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After UN Inaction As M23 Took Goma, France Convenes UNSC Experts

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 20 -- The fall of Goma in Eastern Congo to the M23 mutineers with no resistance from the UN Peacekeepers has given rise to questions and a 10 am experts-level meeting at the UN in New York.

  Why did the peacekeepers under the command of Herve Ladsous simply stand by, after all the hoopla, while the M23 took Goma? What would be different in Bukavu, under Ladsous?

  Why hasn't UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoken with Congolese president Joseph Kabila, despite having spoken directly with Uganda's President Museveni and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame?

  On November 19, Inner City Press asked Ban's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey to confirm that the UN had removed its helicopters from Goma to Bukavu.

  Del Buey replied, "I don't have any information on that, I believe that the Secretary General said MONUSCO remains in Goma and is going to stay in Goma, if we have anything more to say we'll let you know."

  But Inner City Press heard nothing more from Ban's Office of the Spokesperson, much less from UN Peacekeeping, whose boss Herve Ladsous openly refuses to answer any Press questions, having characterized polite questions about his role in the Great Lakes region, including as France's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 as "insulting innuendo."

  Now M23 has taken over Goma.

  What happens with the draft resolution that France proposed on November 19? Inner City Press asked and a self-described UNSC diplomat told Inner City Press: "On Goma, experts are meeting at 10, and the idea is to aim for an accelerated adoption given speed of events on ground -- likely to be late this afternoon."

  Cynics or realists might say the resolution has to now spin the inaction of MONUSCO, and the failure of Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping.

  Who will answer on this?

  Ladsous, in another "pick your journalist" press conference or stakeout? In a reverse citation to real military figure Stonewall Jackson, some now refer to General Stonewall Ladsous. Or will Roger Meece, who as Ban's DRC envoy arrived late and ill-informed on the mass rapes in Walikale, do another video press conference? Watch this site.

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