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Ladsous Brags to UNRIC Met Bashir, HRW Silent, Calls Nigeria Cowardly

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 15 – The UN shields itself from questions and in turn few question it, either because of its declining relevance or because those that could hold it accountable too desperately want access.

  Take for example UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous' meeting earlier this month with Sudan president Omar al Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes.

  That meeting with Bashir is controversial is witnessed by criticism today by Human Rights Watch and the Coalition for the ICC, along others, of Nigeria not arresting him during an HIV / AIDS conference there. This position has been reported by Agence France Presse – a good friend of Ladsous, on one of whose management board's Ladsous used to serve – BBC and others.

  But HRW said nothing when Ladsous met with Bashir. Previously, when Inner City Press asked merely for the topics HRW's Ken Roth raised to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Roth's spokesman Philippe Bolopion, who previously covered the UN for Le Monde and France24, told Inner City Press these had to remain secret to maintain access.

  Nor apparently did BBC or AFP (no surprise) ask HRW while quoting its finger wagging at Nigeria. (Ken Roth on Twitter called Nigeria – the whole country, apparently -- “cowardly” for not arresting Bashir, while not explaining why his own failure to even comment on Ladsous meeting Bashir was so heroic.)

Now Ladsous appears interviewed not even by friendly but ostensibly independent media but by the UN Regional Information Center for Western Europe, UNRIC, run by the UN Department of Public Information.

  Ladsous is asked three softball question and says, “In Khartoum, I met with President Al-Bashir.” No question is asked about if this meeting was appropriate.

  Ladsous openly refuses critical Press questions, about the ICC, the Geneva Conventions, his role in covering up 135 rapes by his partners in the Congolese Army in Minova in November.

Sixteen days ago Inner City Press asked Ladsous' four spokespeople a simple question, if his MONUSCO mission supports the Congolese Army units named in the Group of Experts report the full text of which Inner City Press exclusively put online in June.

An answer was promised, and has three times been re-requested in the UN noon briefing run by Ban's spokespeople. But no answer at all as been provided. This is Ladsous, and Ban's, and DPI's, UN. Watch this site.


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