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In DRC, MSF Says Kitchanga Hospital Was Shelled, UN Says It Wasn't Targeted

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 -- When Doctors Without Borders says a hospital was shelled, killing two people, and then the UN denies it, who are you going to believe?

  In the town of Kitchanga in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, “shelling hit one hospital, killing two people and another eight wounded," said Hugues Robert, MSF's head of mission for North Kivu province, earlier this month.

  On Thursday Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky who had shelled the hospital, and about the presence of particular units of the Congolese Army, which the UN supports, ostensibly subject to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's “Human Rights Due Diligence” policy.

  Beyond the 126 rapes in Minova committed by the Congolese Army, still unacted on by the UN, the shelling of a hospital is a war crime and would trigger the Policy. So, Inner City Press asked, who did it?

  Here is the UN's answer, provided four hours after the noon briefing:

Subject: Question on DRC
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 4:43 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, here is our answer:

"A MONUSCO team has just returned from the area and was able to establish that the hospital has not been the target of any attack, contrary to previous reports."

  So either MONUSCO is denying the report of Doctors Without Borders, which works in the hospital, or the UN is trying to distinguish between the hospital being hit (“shelled”) and being targeted.

  This is the same UN which, in Sri Lanka in 2009, withheld casualty figures and then satellite photographs of what's called the “Bloodbath on the Beach.”

  Inner City Press is making its own inquiries into which units of the Congolese Army FARDC were in Kitchanga fighting the APCLS.

  So far responses are that in the first clashes it was the 812 Regiment, later with support from the 810 under the command of Bisengo, to be replaced by the 806 Regiment.

  We'll have more on the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. Watch this site.

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