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On DRC, France Tells ICP Wants UNSC Briefing Now That Mrs Malcorra Is Back

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 26 -- Amid the standoff between the M23 mutineers and the Congolese government, the UN Security Council held an open meeting on Monday morning -- on its own working methods. Outside, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud when the Council would again take up the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  "We have asked for a briefing this week," Araud stopped and told Inner City Press. "We think we need a briefing. Mrs. Malcorra is back."

  This would be Susana Malcorra, the chief of staff of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. On November 24, Inner City Press asked the UN who had attended the meetings in Kampala for it, and what it thought of the role assigned to the MONUSCO mission, which did nothing as M23 took Goma.

  There was no answer from the UN. On Monday morning, the spokesman for UN Peackeeping's boss Herve Ladsous Kieran Dwyer, who on November 23 answered "I am looking into this" to three question, now claimed he was not clear Inner City Press wanted the answers. Inner City Press replied:

"It goes without saying, but now and in the future, when a question is submitted (and in this case forwarded to DPKO), it is in order to receive responsive information. This is especially but not only true when an interim response "I am looking into this" is sent. Here was question from Saturday:

"'In Minova, there have apparently been rapes and looting by FARDC units as they retreated. Has anyone from the UN system, including OHCHR, visited Minova? The FARDC units that OHCHR says committed looting and house burning in Goma, has the UN worked with them? What is the impact of the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence policy on the above.'"

Inner City Press also asked

"Who from the UN was at the ICGLR Heads of State meeting now concluded in Kampala? What are the UN's comments and plans on the roles assigned to it by what was announced?"

  Now Araud to his credit appears to have answered the question of WHO was in Kampala for the UN: Susana Malcorra. Why not Ladsous? Isn't he responsible for UN Peacekeeping's inaction, on which he has pointedly refused to answer any Press questions?

  And what about the UN's role, after its failures?

  Also in front of the Security Council on Monday, it was explained to Inner City Press that even if Herve Ladsous intends to try to bypass the General Assembly and its C-34, to which as Inner City Press exclusively reported Ladsous proposed drones in March without getting any approval, he will meet resistance in the Security Council.

  Pakistan, a Security Council member for the next 13 months, is not a fan of drones, it was phrased to Inner City Press by another Council member. And Rwanda is coming onto the Council in January.

   The problem, the UN might say, is not on the drones, but in the peacekeeping leadership. Watch this site.

Update: Security Council President Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed to Inner City Press that France has asked for a meeting on DRC.

  At Monday's noon briefing, after publication of the above, deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey confirmed to Inner City Press that Susana Malcorra represented Ban and the UN in Kampala.

 And where was Ladsous? Well, according to a tweeted photo, he and Babacar Gaye and even USG Haq of the Department of Field Support were all speaking before 100 students at the UK Royal College of Defense Studies.

  Even while Ladsous was in New York, he refused to answer Press questions. But is this "brain drain" the reasons DPKO has provided nothing since November 23?

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