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UN Silent on DRC Jailing & Mali Promotion of Coup Leader, Somalia Rights, Access Issues

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 15 -- The UN talks a lot about human rights and democracy, but on specific cases what does it come to?

  On August 15 Inner City Press asked the UN spokesperson about gang rape in Somalia, the promotion of a coup leader in Mali, the jailing for three years of an elected parliamentarian in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for criticizing President Joseph Kabila, and opposition to the decline in media access at the UN. Video here and embedded below.

  UN deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey had no comment on the promotion of Malian coup leader Sanogo -- and just after the briefing issued a statement for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praising Mali.

  On whether Ban's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy is applied by UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous to the UN support to the AMISOM force in Somalia -- as noted, Ladsous had essentially killed off the policy in the DRC -- Del Buey said he didn't know. Nor could or would he confirm that Al Shabaab has taken over the hospital in Marere (sometimes spelled Mareerey) vacated by MSF.

  In more Ladsous-related DRC news, Del Buey said the UN and Ladsous' mission have no comment on the three year sentence for Muhindo Nzangi for criticizing Kabila. Del Buey said the UN never comments on rulings by independent courts. That's not true - and these courts are not independent.

   Inner City Press asked about two issues raised by the Free UN Coalition for Access -- the inordinate delay and lack of explanation of delay in putting online UN videos, for example of the 1:30 pm August 14 Central African Republic stakeouts of Valerie Amos and Babacar Gaye until past 8 pm deadline, and for confirmation that now media seats will be made available in the General Assembly, as requested by FUNCA since June 10.

  Del Buey said the General Assembly is run by the Office of the President of the GA and the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management, and he would check. Faced with threats by the Department of Public Information, FUNCA informed DPI it could and would proceed -- and it has and will. Watch this site.


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