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UN Accepted in S. Sudan Mission Nepalese Arrested for Torture, No UN Vetting

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 7, updated -- Does the UN accept as "peacekeepers" alleged war criminals who are subject to arrest under the Convention on Torture? The answer is "yes."

  It was confirmed to Inner City Press on January 7, by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky, that a Nepalese "expert on mission" in the UN Mission in South Sudan was arrested in London.

  Inner City Press asked how can it be that the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations does not vet those it sends to countries like South Sudan, but rather leaves it up to the Troop Contributing Country, which obviously would not agree that it own soldiers were war criminals?

  Nesirky replied that the person at issue -- he has been named as Colonel Kumar Lama -- was an "expert on mission" in UNMISS, and the DPKO expected Nepal to vet him.

  Inner City Press asked if there is any class of peacekeeping personnel which the UN itself vets. The question was not immediately answered. Instead, reference was made to a forthcoming or "being rolled out" policy on vetting.

  Where is the policy? Inner City Press asked if this new policy would apply to the Congolese soldiers in Minova during the 126 rapes in late November, about which DPKO chief Herve Ladsous has three times on camera refused to answer Press questions.

  Nesirky replied with "three words," or two words: vetting UN personnel. So although Ladsous' DPKO supports and works with units of the Congolese army which it will not specify, this new vetting policy will not apply to them, even if they committed mass rape in Minova.

  Ladsous' DPKO and its missions are getting weaker and weaker. Recently UN whistleblowers complained to Inner City Press that the mission in Darfur, UNAMID, gave the Sudanese government veto rights over its Civil Protection Strategy, and the strategy has not been heard from since.

  "It went to the Country Team then to the Sudanese government in September," a source told Inner City Press. "And nothing since. There is no leadership from headquarters."

Inner City Press asked Nesirky this policy, too. Watch this site.

Update of 3:55 pm -- later the following was receive, not on the shooting of IDP or the "Protection of Civilians" strategy, but to an earlier Inner City Press question:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 3:49 PM
Subject: Your question on Darfur
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has confirmed reports of demonstrations against the plan to turn Rongatas camp for internally displaced person  into a model village for returnees, turned violent. On 1 January, the 45-year old deputy leader of the camp, Mr. Adam Ahmed Mohamed, was killed by demonstrators and some of 22 houses were burnt. The Mission also received reports informing that four internally displaced persons were arrested in relation to the murder and arson.
UNAMID has deployed several military and police patrols in the camp and is monitoring closely the situation on the ground. UNAMID’s position on return is clear. It only supports safe and voluntary returns.

   But what's happened to the "Protection of Civilians" strategy? Watch this site.

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