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On Mali, UN Confirms Rape Charges Are on Chad, Ladsous Said Trust Him

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- First there were reports that 160 Chadian soldiers in the UN Peacekeeping mission in Mali had left their posts and descended in 40 vehicles on Gao.

  Then came a gang rape by UN "peacekeepers" -- but the UN wouldn't say which Troop Contributing Country was accused when Inner City Press asked.

  Last night Inner City Press reported on the meeting between Chad's President Idriss Deby and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous. After the initial pleasantries, the Press had to leave.

  But when Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky on Thursday to confirm that the rape allegations were against Chadian troops, he did.

  And when Inner City Press asked if the issue came up in the Deby - Ban / Ladsous meeting, he replied that it was raised to the Chadian delegation that is in New York. (It was NOT in the read-out provided after last night's meeting.)

  Inner City Press asked French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, when he took questions on the Sahel, about the charges against the Chadians in MINUSMA. 

  Fabius said that they are being looked into and if true, action will be taken. But what action?

  Many questioned Chad being part of the UN Mission MINUSMA, not least because Chad is on the UN list of child soldier recruiters. But Ladsous said, essentially, trust him. He was a long-time French diplomat; Chad was a long-time French colony. Trust him.

  But now the Chadian troops have mutinied and allegedly raped. In fact, the non-payment of the troops seems to be at least in part the fault of Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping. There is also no longer any reason to trust him, if there ever was.

  But what will be done? At Thursday's noon briefing Inner City Press asked Nesirky what he'd say to those now reaching conclusions about the Troop Contributing Country Chad (and therefore, again, about Ladsous). This question has not been answered, and Ladsous refuses to answer Press questions. Watch this site.


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