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As UN Pushes DRC Intervention Brigade, of Business Interests & Rights Diligence

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 25 – With the UN rushing toward adding an Intervention or “peace enforcement” Brigade to its embattled MONUSCO peacekeeping mission in Eastern Congo, there are several questions which remain unaddressed.

  Some Security Council members and troop contributing countries have a general concern with UN missions being perceived too much as taking sides in a conflict.

  When the M23 rebels drove on and took over Goma, they did not engage with MONUSCO. Would this change? How separate would the intervention brigade be kept?

  More specifically, some wonder why SADC would have such a big role in the brigade, saying diplomatically that business interests might cloud the brigade's judgment or at least how it's perceived.

  Others find it surprising that a UN Secretary General would applaud the suspension of aid to a country like Rwanda, which Ban Ki-moon does not even directly name in his reports.

  At the February 25 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky, by phone from the UAE, why Ban did not meet with Rwandan president Paul Kagame while he was in Addis Ababa. Nesirky said it was a matter of timing.

  Inner City Press has been asking about the UN's stated Human Rights Due Diligence Policy of not supporting or working with army units engaged in abuses.

  Already, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations under Herve Ladsous does not appear to be implementing the Policy with respect to the November 20-22 Congolese Army rapes in Minova.

  Since the Intervention Brigade will be part of MONUSCO, how will the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy apply to it? Watch this site.

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