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On DRC, UN Report on Impunity for Violence "Did Not Come Up" in UNSC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 11 -- After the UN itself issued a report calling on the "the international community to urge Congolese authorities to combat impunity and prosecute those suspected of human rights violations committed during the election process," Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud about it, at the conclusion of the UN Security Council's DRC session on Wednesday.

  Araud replied that the issue had not come up during the more than two hour meeting just concluded. One must ask, why not? The report was issued by MONUSCO, the UN Peacekeeping mission. Herve Ladsous, the chief of UN Peacekeeping, was in the meeting (though he did not speak to the press afterward).

  The head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, did come and speak to the press. Inner City Press asked him two accountability questions: about the above-quoted report, and also about the Minova rapes by the 391st and 41st Battalions of the Congolese Army, and when the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy might be applied to them.

  Kobler answered about Minova, that a trial has begun but so far only the 40 (or 41) charged soldiers have been interviewed. He said that the HRDDP is implemented, but it is still unclear: why did MONUSCO continue working with the 391st and 41st Battalions after their mass rape, for a full year before any kind of trial began? Are the commanders being held accountable?

Araud also spoke about the Minova rapes, after saying that the MONUSCO report on electoral violence, here, had not come up. He made much of the trials, not mentioning the limitation on interviews that Kobler had mentioned.

  But Araud is coming to take questions after many sessions this month - it is Ladsous, of the three briefers on Wednesday, who did not come to the stakeout. There are many questions that he should answer his next time. But will he? Watch this site.


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