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Amid Hangings and Geneva Convention Violations, UN Watches & Talks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- While M23 and Congolese government representatives bicker in Kampala, there are hangings and violations of the Geneva Conventions in Goma, from which the M23 pulled out in connection with the Kampala talks.

   Wednesday at the UN in New York, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: There are reports that a lot of people who were released from jail in Goma, some of them are being hanged and subjected to a kind of street justice. Is this something that MONUSCO is… is looking at? What is the solution to this? And some people have been captured and are being said to be M23 people that are captured, but they are being paraded in a way that some people believe violates the Geneva Conventions, the parading of war prisoners. So, since these seem to fall into the kind of human rights or protection of civilians mandate of MONUSCO, are they aware of it and what are they doing about it?

  Spokesperson Nesirky replied, "I’ll check with my colleagues to see what they have to say."

  While DPKO chief Herve Ladsous, ultimately responsible for MONUSCO's actions and inactions, on Wednesday refused once again to answer a simple UN Peacekeeping question posed to him by the Press, Nesirky's office did provide some response to these two questions:

Subject: Your question on MONUSCO
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Dec 12, 2012
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Abdallah Wafy, the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ad interim, just returned from Goma where he discussed the issue of escaped prisoners with the Congolese authorities. MONUSCO will assist with the restoration of one of the buildings of Goma prison, starting this week.

Regarding the alleged M23 fighters arrested in the DR Congo, the country's Minister of Communication and Media has informed MONUSCO that the suspects will be tried next week.

   But what did the Congolese authorities say, about the hanging of prisoners? And what about the alleged violations of the Geneva Conventions?

  What about the FARDC rapes in Minova, and Ladsous' outright refusal to answer questions about them and Ban Ki-moon's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy?

  On November 27, Ladsous refused just these questions, then summoned handpicked correspondents into the hallway, video here. This is a new low, and will be combated. Watch this site.

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