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On Golan, UN Peacekeeping UNtransparent, Mali Procurement Answers Promised?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 -- Who authorized the UN to be so UNtransparent? In the Golan a week ago, Irish soldiers serving in UN Peacekeeping's UNDOF mission were shot at, and shot back. As in most things under Herve Ladsous, UN Peacekeeping said little about it.

  Now Irish Defence Forces chief of staff Lieut Gen Conor O’Boyle says that while he cannot be certain the Irish did not wound or kill any militia when they opened fire, his feeling is there had been "no casualties during the incident last Thursday. 'There would have been evidence of a medical evacuation or other signs,' he said. An investigation into a fire fight involving Irish troops in Syria last week has found the troops were deliberately ambushed by armed elements."

  But WHICH elements? Previously, when UN peacekeepers were kidnapped by Yarmouk Brigades rebels, with reported involvement from Qatar, Ladsous refused to investigate or report on it.

  Thursday Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky directly about what the Irish say. Nesirky replied, what's your other question? So Inner City Press asked about Israel's defense minister Moshe Ya’alon saying the UNDOF "mediates" Israel aid delivery into Syria.

  Nesirky read a prepared statement that seemed worded in order NOT to directly address what Israel said. Inner City Press asked again, and Nesirky refused to take the question. This could be compared to repeated follow ups at other briefings, such as at the US State Department. How can the UN get away with this?

  Next Inner City Press asked about reports of French companies lining up for logistics contracts for the "UN" mission in Mali, MINUSMA. Nesirky archly insisted that procurement is transparent. But what then is the role of "France International Expertise"? We will have more on this, even as we await the UN written answer that should be forthcoming, and soon, after Thursday's noon briefing answers. Watch this site.


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