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In S. Sudan, UN Films Bangladeshi Peacekeepers, What's Left Behind in DRC?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 27 -- While the UN has refused to answer Press questions about the foreseeable impacts of moving peacekeepers out of the Eastern Congo, Darfur, Abyei and even Cote d'Ivoire, on December 27 it uploaded to YouTube a video featuring 72 Bangladeshi UNPOL peacekeepers arriving in South Sudan from now less-protected by unspecified parts of the DRC.

  The Bangladeshi move, approved quickly by prime minister Sheikh Hasina whom the UN has purported just a week before to be pressuring for flexibility in upcoming elections, was meant to show how seriously the UN takes the protection of civilians.

   But what is being left behind in the Congo? Why not answer that question? See longer form analysis on Beacon Reader, here.

  The UN Security Council, whose president for December Gerard Araud told Inner City Press that the impact of the shifting of peacekeepers had not been discussed, was slated to here from the UN's envoy to South Sudan Hilde Johnson on December 27.

  But that session was canceled, so that Johnson could go to the IGAD meeting in Nairobi and presumably make Salva Kiir's case.

  Now it is re-scheduled for 10 am on December 30. At least the Council is meeting on South Sudan -- with 11 peacekeepers killed this month in Central African Republic, the Council barely meets on it.

  France's president Francois Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon -- location undisclosed -- had a telephone chat and different read-outs on December 27. Hollande said he wants the UN to play a more important role (read, pick up the slack, save the bacon, cut and run) and Ban Ki-moon promised to consult with the Security Council on the coming days.

  But where is he? The UN will not say, despite a request from the Free UN Coalition for Access. This, the UN tries to erase -- or Ban -- from its transcripts, click here for that. And so it goes in Ban's UN. Watch this site.


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