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On DRC, UN Tells ICP FDLR Leader Was "Escorted" East - By Whom?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 15, more here -- Amid reports on June 27 that the UN flew a sanctioned militia leader of the FDLR militia on a UN aircraft in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujurric about it at the UN noon briefing on June 27:

Inner City Press: why did MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] fly him to Goma to Kisangani and then to Kinshasa when, in fact, I think thereís an arrest warrant for him?

Spokesman Dujarric: Iím not aware of any other services provided to him by MONUSCO.

  Dujarric that day, and in the subsequent times Inner City Press asked, insisted that not only Mary Robinson (who today left her post as the UN's Great Lakes envoy) but also US envoy Russ Feingold requested the waiver, and that the FDLR leader Gaston Iyamuremye a/k/a Rumuli had not traveled to Rome, arguing that only that was important.

  Inner City Press disagrees -- why would UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous given his history on Rwanda, representing France in the Security Council in 1994 arguing for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo, fly a sanctioned FDLR figure linked to the genocide around?

 Then the Italian publication L'Indro reported that even after the Security Council sanctions committee stopped Herve Ladsous' request for Rumuli to fly, he nevertheless "embarked on a areo dell'Etiophian Airline landing at Fiumicino airport with regular tourist visa" and staying until June 30. Click here for the L'indro article.

   One would have expected to simply be able to trust answers or denials from the UN spokesperson's office. But of later, not only did that office apparently withhold answers on this situation -- they also doctored transcripts, about Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir and then, for the second time, censoring even the name of the Free UN Coalition for Access from "its" transcript, click here for that.

 In this context we summarized and linked to the L'indro article, then asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq about the article on July 15.

  Haq clearly had an if-asked, and read it, denying Rumuli went to Rome, instead saying he was escorted from Kinshasa back to the east. Video here.

  Inner City Press asked about MONUSCO escorting Rumuli.

  Haq said what he had read did not say MONUSCO did the escorting. So who did? And if not the UN, how does the UN know where Rumuli went? Watch this site.


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