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Rwanda's Gasana Cites Genocide, FDLR, Awaits Minova Rape Results

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 2 -- Rwanda's Eugene Richard Gasana is President of the UN Security Council for April, the month of the genocide in his country in 1994. He held a press conference Tuesday about the month's Council work. Many questions were about North Korea.

Inner City Press asked Gasana about the resolution the Council adopted on March 28 creating an “intervention brigade” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  Since then, the Congolese foreign minister Tshibanda has said the brigade will be in place by April 30, and will eradicate the M23 as both a military and political movement if it does not “cease to exist.”

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Gasana said that Rwanda voted for the resolution, and views it as a victory not for DRC but for the region. He said the FDLR remains a threat.

Inner City Press asked about the UN and Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous allowing the April 1 deadline for action by the DRC on the 126 rapes by its soldiers in Minova to pass without any action or specifics about assurances that Tshibanda supposedly gave to Ladsous.

Gasana said he and Rwanda are waiting for the results of the investigation. The UN has already said, after many questions asked and evaded, that two battalions of the Congolese Army were there and responsible.

What happened to the deadline?

Inner City Press asked about the Security Council's relations with the African Union. Gasana diplomatically said that the relationship is improving, it's a process not an event.

Inner City Press, for the Free UN Coalition for Access, urged Gasana to hold as many press stakeouts as possible during the month, particularly after Council closed door consultations. At the end he said, yes, he will try. Watch this site.

Footnote: The first question was unilaterally grabbed, by shouting out, by an unelected representative of the old UN Correspondents Association. This organization, according to documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act from Voice of America, worked in 2012 to try to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN.

  The first questioner's former employer Reuters, according to the documents, supported the move to get Inner City Press thrown out. Now, leading to the launch of FUNCA, they've become even worse in 2013. More on this to follow. Watch this site.

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