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In DR Congo, UN Brags of Action, Nothing on FDLR, Ladsous Flew Leader

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 9, more here -- When the UN's DR Congo Force Commander Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz spoke to the UN Security Council on October 9, he bragged about his forces' robust actions. Yes, they "neutralized" the M23. But what about the FDLR? Why do they still work with DR Congo Army units which committed 130 rapes in Minova in November 2012? This, he did not answer.

  Before dos Santos Cruz began, it was said that UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous would have liked to have been present to speak. But why did Ladsous avoid and refuse Press questions about the Minova rapes for months? Video here. Why does he now go so far as to block Press filming at the General Assembly stakeout? Vine here and embedded below. How is this allowed by the UN?

  In fact, Ladsous decided to offer free UN flights to the FDLR's sanctioned leader, then refused questions on that as well. This is Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping.

Back on August 26, a UN Security Council press statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and belated "military action" against the FDLR militia has been agreed, Inner City Press learned, after several rounds of edits and the "silence procedure" being broken.

   The statement, drafted by the French Mission to the UN, had been set to be released on August 25 at 11 am. But silence was broken. Inner City Press inquired and was told that the new version was "under silence" until 4 pm on August 25. But that too passed, and a final draft was put under silence until August 26 at 9 am.

  Disputes involved concerns that Troop Contribution Countries have about the "Force Intervention Brigade" which attacked the M23 but then did not do so against the Hutu FDLR militia. There was a dispute about whether to refer to mere military "pressure" against the FDLR if they do not disarm by the end of the end, or military "action" -- the latter is referred to twice in the final agreed version.

  The agreed statement, as of this publication, has yet to be released. It will presumably be read out by August's Council president Mark Lyall Grant of the UK, when he summarizes another Council meeting, on Guinea Bissau. Watch this site.

Update: after publication of the above, the UN emailed out the statement, which will go online on the UNSC's web site. Then the UK's genial Deputy Permanent Representative Peter Wilson came to take questions. Inner City Press asked about the statement and a perception that the M23 was neutralized but the FDLR still continues afoot, or apace. Wilson insisted they are treated similarly, video here.

From the UK Mission transcript:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about the Democratic Republic of the Congo press statement. Seems like that when Mr Kobler was here, he said that the FDR practice has fallen off the track, that they didn't take the deadline seriously and I'm wondering how to interpret the statement. Does this mean when you talk about military action, could there be action, military action by the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade prior to January 2, the six month deadline? Is there some intermediary sort of benchmarks they have to reach and what would you say to those that say M23 was neutralised and FDLR continues afoot and apace?
Amb. Peter Wilson: What I'd say on that Matthew, is there is no difference between the way that we are treating the M23 and the FDLR. Both of them need to sign up to, either sign up to the DDR process or be subject to military action. We are very clear on that and I think the press statement is very clear on that. So there is no difference in treatment on them both. If they don't sign up then obviously we will have to look military action. Thank you everybody.

  As a public service, here is the statement:

Press statement DRC/Great Lakes

On 7 August 2014, the members of the Security Council heard briefings by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Martin Kobler, the outgoing Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Mary Robinson, and the Minister of Defence of Angola, Mr. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, in his capacity as representative of the Chair of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). The members of the Security Council welcomed the nomination of Said Djinnit as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress against armed groups, including the military defeat of the M23 movement, the signing of the Nairobi Declarations by the DRC government and the M23, and the significant weakening of the ADF-NALU but regretted that no significant progress was made towards the neutralization of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). They noted the initial efforts made by the DRC government and the governments of the region toward fulfilling the commitments made under the PSC Framework, including the development of national and regional benchmarks. The members of the Security Council welcomed the efforts of regional organizations, in particular the role of the ICGLR, including that of President José Eduardo dos Santos as chair, as subsequently demonstrated by the holding of two Heads of State and Government Mini-Summits in Luanda (Angola) on 25 March and on 14 August 2014.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the swift neutralization of the FDLR, as a top priority in bringing stability to the DRC and the Great Lakes region. They recalled that leaders and members of the FDLR were among the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed, and recalled that the FDLR is a group under United Nations sanctions, operating in the DRC, and which has continued to promote and commit ethnically based and other killings in Rwanda and in the DRC. They expressed deep concern regarding the sustained domestic and regional threat posed by the FDLR, including recent reports of continued human rights abuses by members of the FDLR and continued recruiting and training of combatants, including children, and stressed the importance of disarming and ending the threat caused by this illegal armed group.  

The members of the Security Council took note of ongoing ICGLR and SADC diplomatic efforts to harmonise views and approaches on the neutralisation and unconditional disarmament of the FDLR. They further took note of the six-month timeframe for the voluntary surrender of the FDLR from 2 July 2014 and the review of progress after three months, as set out by the joint ICGLR-SADC meeting of Ministers of Defence on 2 July 2014. They expressed concern about reports by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC that the FDLR has interpreted this six-month timeframe as a call to stall previously scheduled demobilizations. They noted that the disarmament process should be concluded swiftly, have a clearly defined end-state and be supported by credible military action. Meanwhile, they encouraged the DRC government, in coordination with MONUSCO, to actively pursue military action against those leaders and members of the FDLR who do not engage in the demobilization process or who continue to carry out human rights abuses. They underlined MONUSCO’s mandate to neutralise all armed groups, in line with resolutions 2098 (2013) and 2147 (2014), and further underlined their support for an effective DD/RRR program, paying a particular attention to women and children, as part of the demobilisation process.

The members of the Security Council took note of the technical missions carried out by the DRC government-led delegations to Uganda and Rwanda in April and July, respectively, to assess and process amnesty requests for former M23 combatants, in preparation for the repatriation of those eligible for reintegration, and underlined the need to fast-track and conclude their return to the DRC in accordance with an agreed timetable. In this regard, they encouraged the parties to speed up the implementation of the Kampala Dialogue/Nairobi Declarations in order to ensure the permanent demobilization of the M23.

The members of the Security Council called for the full and swift implementation of the DRC’s national commitments under the PSC Framework, including the restoration of state authority and the wider governance, economic, and security sector reforms needed in the DRC to consolidate the progress made so far. They noted in this context the particular importance of security sector reform, including the establishment of a Rapid Reaction Force. They stressed that the Government of the DRC bears primary responsibility for security, protection of civilians, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development in the country.

The members of the Security Council commended the work of SRSG Kobler and outgoing SESG Robinson, and underlined the continuing crucial role of MONUSCO in protecting civilians and promoting peace and stability in the DRC. They stressed the importance of the troop contributing countries’ role in the implementation of the mission’s full mandate, including the neutralization of all armed groups through its Intervention Brigade, in support of the authorities of the DRC, either unilaterally or jointly with the FARDC, and in cooperation with the whole of MONUSCO. They further emphasized the importance for MONUSCO to support and work with the Government of the DRC to arrest and bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. They also stressed the need to continue to increase the effectiveness of the Mission, and looked forward to the outcome of the forthcoming Strategic Review of MONUSCO and the wider UN presence in the DRC.

The members of the Security Council encouraged the United Nations, the African Union, the ICGLR, SADC and other relevant international and regional organizations to continue to work together to support the government of the DRC and the governments of the region towards the full implementation of the national and regional commitments under the PSC Framework.

26 August 2014


Background: on August 7, 2014, six weeks after Inner City Press began asking the UN questions about its MONUSCO mission flying the FDLR's sanctioned leader from Eastern Congo to Kinsasha, Inner City Press was able to ask MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler directly. Video here and embedded below.

   Kobler said it had been transparent, than when the UN Security Council's sanctions committee denied the waiver requested by Herve Ladsous, the FDLR leader was returned "to the bush."

  Inner City Press asked, isn't he subject to an arrest warrant in Rwanda? Kobler said he was unaware of that.

  On the mere two convictions for the 130 rapes by the Congolese Army in Minova in November 2012, Kobler said the legal process was OK -- video here -- but that the investigation was not sufficient.

  The third Press questions, which Kobler did not answer, concerned the rehabilitation of General Amisi after a failure to investigate the charges against him. We will have more on this.

  On back June 27 amid reports that the UN flew a sanctioned militia leader of the FDLR militia on a UN aircraft in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujurric about it at the UN noon briefing on June 27:

Inner City Press: why did MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] fly him to Goma to Kisangani and then to Kinshasa when, in fact, I think there’s an arrest warrant for him?

Spokesman Dujarric: I’m not aware of any other services provided to him by MONUSCO.

 But it turns out that UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous flew the sanctioned FDLR leader from Eastern Congo to Kinshasa. Rwanda complained about this, in writing, on June 26.

  Dujarric on June 27, and in the subsequent times Inner City Press asked, insisted that not only Mary Robinson (who left her post as the UN's Great Lakes envoy) but also US envoy Russ Feingold requested the waiver, and that the FDLR leader Gaston Iyamuremye a/k/a Rumuli had not traveled to Rome, arguing that only that was important.

  Inner City Press disagrees -- why would UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous given his history on Rwanda, representing France in the Security Council in 1994 arguing for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo, fly a sanctioned FDLR figure linked to the genocide around? 

  On July 15,  Haq said Rumuli was escorted from Kinshasa back to the east. Video here.

  Inner City Press asked about MONUSCO escorting Rumuli.

  Haq said what he had read did not say MONUSCO did the escorting. So who did? And if not the UN, how does the UN know where Rumuli went? Watch this site.


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