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In DRC, Oil Search in Virgunga Halted, Not by UN, Minova Stonewall

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 12 -- A month ago amid threats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to those opposing oil exploration in Virunga National Park, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric these questions:

Inner City Press: On DRC, there are these reports that the World Wildlife Fund and others have received threats for opposing the developments of oil exploration of Virunga National Park. The UN, given its presence there, does it have any knowledge o a strong-arming of opponents of oil development there and what’s its knowledge of this?

Spokesman Dujarric: No, if I have an update, I will let you know.

Inner City Press: And Minova, I wanted to know now that sometime has gone by since there were two convictions for 130 rapes, I wanted to ask you directly, what is the process within the UN to access under the human rights due diligence policy whether to suspend assistance to the 41st?

Spokesman Dujarric: I’ll check on that.

  A month later, Dujarric has still not answered the latter, about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's stated Human Rights Due Diligence Policy after impunity for the Minova rapes. On May 29, sitting next to Dujarric, UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous refused to answer the question, saying “You know I do not respond to you Mister.” Video here.

  Since then the UN's envoy to DRC Martin Kobler has claimed that the policy is clear. But what is the policy and how is it being applied?

  On Virgunga there is this news, no thanks to the UN: Soco International after complaints has said it will not go forward with the exploration. We'll see if that's true -- but the UN in the Congo and UN Peacekeeping's Ladsous and enablers, have much to explain. Watch this site.


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