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Complaints Against DPKO After S. Sudan Shot Down Copter, Where's Black Box?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 11 -- Three weeks after South Sudan killed four Russian pilots of a UN helicopter, the UN has yet to issue any findings. Russia has complained publicly that it it has not yet received the black box from the helicopter.

  Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky on Friday about the status of the investigation into the shooting down of the Mi-8 helicopter, who has custody of the helicopter and why the black box has not been provided to Russia.

  Nesirky said he will check, presumably with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations whose chief Herve Ladsous refuses to answer any Press questions.

  But meanwhile Russian sources tell Inner City Press they are unhappy with the leadership of the UN Mission in South Sudan, led by Hilde Johnson. She has been seen by other, including the opposition in South Sudan, as far too close to the government.

  This ironically mirrors the situation in Sudan, in which the UNAMID mission has allowed Khartoum to essentially veto its Protection of Civilians strategy, UN whistleblowers tell Inner City Press. Inner City Press has asked Nesirky about that as well, so far without answer.

  DPKO's lackadaisical response to the killing of four Russian pilots by South Sudan stands in contrast to its immediate threat of war crimes prosecution when its helicopter was shot at but not hit over territory controlled by the M23 in Eastern Congo.

  Why threaten war crimes prosecution for a missed shot, but do so little when a helicopter in hit and the crew of four all killed? Russian sources complain about a number of double standards, including between straight-forward UN personnel and those hired as the Russian pilots were.

  The other double standard in these incidents is who is thought to have done the shooting. Watch this site.

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