Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On Congo Rapes, Ladsous' DPKO Spoon-Feeding Lapdogs Makes Ban Ki-moon Look Worse

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- On March 7 UN Peacekeeping recruited lazy scribes as pass-throughs for their spin on three and a half months of inaction on 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, the UN's partners.

  On March 8, Inner City Press which has been asking UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous about his inaction, then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon himself, publicly questioned the way the UN spoon-feeds its lapdogs answers to questions asked by the more critical Press.

  The answer was more subtle than expected: it was UN Peacekeeping which chose how to respond. But the question, at least on March 5, was to Ban Ki-moon, on UNTV, at the stakeout.

   Doesn't Ladsous' Peacekeeping sleaze end up, once again, making Ban look worse?

  Friday began at the Security Council stakeout. As Ladsous came down the stairs, Inner City Press asked him, which Congolese Army units did you purportedly warn, and what is the deadline?

  Ladsous refused to answer. Another journalist commented on this, and Inner City Press explained the context. Suddenly Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse, who started doing Ladsous' bidding the very day Ladsous was dumped on the UN by France in September 2011, sputtered about lies and deception.

  But the record is clear, and not only through documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act from Voice of America. We will have more on this.

  The Reuters reporter claimed, as usual, that the Reuters way is to work behind the scenes. In what position, though? As it turns out, even after being spoon-fed, Reuters didn't know what questions to ask. Video here, from Minute 9:56.

  We're leaving out this Reuters scribe's name here, because they've become the front used by the real party in interest, Louis “Kurtz” Charbonneau whose been left too long unsupervised by his bosses from Stephen J. Adler, on down though  Walden Siew, and Paul Ingrassia.

  Charbonneau puts the scribe forward then re-tweets her typing, encouraging others like Witcher to do so as well. He refuses to answer questions (audio here) and makes claims of being fearful that are either intentionally false or indicative of some other disorder. For more audio, click here.

  So Charbonneau will remain the case study, in much of what is wrong with corporate “journalism.”

Here's from the UN's transcript of the its March 8 noon briefing:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about your announcement about the rapes in Minova. It seems kind of important, if you could, to name what the two battalions, if I understand you correctly, that support has been suspended to. But also, I wanted to ask you --

Spokesperson Nesirky: Wait, wait, wait. I didn’t say it has been suspended. The process has begun. There have been two letters, as I mentioned, one sent on 4 February, and the second sent on 18 February. This is to initiate the formal suspension.

Inner City Press: Didn’t you say the 18th one was the final letter?

Spokesperson Nesirky: That’s the final injunction to the authorities.

Inner City Press: Okay, then these are my questions. What are the two battalions, and what is the deadline? I saw a number of stories yesterday; you have been saying here for months that when you have something to announce, you’d tell me. I saw stories last night, on Reuters and AFP and other outlets quoting an unnamed UN official saying that an unspecified deadline had been given to two unidentified battalions. So, first, if you could explain why was the information given out in the way that it was, given what you’d said in this room; and two, what are the battalions and what is the deadline?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, first of all, with regard to briefings on the record, off the record, DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] arranges these regularly in different formats, both actively and in response to requests for briefings, and they will continue to do that. With regard to the two units, I am not in a position to say precisely who they are at this point. As you know, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Mission is preparing a report on the human rights violations committed in Minova and in the Goma area, too, in November of last year. And that report, I can tell you, is intended for publication.

Inner City Press: Thanks, I appreciate that. Since it is now said that this is a final letter imposing some time of a deadline, what’s the deadline? Also, with all due respect, so when you say when you have information it will be given to the reporter asking a question, this is all subject to DPKO choosing to deal with reporters it finds more friendly? Is that accurate?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I don’t think I want to get into to-ing and fro-ing on this particular point. When I have information, I will provide it to you, as I am doing now. Let me just add that the Mission is aware that 11 soldiers from the FARDC [Congolese armed forces] were arrested in late 2012 in connection with the case. But of the 11, only two [were arrested] on rape charges, and despite the high number of testimonies, no further arrests have been made to date. And I can tell you that there were 400 testimonies collected so far. And of those, 200 had to do with sexual violence. Other questions, please? Yes, Ali, then Tim?

   The referenced Tim, Witcher of AFP, went on to ask inane questions showing that although he had once again been spoon-fed, he had no understanding of the story, the number of rapes, the number of interviews, nothing.

  It's clear Witcher like the Reuters scribe only came to the March 8 briefing to ask and try to make it appear they had been working on the story before being spoon-fed. But they proved precisely the opposite. We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]