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UN Cites Rape Probe As Reason to Withhold List of Congo Army Units It Supports

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 11 -- After the UN belated admitted that Congolese Army units committed at least 70 rapes in Minova, but has refused to name the units, now the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has hit a deeper low.

  DPKO is refusing to make public which units or regiments of the Congolese Army FARDC it works with or supports.

  Inner City Press has requested this information in writing, and from DPKO chief Herve Ladsous, without receiving any of it.

  At Tuesday's UN noon briefing Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky again about the FADRC units at Minova and, separately, the units DPKO's mission MONUSCO works with or supports.

  Nesirky said Minova is still under investigation. But for the first time he indicated that no list of units or regiments supported by MONUSCO -- with public funds, and under the UN's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy -- will be provided.

  Inner City Press asked, and asks, how then can this Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, announced by Ban Ki-moon and cited for example in his recent report on Mali, be assessed by the public?

  Nesirky's response was that since some -- unnamed by the UN -- regiments of the FARDC are being investigated, the wider world of FARDC units should not be opened up. Nesirky said, "if something's under investigation, you don't then open up the entire FARDC to the same allegations."

  This is a lack of transparency, and also illogical. If some FARDC units were not supposedly being investigated by the UN, would the UN then be willing to produce a list of units it spends global taxpayers money supporting?

  While DPKO chief Herve Ladsous refused on November 27 to answer any Inner City Press question about the rapes in Minova, and instead summoned handpicked Correspondents into the hall to speak to them, as an experiment in this article we are not saying more than that.

  Supposedly, Ladsous understands that answering factual questions like this is part of his job at DPKO. We'll see. Watch this site.

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