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Spinning on Darfur, Silent on FDLR, Failures of DPKO Under Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 22 -- Six days ago a report publicly presented at the UN showed that UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous has allowed civilians to be killed with no reaction.

  How have Ladsous and the UN responded? Ladsous has not taken much less answered any questions. On May 21, as an example, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: I want to ask about Darfur and also about the DRC ( Democratic Republic of the Congo). In Darfur, the Radio Dabanga is reporting that residents of the Kalma camp have given an ultimatum to UNAMID (African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur) to begin protecting them or they will block these irregular patrols. One thing that they said is that UNAMID policeman two weeks ago ran at the first shooting by militia men and so this seems to tie in to this report that was just done by OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) to the Fifth Committee about failure to protect civilians. Can [the Department of Peacekeeping Operations] confirm that [UNAMID] policemen… the article says that UNAMID has apologized to the Kalma camp residents but is it true? And what’s the response?

Spokesman Dujarric: We’ll check.

Inner City Prss: And also there are reports in eastern DRC that the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), rather than being neutralized is, in fact, increased attacks in Lubero and North Kivu. There’s a news service there reporting on in specific --

Spokesman: If I have an update on DRC I will share it with you.

  While there still no answer on the FDLR -- perhaps not surprising from Ladsous' DPKO, given his history, here -- on Darfur, Dujarric came back on May 22 with this, from the transcript which for some reason edited out a flippant intro from Dujarric:

Yesterday, Matthew, you asked about two letters from NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and political parties. We’ve checked again this morning for you and we cannot ascertain that we have received such letters at the Secretariat.

And on Dafur you asked yesterday about Kalma camps in Darfur and I have the following for you: On 19 May, on Monday, some internally displaced civilians in Kalma camp reportedly stole goats belonging to Arab nomads. In a mediation efforts by UNAMID (African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur) on 20 May, the internally displaced persons agreed to compensate the Arab nomads. Within minutes of leaving the UNAMID Camp, Arab nomads reportedly shot and killed a 30-year-old Fur internally displaced person and injured another. In retaliation, the internally displaced surrounded the patrol site of UNAMID police and accused it of inaction.

  Compare this is the report / allegation in Dabanga:

Saleh Eisa, the Secretary General of Kalma camp... said 'The Unamid chiefs emphasised that the most important task is protection of civilians. They would seriously consider the demand for a protection unit at the camp. They also apologised for the behaviour of the Unamid policemen two weeks ago, who had fled Kalma camp at the first shooting by militiamen.'”

The background is in a UN report presented in the Budget Committee, even blandly written up by Ladsous' scribes without mentioning who is responsible. But consider these since Ladsous took over the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in 2011:

August - September 2012: Attacks on civilians by armed group in Katoyi, North Kivu (MONUSCO) Killed: >112. Action under Ladsous? No. After: Human rights investigations launched

4 January 2013 Intercommunal fighting over disputed access to gold mine (UNAMID) Killed: 100 Action under Ladsous? No. After: Government officials transported to area to “defuse tensions”...

8 February 2013 Attack on community in Wangar, Jonglei State by armed elements from rival community (UNMISS). Killed: >100. Action under Ladsous? No. After: Investigation launched. Communities and national authorities actively engaged to “prevent retaliation.”

3-6 April 2013 Intercommunal fighting in parts of Central and Southern Darfur (UNAMID) Killed: >100. Action under Ladsous? No. Aftter: Inter-agency assessment mission protected,,.

July 2013 Intercommunal violence in several locations in Pibor County (UNMISS) Killed: >328 Action under Ladsous? No. After: Investigation launched....

22-30 July 2013 Intercommunal fighting in Central Darfur (UNAMID) Killed: 150 Action under Ladsous? No. After: Humanitarian aid to displaced civilians facilitated

8-22 August 2013 Intercommunal fighting in Eastern Darfur (UNAMID) Killed: 500-600 Action under Ladsous? No. After: “Technical and logistical support” provided...

  And this is not even including the more recently failures in South Sudan, and rapes by Ladsous' partners in the Congolese Army in Minova, and subsequent impunity. Ladsous refused to answer Press questions on any of this. Why is he still in his post? #Ladsous2014. Watch this site.


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