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UN's “Pro Drones” Report Spun to Reuters, No Lute Press Conference Yet

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 23 -- When is a UN report particularly dubious? When its release is controlled by the UN Department it is supposed to be scrutinizing, and its closest sycophants are spoon-fed the report rather than holding an actual Press conference.

  So it was on February 23 with the UN's report on technology and UN Peacekeeping headed by Jane Holl Lute, which Inner City Press has already dubbed the “drone report.” When Inner City Press first reported on doubts about member states on the C-34 committee on peacekeepin about Herve Ladsous pushing through drones in former French colonies without approval, Ladsous stopped answering Press questions.

  Instead, Ladsous holds private briefings for Reuters, Agence France Presse and sometimes Voice of America, to spin his point of view. But when the UN paid Lute for a report on technology, it was supposed to be independent.
  Not. On February 23, after a closed door briefing, service Reuters reported that "Doctor Lute told reporters” how good drones are, adding that Russia is opposed because it could lose money. (The opposition of Rwanda, defrauded by Ladsous on the FDLR, was not explained, but who's counting?)

  Notably, Reuters never reported on OIOS finding that posts were put up for sale in Ladsous' mission in Haiti and DRC, where he used drones against M23, but not the FDLR. This is a scam, all around.  But why hasn't Jane Holl Lute, the “zero tolerance” American, held a real Press conference? Watch this site.

 After the UN claimed to be jointly fighting the FDLR rebels with the Congolese Army FARDC, then to be supporting the FARDC to do so, on February 6 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric more questions, and he said "the military actual fighting has not, as far as we know, has not commenced." Video here.

  This has been reiterated repeatedly by the UN: no action has been take by the FARDC against the FDLR. Nevertheless once again on February 23 Reuters made it appear that the Congolese Army under Joseph Kabila IS fighting the FDLR, with no mention of UN Peacekeeping chief Ladsous' history and seeming double game. With two editors, Reuters "reports" that

"President Joseph Kabila said last week that the operation had started without MONUSCO. A government spokesman said Congo "renounces, in the most official manner, the support of MONUSCO to track the FDLR. We are going to track them alone."

  So, did the operations start? On February 23, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Dujarric:

Inner City Press: On DRC.  The Radio Okapi which I understand is a UN-supported media in the Congo has reported abuses about the FDLR in and around Lubero.  Since I would assume that means that MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] is aware of them and it’s been said that they have a protection of civilians mandate totally outside of the neutralization of the FDLR, has MONUSCO done anything about these UN essentially reported —

Spokesman Dujarric:  Valid question.  I have not gotten an update from MONUSCO today, but we will try to extract one.

 Five hours later, nothing. On February 18, Inner City Press asked Dujarric the question of why Herve Ladsous' MONUSCO has not itself taken action on the FDLR:

Inner City Press: A spokesman for the Congolese Government, Lambert Mende, has said that MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] is free to do its own operation against FDLR [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda].  He says that the Government has nothing against that.  And I know that it's come up that, somehow, the UN, because of its stated human rights concerns is not going to work with the Government to go after the FDLR.  But, if the Government there is essentially giving its consent, what am I missing?  Why isn't the UN doing what was said it would do following 2 January?

Spokesman:  I would… I would check with the Mission itself.  I have nothing to say from here.

  The UN - and Ladsous, given his history - SHOULD have something to say.

  * * *

  Reuters has again misrepresented the UN's and Herve Ladsous' (non) enforcement of the human rights due diligence policy. The anonymously trolling Reuters correspondent -- reviving that on January 26, after Reuters' Stephen J. Adler et al were told but did nothing -- "reports" that

"The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo threatened in 2013 to withdraw support for two Congolese battalions accused of involvement in the mass rape. The mission decided to keep working with the battalions after 12 senior officers, including the commanders and deputy commanders, were suspended and about a dozen soldiers were charged over the rapes in Minova."

  This is propaganda -- only two lower ranking soldiers were convicted. The Reuters implication is that Ladsous' DPKO is tough on human rights: false.

  On January 22  Ladsous made a speech about freedom of the press in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Thursday to the US Security Council, and made excuses for not acting to “neutralize” the Hutu FDLR rebels as the UN did the largely Tutsi M23.

Then Ladsous came to the Security Council stakeout, ostensibly to take questions.

  Inner City Press asked, “On the neutralization of the FDLR, what is the hold up?”

  Ladsous said "I don't respond to your questions, Mister." Video here and embedded below.

   Then Ladsous turned and gave the question to Reuters, the same trolling correspondent. When that back and forth was over, Inner City Press asked if any of the countries in the UN's Force Intervention Brigade are well than willing to attack the FDLR, as senior diplomats at the UN have told Inner City Press.

   Ladsous refused to answer this question, and gestured that Ban Ki-moon's envoy to the DRC Martin Kobler, standing behind Ladsous at the stakeout, shouldn't answer it either. Reuters took or was given another question, distancing the FDLR from genocide.

   Finally Inner City Press asked both men what if anything UN Peacekeeping has done as the Kabila government has frozen the accounts of the Panzi hospital for rape victims.  Ladsous waved this off -- for months he waved off Press questions about mass rape in Minova by his partners in the Congolese Army, video here -- and walked away with this spokesman.

 (One can only imagine the advise this “communications professional” is giving Ladsous. Perhaps he can help Ladsous address his history with Hutu groups as evidence in this memo. These are Press questions.)


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