Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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

Follow us on TWITTER


Subscribe to RSS feed

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

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

As Sudan Outlaws SPLM, UN Official Praises Bashir, Silence on Somalia Shooting and Haiti Rape by DPKO's Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 4 -- As Sudan's Omar al Bashir government increasing bombing in Southern Kordofan, pushes its attacks into Blue Nile State and outlaws the main opposition party, a high UN official, seemingly living in a parallel universe, has offered praise to the government.

  Ban Ki-moon's special adviser on sexual violence and conflict Margot Wallstrom on September 2 issued a press release praising the Sudanese government for offering a pardon to a journalist who reported on rape, gushing about "an important signal of respect for freedom of expression by the Sudanese Government."

  Like with the pardon in Darfur of the five sheikhs almost turned over to the government for torture by UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari, the pardon was locally viewed as related to the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending Ramadan, not to any change of policy by the National Congress Party.

  But these UN officials ask the media to cover their praise of Sudanese authorities, just as their bombing of civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile State increases, and Bashir's National Congress Party outlaws the SPLM and arrests its officials.

  Some might see this as just a failure to coordinate, a failure of the supposed "One UN" policy.

 Others however see a pattern of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon being pushed to appoint officials and then failing to oversee them; they periodically see in the news an opportunity to increase their visibility or "brand" and issue press releases from parts unknown, which Ban Ki-moon's office in term does not answer for.

  Amid serious charges of sexual abuse against UN peacekeepers in Haiti, Ban has said nothing. He's been in Kiribati. Ban's new head of peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, was a public face of the coup against Aristide which the African Union called unconstitutional; nothing has been heard or seen from Ladsous.

Ban & Bashir, results of quiet diplomacy - and praise - seen

  UN Peacekeeping's Department of Field Support has said it provides human rights training to the UN-funded AMISON mission in Somalia. AMISON troops recent opened fire on a vehicle and killed a Malaysia journalist -- see above -- but nothing has been said by the UN. Watch this site.

* * *

UN Denied Sex Abuse Before Video Came Out in Haiti, Where New DPKO Chief Ladsous Defended Ouster of Aristide

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 3 -- Video depicting UN peacekeepers committing sexual abuse in Haiti has surfaced, two weeks after the UN asked Inner City Press' August 17 questions about the abuse by saying on August 18 that its "investigation was finalized... these allegations were unfounded."

The UN never retracted this denial, or whitewash, even as the cell phone video Inner City Press asked about became public.

This classic UN cover-up comes at a time when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has just named as the new head of UN Peacekeeping a French bureaucrat, Herve Ladsous, who was a public face of France's call in 2004 for Haiti president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to leave the post to which he was elected.

One would expect Ladsous to be questioned about this, to face some form of confirmation process. But thus far, the UN has been unwilling to even describe the process by which Ban Ki-moon chose Ladsous.

On August 17, Inner City Press asked Ban's now departed deputy spokesman Farhan Haq:

Inner City Press: in Port-Salut there are complaints against the Uruguayan peacekeepers of MINUSTAH [United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti], including on sexual abuse grounds --what is MINUSTAH’s response on this topic that Ban Ki-moon has recently said is so important to him?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Haq: MINUSTAH is in fact looking into this to see about these allegations and whether there is any credibility to them.

The very next day on August 18, Haq began the noon briefing by reading out a denial:

"further to what I said yesterday on an investigation in Port-Salut, Haiti, the UN Mission there (MINUSTAH) tells us that the preliminary report of this investigation was finalized. After discussions with local authorities and members of the population in Port-Salut, the investigators found out that these allegations of misconduct could not be substantiated. The UN Mission in Haiti says that no supporting evidence was provided by anyone, and local authorities confirmed that these allegations were unfounded."

Inner City Press followed up about this one-day self-exoneration by the UN, asking Haq whether the Uruguayan UN peacekeepers

Inner City Press: ... took photos on their cell phone. When you say it has been disproved, did the UN check the cell phones, or are you saying simply that the NGO and local authorities couldn’t show you the peacekeepers’ cell phones? I mean, what was done to investigate that specific claim?

Haq answered that "no supporting evidence was provided by anyone. So, again, there was no supporting evidence on this and the local authorities informed us that the allegations were unfounded."

Inner City Press: Was a request for evidence made to the peacekeepers themselves rather than the people whose photographs…?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson: They carried out an investigation.

It now appears that what the UN carried out was a whitewash, or cover-up.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

 The video is out -- here is a less edited version, that YouTube took off its site -- just as Ban while traveling in Australian and Kiribati has his new Deputy Spokesman announce, but not answer questions about, the naming of France's Herve Ladsous as new chief of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which overseas the mission in Haiti, and those in Congo, Sudan and elsewhere.

It was reported in 2004 that

International pressure mounted on the president of Haiti to resign yesterday as rebels tightened a noose around the capital, Port-au-Prince, and took a town crucial to their advance. France made a new call for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to step down after talks in Paris between the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, and a Haitian government mission led by the foreign minister, Joseph Philippe Antonio. 'The minister [Mr Villepin] recalled that President Aristide bears a heavy responsibility in the current situation and that he should draw the conclusions from the impasse,' the French foreign ministry said....

A French foreign ministry spokesman, Hervé Ladsous, said France's proposals for an interim government and an international force to restore order had been discussed. The UN has said it can approve a civilian peace force when the government and the opposition reach agreement on sharing power and ending the fighting.

  Will Ladsous have to answer for this? Will be belatedly be vetted, even subject to some sort of confirmation process? Watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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 2006-2011 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -