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On Eritrea, Bryden & Schbley Are Gone, When Might Hege Follow On DRC?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 21 -- The UN has received detailed complaints about its experts, Matt Bryden on Eritrea and Steve Hege on the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

  Bryden, a UN document this month confirms, is no longer on the committee. Nor is the UN's "expert" in Ertirea finances, Ghassan Schbley of the United States. Click here for the document & h/t.

  Bryden's departure was telegraphed in remarks to, and a report by, Inner City Press on July 24, when Security Council members from three countries gave Inner City Press exclusive and negative reviews of Bryden's performance.

  "He's leaving," one of them said dismissively and definitely of Bryden. There was snarky speculation Bryden may have been angling for a book deal, or a post with a group like HRW.

  But Hege remains in place, even as questions beyond his 2009 writings on the FDLR, taken off the Internet but highlighted by Inner City Press, proliferate. There's a seemingly fake Rwanda army identification card -- similar to bloody uniforms Sudan showed to Inner City Press in Omdurman with "Chad" patches hastily sewn on -- and questions about where the big guns came from.

  There were also media questions, about leaking and quoting from MONUSCO's Hiroute Selassie Gabreto RFI, AFP and the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse.

  With Bryden the questions were larger of leaking, of micro-managing the Eritrean air force and more. But now he is gone. What's next for Bryden? And what, to echo an ever sharper analyst, is Steve Hege's business model?

  Late this month, DRC officials are said to be coming to the UN Security Council in New York. One would expect a Rwandan response. What this site.

Footnote: the NEW "Eritrea finance expert" is Dinesh Mahtani of the UK -- who seems to have previously served on the DRC Sanctions Group of Experts...

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