" in Syria, according to Security Council members, maybe at least Gaye can get that released.

  What else can Gaye and UNSMIS accomplish in the next 30 days in Syria? Watch this site.

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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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