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In Addis, Still No DRC Envoy, Ladsous But Nothing on Drones or Minova

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 24 – Before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon flew to Addis Ababa to witness or “guarantee” a peace agreement for the Democratic Republic of Congo, his spokesman in New York said Ban's new Special Envoy to the region would be announced soon. So many expected the name to be announced or floated Sunday in Addis.

  During the ceremonial meetings before the signing, and during the signing session itself, the Africa Union tweeted summaries of some attendees speeches, but not Ban's. AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, in his speech, quoted a length from a letter by Patrice Lumumba to his wife.

  The UN's output considered of three photographs, one with UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous prominently in the foreground (and Ban's chief of staff Susana Malcorra behind him).

   Even two hours after Ban's speech and the ceremony was finished, there was radio silence with the UN. After two Press complaints, of the type being made systematic by the new Free UN Coalition for Access, a series of readouts and Ban's speech were sent out.

  In his speech, Ban said he would name a Special Envoy... soon. He said he would provide more detail on the so-called Intervention Brigade.

  He did not mention the new drones for the MONUSCO mission pushed through by Ladsous, despite opposition expressed to the concept by members of the UN's own Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

  Among the questions unanswered is who will be getting the information feed from Ladsous' drone, and more fundamentally, who gets to decide this: Ladsous himself?

  Ladsous has said he might share the intelligence with not only the MONUSCO Force Commander but two of the regional groups also guaranteeing the framework agreement.

   Could Permanent Five members of the Security Council, or just France for which Ladsous served as Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, get the intelligence from Ladsous?

  Who sets the rules? Inner City Press has repeatedly asked this, like why Ladsous has yet to act on his stated knowledge of the identities of the majority of the Congolese Army November 20-22 rapes at Minova, but answers have not been provided. Now FUNCA is asking why not.

 What would Lumumba have thought and done, wonders one wag, of Ladsous and his double role?

  Relatedly, despite Ban's statements about his offiicals making public financial disclosure, there has been no such disclosure by Ladsous -- nor by Ban's current DRC or just MONUSCO envoy Roger Meece. Leading by example? See video here.

  The UN readout of Ban's meeting with Ethiopia's (and AU chairman) Desalegn did not mention Abyei, where the “UN” peacekeeping mission is entirely made up of Ethiopian troops.

  Last week, Inner City Press asked the UN about the deadly clash with Misseriya nomads in or near Abyei; days later, no response has been provided.

   There are, however, the photographs. Ah, social media. Watch this site.

Update - and when later the UN sent its transcript of Ban's press conference in Addis, both questions were listed as "inaudible;" Ban's two responses, full of material added in brackets, did not mention the M23 or the Kampala talks.

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