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In DRC, UN Won't Answer M23 Charges, Kobler Skips Presser, Being Asked to Kill

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 16 -- The dysfunction and capture of the UN Mission in the Congo MONUSCO was on display at its weekly press conference on Wednesday morning.

 In order to make itself relevant and try to stay in the country, the UN has created a venue to be publicly asked why it is not killing more rebels.

  That way when the UN veers from its previous principles and deploys and shoots with attack helicopter, it can say this is what the people wanted. But what people? And does the UN really do what people want -- for example in Haiti?

  At Wednesday's presser held in Kinshasa, question questions taken from Goma as well, the UN's own theater appeared to blow up in its face. The session kept getting extended after "last question" was announced, because the questions asked, "Are you afraid of the M23?" and "Have you failed the people of Eastern Congo?"

  To this, MONUSCO reminded that it had killed and been killed in July and August.

 MONUSCO refused to answer on, saying it somehow hadn't seen, M23's statement a day ago in Kampala that MONUSCO "'continuously allows FARDC to use their planes for espionage activities and dropping DRC soldiers near M23 territory'... one of the planes that recently violated the M23 territory’s airspace was carrying President Joseph Kabila’s spy chiefs... FARDC and UN were mixing their emblems on planes, giving the rebel group difficulty in distinguishing the DRC forces from humanitarian elements."

  That's a serious allegation. But MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler, who has become like his new boss Herve Ladsous in not answering questions (click here for UK coverage), did not come to the MONUSCO press conference.

  Kobler's flaks tweeted he will meet (Mary) Robinson today. And talk attack helicopters with this Elder? How far the UN has fallen.

  Imagine the UN in Sri Lanka in 2009 holding a session with supporters of the Rajapaksa government and asking them what they wanted the UN to do. Using UN attack helicopters in the north, of course.

  Now at UN Headquarters, the UN is purported to review what it did wrong in Sri Lanka in 2009 -- while bungling into uncharted "kill for the government" territory in the DRC. Holding staged press conferences as which it makes a public show of being ASKED to kill does not make it any better.

(The analogy to Syria could be made - it has been by Inner City Press, when the French-led Security Council gave its blessing to Joseph Kabila's national dialogue which opposition boycotted.)

  As Inner City Press first reported, Eastern Congo is to be a topic for the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday, after their discussion on another French-led mess, Mali. Watch this site.


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