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UN's CAR Probers Propose Mechanism for Peacekeepers' Abuse, Haiti Too?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 21, more here -- When Philip Alston and Fatimata M'Baye, two of the three members of the UN Commission of Inquiry into the Central African Republic, took questions on January 21, Inner City Press asked about alleged abuses in CAR by the MISCA / MINUSCA peacekeepers and French soldiers in Sangaris.

   The report says that complaints were received against all of these, but only MISCA (the African Union force) was looked into. It describes allegations in PK12, Baoli and Bossangoa and proposes that the UN Security Council set up a mechanism.

  But what about prosecution, Inner City Press asked, and why weren't the allegations against Sangaris and the current MINUSCA even looked into? Report here, Para 542.

   Alston, whom Inner City Press has previously asked about Sri Lanka, for example, emphasized that it may not be realistic or productive to speak of referring these to the International Criminal Court, but that the mechanism proposal is new. (It is; we'll have more on it.)

  Inner City Press asked if this mechanism proposal would apply, for example, to the UN bringing cholera to Haiti. Alston said that problem has “plagued” the UN; in the case of individual peacekeepers, he said, there should be accountability.

And how about this?With UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic guarding prisons, Ladsous on December 9 refused to answer a simple Press question about the practice. Video here, and embedded below.

  Ladsous had told the Security Council that "inmates inside the Bangui central prison seized weapons and shot and threw hand grenades at UN peacekeepers providing static guard duty outside the prison. Three UN troops and one UN police officer were injured in the incident."

  But should UN peacekeepers be functioning as prison guards? When Ladsous left the Security Council -- unlike his predecessors Alain Le Roy and Jean-Marie Guehenno Ladsous does not to question and answer stakeouts on UNTV -- Inner City Press asked him, Does the UN guard prisons in the Central African Republic?

  Ladsous indicated, as he has before, I do not answer your questions, Mister, and walked to the elevator. But he is paid both to run DPKO and to explain it to the public, including answering questions.


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