Outsourced Report and Reporter Dodge Congo Rapes, Unanswered
October 20 -- The UN might not actually protect civilians,
but it has been counted on to issue reports, often statistical, about
demographics, discrimination and forms of development.
Population Fund's “State of the World Population 2010,” despite
its title, is a sort of extended pro-UN magazine article written by
former New York Times UN correspondent Barbara Crossette.
Crossette introduced the publication to the UN press corps on October
20, it was first in a faux Q & A format with a UNFPA staffer.
cum questioner opened the floor for questions, Ms. Crossette answered
the first question about UN peacekeepers by saying “the UN is
then asked, since her report contained photos and quotes from
Secretary Bank Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative on Sexual
Violence in Conflict Margot Wallstrom, whether Ms. Crossette thought
Wallstrom was unfairly blamed for not having heard of the mass rapes
in the Congo until three weeks after they occurred. (Even then, Ms.
Wallstrom did not go to the Congo for several more weeks.)
pointed out that Ms. Wallstrom “prefers to be called MargoT”
(with a T) and talked about Wallstrom's more recent statements. But
what about the breakdown in communications between the MONUSCO
peacekeeping mission (and wider UN Department of Peacekeeping
Operations and Ms. Wallstrom's office, which has been in operation
Press followed up by asking about the UN's role in negotiations with
disproportionately few women in both the Kivus in the Congo and in
Doha about Darfur, Ms. Crossette said it is the governments which
choose who goes to the peace talks. But the UN flies them - and pays.
As does UNFPA.
of Ms. Crossette's report, Richard Kollodge, then said that it would
be better to ask DPKO about this. Ms. Crossette went on to say “I
don't speak for UNFPA, I speak as a journalist.”
conference, several correspondents questioned just this. If a person
is paid by the UN to write a pro-UN report, is it an act of
journalism? How much was Ms. Crossette paid, and how was she
selected? Would a report more critical of the UN have been published
correspondent asked, about Ms. Crossette functioning as The Nation
magazine's UN correspondent while being paid by the UN to write
pro-UN reports? Certainly The Nation is free to be
pro-multilateralism and pro-UN. But why not then called UN spokesman
Martin Nesirky The Nation's UN Correspondent?
Press has learned from a number of Ms. Crossette's dispatches in her
former positions. But the questions about UNFPA's pay and selection
process and implications should be answered.)
Ms. Crossette at the UN, disclosures re UNFPA &
Wallstrom not shown
request after the
press conference for the type of information one expects to be in a
report like “State of the World Population 2010” resulted in an
offer to produce a “statistics expert” later. Why does an
anecdotal (faux) journalistic report have such a title? Questions,
questions. Watch this site.
on October 18, MONUSCO chief Roger Meece, speaking at
the Council on Foreign Relations that day, refused from the podium to
say when he had informed Ms. Wallstrom about the rapes, which
indicate MONUSCO became aware of from July 30 onward. Afterward, his
special assistant Reuben Culpin urged Inner City Press not to wait to
ask Meece on his way out, but rather to send the questions by e-mail.
did, to both Messrs. Culpin and Meece. But Culpin's email said “out
of the office,” and in the two days since, no answer has been
provided. So much for “ask DPKO.” Inner City Press even asked
Farhan Haq of Nesirky's office, without yet getting a response. But
the inquiry will continue.
* * *
on Congo Rape, When Knew & Told Wallstrom, Meece at CFR
18 -- When did the UN Mission in
the Congo become
aware of the burst of mass rapes this summer in North Kivu? And when
did the Mission, now known as MONUSCO, inform Margot Wallstrom, the
UN's Special Representative on Sexual Violence and Conflict, who
didn't appear in the Congo until a month after the rapes occurred?
MONUSCO was asked these questions by Inner City Press, again, Monday
morning at the Council on Foreign Relations on Park Avenue in
Manhattan. When he previously appeared before the Press at the UN by
video conference, Meece said that MONUSCO only learned by mid August.
then, a July
30 e-mail within MONUSCO has emerged, showing awareness of the rebel
takeovers and rapes within 20 miles of a MONUSCO peacekeeping base. But
Meece has never altered his timeline, much less explained or
continued the smoke screen, saying that there were only “bits of
information” and that it “did not alter” what MONUSCO could do.
MONUSCO know? And why didn't Meece know, if he didn't?
only learned of the rapes in the second half of August, from
“emerging media reports.” Inner City Press on Monday morning
asked Meece when he told Wallstrom, and he didn't pointedly did not
Meece in suit in Kivu fog, clear answers & Wallstrom not shown
repeated the question, and CFR's moderator Philip Gourevitch closed
the session, saying there was no more time. More time was spent
saying this then simply providing a date. Afterward, Inner City Press
waited to get such a date from Meece, while he chatted with a
consultant from Dalberg Global Development Advisors. By deadline, the
question was not answered. Watch this site.
speaker, Tony Gambino formerly of USAID, described Nkunda
as being under “loose house arrest” in Rwanda, and said the UN
“gave up on its protection of civilians mandate.” Gourevitch
noted, correctly, that there were “almost no Africans in the room.”
when asked about indicted war
criminal Bosco Ntaganda,
continued the double talk that began under his predecessor Alan Doss,
that the UN has no contact with Ntaganda -- despite his recent
interview right next to UN peacekeepers. Most surprising was the lack
of any mention of the Lord's Resistance Army. To be continued.
* * *
War Crimes Double Talk, Gambari's Planned Darfur Turn Over
-- As indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda has
walked freely around Goma in Eastern Congo, bragging about leading
military operations which the UN has supported, the UN has claimed it
did not deal with Bosco, that it wanted him arrested.
Press has published at least four stories on the UN's
dalliance with Bosco, indicted for child soldier recruitment, in 2008 and
2009. In May 2009 Inner City Press obtained and
published minutes showing Bosco was in the chain of command of UN
supported military operations, click here to view.
the written evidence, claiming it it had obtained a
letter to the contrary, even as a former UN peacekeeping official
called the UN's double talk "shameful." Click here.
11, 2010, days before a human
further detailed the UN's
duplicity, Inner City Press asked
spokesman Martin Nesirky:
week there was an
interview with [Jean] Bosco
Ntaganda — indicted for recruitment of child soldiers and other war
crimes — in which he said openly that he is part of the Congolese
Army’s action in Walikale, and that that’s some action that the
UN provides logistical support to. So, since the UN has in the past
claimed that it does not support any action in which he is a
commander, how do they respond to him doing this interview in full
view of UN peacekeepers and bragging about UN support to him?
precisely the same way as we have done before,
what? Saying it’s not true just by…?
we do not deal with him and we would not participate
in operations with him.
the UN providing logistical support to the attacks, to
the attempts to rein in the FDLR [Forces démocratiques de
du Rwanda] in Walikale, which he claims to be the commander of?
have said, we would not be dealing with him. Okay?
as I am sure you know, quotes a Western
diplomat as saying everyone knows that he commands it. It’s
basically that the UN doesn’t want to admit it. So I guess I am
just… I am asking you, is it… how is it possible that the UN…?
me, Matthew, and I have given the answer. So, what’s
the next question?
Bosco & John Numbi, UN human rights standings not shown
the next question is does the UN have any comment
on the arrest in Paris of Callixte Mbarushimana?
who you mean, and this is an ICC [International Criminal
Court] arrest. We’ve seen the same press release or statement that
you have on this person…
worked for the UN; I am wondering what the response…
course know where he worked before, and you also know the full
history to that. What I can simply say is that we are aware in the
same way that you are — from the media and from their press release
— that the International Criminal Court has announced that this man
was arrested earlier today in Paris by the French authorities
following a sealed ICC arrest warrant. That’s what I can tell you.
not unrelated -- since the UN is willing to mince words about
providing logistical support to military operations involving and
even led by a war criminal, why be surprised that a war criminal like
the FDLR's Callixte Mbarushimana ended up in the employ and pay of
insistence that the double talk that began when MONUC was run
by Alan Doss, who asked for “leeway” to get his daughter Rebecca
Doss a job at UNDP then retired while the UN delayed and buried its
investigation of nepotism, should continue unabated now that Roger
Meece runs MONUSCO, Inner City Press necessarily turned to another UN
Inner City Press asked Ban's Special Representative on Children and
Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy about MONUSCO working with Bosco,
despite Bosco's indictment by the ICC for recruiting child soldiers.
began by repeating the UN's line, under Nesirky's
watchful eye, later to her credit she indirectly acknowledged that
despite the UN's stated position, Bosco is still there -- taking
photos with UN peacekeepers.
of Ms. Coomaraswamy's press conference states:
case of Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel commander charged
with using child soldiers and war crimes by the International
Criminal Court, she said that she had strongly advocated for his
arrest and trial. The United Nations as a whole had the same policy,
but had not able to arrest anyone anywhere in the world. She would
not comment on photographs that allegedly showed him with
last week, Inner City Press continued reporting
de-evolution: UN Darfur chief Ibrahim Gambari being on the verge of
turning over five rebel supporters to the Sudan regime of indicted
war criminal and genocidaire Omar al Bashir, relying on Bashir's
promise he won't execute them.
without any direct response from the UN spokesman when asked, that
this would make the UN complicit in genocide. Bosco and MONUSCO are
part of this picture. Now what will the UN do? Watch this site.
* * *
& Inner City Press on Video,
were sent to Darfur after reports of a
brutal campaign by the government of Omar al Bashir against opponents
of his regime and civilians perceived as supporting them.
Gambari, as shown by documents
Inner City Press, is near to turning over five supporters of rebel
Abdel Wahid Nur to that same Bashir regime, in exchange for a promise
by Bashir to commute any death sentence his courts impose.
UN Security Council, which ostensibly oversees Gambari's actions
along with the African Union, expressed surprise to Inner City Press
once they saw the leaked documents, consisting of a draft letter and
“Additional Terms” from Gambari to Bashir's foreign minister Ali
Thursday to El Fasher from South Sudan, US Ambassador Susan Rice told
Inner City Press that she intends to inquire into Gambari's offers
about the Kalma Camp Five while in Darfur. This echoed a statement of
intention previously issued by another Permanent Member of the
meeting with the visiting Security Council members, Gambari
of his military officials, in uniform, came to see the Press.
called Inner City Press' publication of his draft documents
“reprehensible” and told Inner City Press to “be careful...
lives are at stake.” Transcription below.
Yeah, a witness to
Gambari's statements later said, the
lives of the Kalma Camp Five are
at risk if the UN turns them over to a strongman already
genocide and war crimes. “Is this what the UN should be doing?”
Gambari, Lyall Grant, Susan Rice, Churkin- oversight
not seen? (c) MRLee
City Press were caught on video and will soon be
published online as such. For now, here is a transcription, prepared
late Thursday night at a guest house in El Fasher outside of
Gambari's UNAMID compound:
Gambari, “What's happen with the Kalma
Camp Five that you are considering turning over to the government...
or that documents indicate you are considering turning over?”
situation. We have these five sheikhs who
have been accused of some very serious offenses. We have no means as
UNAMID to try them... Down the line if ever there was a death
sentence, the President has the prerogative of mercy. All has been
discussed confidentially. I want to say how reprehensible it was
that somebody leaked the confidential communication of the government
of Sudan...endangering the lives of those in the camps. The recipient
of such a leak I think should also think twice about what they do
considering that they are endangering the lives.. We've lost 27
peacekeepers between UNAMID and UNMIS, I mean AMIS.”
Abdel Wahid Nur saying that if the Five are
turned over, it will make UNAMID complicit in genocide, and that his
group would not cooperate with the UN any more.
Abdel Wahid was supposed to have
said... I met Khalil Ibrahim yesterday, asked how about how someone
said JEM wants Gambari to resign for Tarabat Market. [He
said he] ever said that, never authorized this... I want to hear from
Abdel Wahid. I've been to Paris twice, I went to Tripoli...What
happened in New York I condemn it. Matthew I have known you a long
time, you should be careful... You are a recipient of a leaked
document... Journalism also is a responsibility. I regard you as a
friend, I used to, I regard you as a friend, I am admitting that.”
Nur, Gambari said: “He wants all issues resolved almost
before he comes.”
with you , what are we supposed to do, keep people
Security Council members, when they saw
the leaked documents, said they were not aware that you or UNAMID
were in such discussions, and some expressed worry. How much is this
Mission overseen by the Security Council?”
the S-G. I am responsible to two masters. You
have the AU and you have the UN. The unity of the international
community is key to finding a solution.”
Gambari backed out the door toward his vehicle,
“Transparency you can always say is dangerous, but I think it's
probably a good thing.”
me, lives are at stake.”
a witness to Gambari's statements later said, adding that the lives
of the Kalma Camp Five are at risk if the UN turns them over to a
strongman already indicted for genocide and war crimes. Among other
lives put at risk, without oversight, transparency or explanation.
“Is this what the UN should be doing?”
even before Inner City Press obtained and
published Gambari's draft letter to Sudan's Ali Karti, Gambari had
already expressed anger at Inner City Press' publication
concerning his time as UN envoy to Myanmar.
September 24 high level meeting on Sudan, Gambari didn't
argue about lives being at risk. He claimed the documents were “old”
(2009) and not newsworthy. “Just leave me alone,” he said, having
in the past declined to respond to questions sentto his UN e-mail
address by Inner City Press. Now, the claim that lives are put at
risk. Is it just opposition to transparency?