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On Syria, As Ladsous Send Half of Observers Home, UN Says "Won't Come Back," Selectively

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 25 -- That UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous decided to send one half of the UN observers home a mere half-week after the Security Council extended their mission for at least thirty days is one thing.

But questioning of Ladsous' actions escalated Wednesday in light of anonymous UN officials quotes, to Agence France Presse, that, "One hundred and fifty observers left Syria on Tuesday evening and Wednesday and they will not come back."

   As one Security Council member put it to Inner City Press, "that is not for Ladsous to decide, whether they will come back. There is a report to be written -- by the way, where has Ladsous put the UNSMIS report on Houla? And then it's up to the Security Council to consider it."

   Another Ambassador told Inner City Press that Ladsous is "intentionally misinterpreting Resolution 2059," which extended the mission for 30 days.

  Inner City Press went to the UN noon briefing on Wednesday and asked for more information about Ladsous sending the observers home, and even on how the announcement was distributed. "By DPKO," said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey.

But since DPKO pointedly did not send the transcript of Ladsous' and Babacar Gaye's to all UN correspondents who actively report on Syria, Inner City Press asked Del Buey why his Office routinely re-sent out the announcements of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan and his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi, but does not do so with the more "selective" DPKO of Herve Ladsous? It is a question we will continue to ask.

 Back on June 15, as Inner City Press exclusively reported that day Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations turned in a notice to Security Council members that the Observer Mission in Syria UNSMIS has limited its mobile activities as of 6 pm Damascus time that day.

  In fact, not only did then-chief of UNSMIS General Robert Mood not make that announcement until the afternoon of June 16 in Damascus -- witnesses tell Inner City Press UNSMIS went out on patrol on the morning of June 16, after Ladsous' notice.

  And so three times Inner City Press has asked the lead spokesman for Ladsous -- who openly and repeatedly refuses to answer any Inner City Press question -- and for Ban Ki-moon to describe Ladsous' role in limiting UNSMIS.

  With that still unanswered, after Inner City Press asked it three times and reported on it Wednesday morning, the Secretary General's spokesperson's office and not DPKO sent this:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM
Subject: Response to recent question
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Further to you recent question, during General Gaye's absence, Deputy Military Advisor Abhijit Guha will be officer-in-charge of DPKO's military affairs.

There, was that so hard? For Ladsous and his spokesman, apparently yes. Watch this site.

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