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DRC Resolution Passes 15-0, UN Inaction Contrasted With Mali Dreams

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 20 -- At same day as the UN Peacekeepers stood by while the M23 mutineers took over Goma, the Security Council met Tuesday night and adopted by a 15-0 vote a French drafted resolution calling among other things for the M23 to "permanently disband."

  This seems unlikely to take place. The resolution is here.

   The resolution was first slated for a vote at 5:30 pm on Tuesday. But first "one country" -- the United States, more than one source told Inner City Press -- invoked the Council's 24 hour rule, which would push the vote to Wednesday.

   Then troop contributing countries, one of which India holds the Council presidency this month, wanted a discussion.

   The resolution called on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report on "possible redeployments, in consultation with troop- and police-contributing countries, of MONUSCO."

   Earlier on Tuesday Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey why the peacekeeper count in Goma had not increased in the three days after UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous estimated it but refused to take Press questions.

   Del Buey replied that there are problems and instability elsewhere in the Congo. But Ladsous refused to answer why his MONUSCO was not protecting Pinga, for example, from the non M23 Mai Mai militia.

And that is one of the points: in the Congolese statement after the vote, nearly all of Eastern Congo's problems were blamed on Rwanda, it was noted.

  Afterward, off camera, a Rwandan diplomat explained that his country thinks the Congolese parties should speak, given the military failure. But that's not what Tuesday resolution does.

  French Ambassador Gerard Araud came out to take questions, unlike Herve Ladsous. Inner City Press asked Araud about the UN Peacekeepers standing by while M23 took over Goma. He said UN peacekeepers are not for civil wars.

   Inner City Press asked him then about Mali, where France speaks of the Security Council authorizing, and it seems the UN funding, a force to "reconquer" Northern Mali.

   Those would not be UN blue helmets, Araud said.

  It is unclear by this logic how UN peacekeepers can protect civilians. But earlier this month another of Ladsous' missions, UNAMID in Darfur, actually provided free air flight to soldiers of the Sudanese Armed Forces, whose president and defense chief have been indicted for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

  Ladsous has more than a little explaining to do. He went to Tuesday's vote and sat behind the president. He came out and looked at the stakeout while Araud was speaking. And then he left. Watch this site.

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