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UNresponsive on Syria, Ladsous' DPKO Stonewalls on Golan & Geneva Convention

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 23 -- It's one thing if the UN observers in Syria now observe only their suites in the Hotel Dama Rose in Damascus, to which they were confined by UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous and then a day later General Robert Mood, who has now left the UNSMIS Mission.

  But why can't or won't Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations, even in New York where they are out of danger, answer basic questions about Syria?

  On the morning of July 22 amid conflict reports of firing on and from the Tishreen military hospital in Damascus, and events in the Golan which would give rise to a formal complaint to the Security Council, Inner City Press sent two more Syria questions to the spokesman for DPKO under Ladsous, who has taken to refusing all Inner City Press questions, as well as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's top two spokesmen:

"Has DPKO / UNSMIS heard of an attack on a hospital in Damascus? Has it made an effort, including by talking with its interlocutors, to confirm or dissuade it? Does / would it violate the Geneva Conventions?  Is DPKO / the UN aware of any other presumptive violations of the Geneva Conventions in Syria since July 19? Which? What is DPKO's comment and action on reported shelling in the Golan?"

  Twenty two hours, slower even than on Cote d'Ivoire, DPKO and the UN had not answered the questions, even as a complaint was received by the Security Council and Ban's office. This is Ladsous' and ultimately Ban's UN.

  Inner City Press has other submitted but unanswered Syria questions:

Will anyone be filling in for Babacar Gaye? Who? I would still on Syria like a description of USG Ladsous' role in the June 15 notification to the Security Council that UNSMIS has limited its mobile operations in Syria as of 18:00 hours local that day, see

and an explanation of the steps taken since the S-G (and presumably USG Ladsous) received UNSMIS' report on Houla, where in the UN he referred it and why it has not even now been provided to the Security Council, according to several Council members.

   None of these questions have been answered either. While Inner City Press on the evening on July 20 reported on Babacar Gaye replacing General Robert Mood in Syria, it had and has not received even notice of that switch from DPKO. Again, this is Ladsous' and ultimately Ban's UN.

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