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As US Power Talks UN Peacekeeping, What of Posts For Sale, Tabit & Haiti Cholera?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 9 -- When US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power spoke about UN Peacekeeping before the Friends of Europe group in Brussels on March 9, it seemed intended to emphasize the utility of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and to urge more European involvement in it.

   Recently the Dutch component of the Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, used attack helicopters; this results in protests against the UN in Gao and the shooting of some protesters. A report on the incident is expected to be finished by the end of March, but it not clear in what form it will go to the UN Security Council, much less be made public.

   So too with the Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur, UNAMID, covering up incidents like the mass rape in Tabit in Darfur. UNAMID's November 9 press release saying that there was no evidence and that Tabit residents get along well with Sudanese security forces remains on the record and online.

   Going further back, although the Congressional Black Caucus has urged the Obama administration to  ensure that the UN takes responsibility for the cholera UN Peacekeeping brought to the country, this has not happened, and was not raised at the Brussels meeting.

  But here is something that must be addressed: positions in the UN Peacekeeping missions in the DR Congo and Haiti have been sold by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cote d'Ivoire, as exposed in a “strictly confidential” UN Office of Internal Oversight Service report which Inner City Press obtained and exclusively published, here.

  The UN has answered Inner City Press that those who paid money for positions have left or are in the process of leaving the UN missions. But the person who sold the position remains inside the UN; Inner City Press has run into him several times since the exposes, and has been repeatedly asked how it got the report, which it will never disclose.

   UN Peacekeeping run by Herve Ladsous, the four Frenchman in a row at the helm of DPKO, has done nothing about the Ivorian DPR who sold positions in (at least) MINUSTAH and MONUSCO. But it remains surprising that the US has done nothing. Some wonder why the OIOS report was only in French.

But now that it is out and known (picked up for example with credit to Inner City Press in The Independent of the UK, here), why hasn't the US for example moved to PNG (persona non grata) the person who sold UN positions, as it did (after strip search) the Indian diplomat Khobragade, who did not defraud or sell positions in the UN?

We will continue on this, including as the Security Council begins its French-led trip to the Central African Republic, Addis Ababa and Burundi. Watch this site.


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