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Amid 2d Killing of Peacekeepers, Ladsous Won't Answer, on DRC or Cote d'Ivoire

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 17 -- After another UN Peacekeeper was killed in Darfur on Tuesday, UN Security Council Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala read out a press statement late Wednesday, calling for the perpetrators to be caught.

  Inner City Press asked him for a follow up on the killing of four Nigerian UN peacekeepers earlier in the month, and if the Security Council would be convening some meeting to consider or act on the killings, or just wait for the next regularly scheduled meeting on the UNAMID mission, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations which largely runs it.

  Rosenthal, whose country has peacekeepers in Darfur, said he is concerned and that there had been a Darfur meeting of the Council this week.

  Inner City Press asked, wasn't that about Sudan and South Sudan, capped by a stakeout by South Sudan Ambassador Francis Deng?

  Rosenthal acknowledged that had been the agenda item, but said that a part of the meeting had touched on Darfur.

  That would mean that DPKO chief Herve Ladsous, who gave the Sudan and South Sudan briefing, raised Darfur as well. But when he came out, he refused to answer any Press question, unlike his predecessors Alain Le Roy and Jean-Marie Guehenno.

  Le Roy in particular would come to the stakeout and speak and take questions when peacekeepers were killed. It is part of the job of heading DPKO. But Ladsous does not do it.

  And so other attacks on peacekeepers go unexplained and unexplored. The attacks in North Kivu -- who did them? Sources in Eastern Congo have M23 denying it, and say the Mayi Mayi are making attacks. Which is it? Ladsous won't speak.

  Even on attacks on infrastructure in former French colony Cote d'Ivoire, of concern to Ladsous who was France's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide, went unremarked on at the UN until Inner City Press asked about them at Wednesday's noon briefing.

  Shouldn't Ladsous' DPKO have at least had something read-out at the noon briefing, if not a stakeout by Ladsous?

  Likewise, no findings have been issued despite repeated inquiries about DPKO's probe into the killing of a Rwandan UN Police officer in Haiti.

  DPKO is in decline. Perhaps only the troop contributing countries, some complaining already about being misrepresented, could turn this decline around. Watch this site.

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