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Peacekeepers Talk Secrecy in Basement, Take Photo & Page from Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 27 -- With UN Peacekeeping missions' force commanders in New York the past two days, the press conference and Security Council session were just the public face. Photo here.

  Down in Conference Room 9 in the UN's basement, the force commanders met Thursday morning with the Office of the Military Adviser and others. The talk was candid, with one new force commander saying, you all are mostly diplomats, and wanting to know the real deal.

  Those running the meeting urged the force commanders to provide information to headquarters early and often, otherwise “our political masters” will assume the worst. They added, don't worry about providing information to DPKO spokesman Kieran Dwyer, he won't pass most of it on.

  That's an understatement -- Dwyer has publicly defended the many refusals to answer the Press of Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head DPKO. And when information is provided, it is to the friendliest of scribes, even information about the kidnapping of peacekeepers in the Golan.

  In the Council chamber on Wednesday, Rwanda asked new MONUSCO force commander Alberto Dos Santos Cruz about the Congolese Army's links with the FDLR military. They found his answer vague, about the border and a complex situation. Drones won't help with this.

  In the basement Thursday afternoon, Ladsous stood stiffly with Ban Ki-moon taking a photo with the force commanders. Inner City Press photo here.

Ban Ki-moon, Ladsous et al, accountability for Minova not shown, (c) MLee

  With them was Babacar Gaye, soon to ship out to Central African Republic. He was in the Delegates' Lounge Wednesday, meeting with the delegation of Gabon. “It takes a military man to deal with Seleka,” another diplomat told Inner City Press, referring to the rebels who took over Bangui.

  Gaye is one of the good guys in UN Peacekeeping. Who will replace him? Watch this site.

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