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Elusive Ban Silent on Minova Rapes, Lawless Cholera Denial, Consultant on Censorship?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 17 -- When Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held a half hour press conference on Wednesday, his first at the UN since January 22, his answers said little but were also misleading.

  Only one of the eight selected questions even mentioned Africa, 70% of the Security Council's workload. Ban was asked about the Eastern Congo, but not a word about the 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, his partners, covered up for four months by his head of Peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous. Nov 27, Dec 7, Dec 18

  In South Sudan, four Russian pilots and now five Indian peacekeepers have been killed, again under the watch of Ladsous. But nothing asked, or said.

  Likewise nothing on Ban's terse and lawless dismissal, since his last press conference, of the legal claims of 5000 people killed by cholera the UN's said to have brought into Haiti. Some rule of law.

  Ban was asked repeatedly about Lakhdar Brahimi, is he or isn't he quitting. As one Permanent Representative in front of the Security Council asked Inner City Press, what does it matter? Ban is irrelevant.

  Recently in connection with the complaints of retaliated-against UN whistleblower James Wasserstrom, it emerged that Ban had not even responded to correspondence from the Government Accountability Program, an expert in the field. But Wednesday Ban said he has commissioned a report from an outside consultant. This is a time-worn way to avoid reform. And so it goes in Ban's UN.

The first question was given to Pamela Falk of CBS for UNCA, now known as the UN's Censorship Alliance. Also since Ban's last press conference, his Department of Public Information conducted a non-consensual raid on Inner City Press' office, rifled through papers and took photos.

The photos were leaked to BuzzFeed through an anonymous “Concerned UN Reporter” e-mail address right after BuzzFeed asked Ban's spokesman about the raid.

   During the raid, UNCA's Falk took pictures -- then issued a legal threat to Inner City Press not to ask about it, using her e-mail. Like we said, UN's Censorship Alliance.

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