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UN Sanctions Annex Shows DRC Army Raping & Arming FDLR, Now What?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 29 -- The UN's Congo sanctions annex which Inner City Press exclusively published late yesterday reflects the UN's unwillingness or inability to report honestly on itself or act according to its stated principles.

  The UN provides military support to the Congolese Army, but states that this is conditional on compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law.

  When UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous chose to continue supporting the 41st and 391st Battalions after they were implicated in 135 rapes in Minova (and only two soldiers have been arrested), the policy was undercut to say the least.

  But the new report showed other Congolese Army units and commanders engaged in torture, rape and even attacks on the UN. (These last are given detailed treatment, down to the looting of a UN bar and the pulling of air conditioners out of the wall.)

The 812th FARDC regiment commanded by Col. Mudahunga committed mass rape, and targeted ethnic Hunde civilians, in Kitchanga earlier this year. But all the report says is that the 812th was later re-deployed. Annex 61; Report at Paragraph 124.

  The FARDC 905th Regiment, under the command of Col. John Tchinyama, committed torture at Mambasa earlier this year. Annex 44. But the Group of Experts merely put the video in the UN's archive.

  Col. Faida Fidel Kamulete, the commander of FARDC 2nd battalion of 601st Regiment based at Tongo, said the FARDC and FDLR do not fight each other.

When Inner City Press published internal emails from the MONUSCO UN Mission on this topic, MONUSCO replied angrily via press release that it was false. Not that the Group says it too, will MONUSCO attack the Group of Experts?

MONUSCO has not responded to a request, in French no less, by the Free UN Coalition for Access, digging into the UN system's and particularly UN Peacekeeping's one-way social media, to clarify how many FARDC arrests there have been for the 135 rapes in Minova in late November. (This is confined to a paragraph, admitting only two arrests contrary to the "nine" figure given by MONUSCO's new force commander.)

  Still, the Group of Experts takes its estimate of FDLR strength from MONUSCO, while leaving to an aside FARDC providing ammunition to the FDLR.

  Col. Willy Bonane Habarugira led the looting of the UN in Bunia, but nothing has been done. Annex 65, Report at Paragraph 138.

The report runs through child soldiers, including a MONUSCO travel document in the Annex -- but Ladsous' DPKO is on the verge, in two days, of putting a listed child soldier recruiter, Chad, into a UN Peacekeeping mission.

As noted, Ladsous in his previous incarnation as French deputy permanent representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide argued for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo. When asked by Inner City Press about it, he started talking about “innuendo” and refusing to answer questions. Watch this site.

Footnote: The UN's and Ladsous' non-enforcement of human rights due diligence and conditionality policies were air brushed from Reuters gloss on the report -- not surprising, not only politically but also in light of recent evidence that Reuters gives the UN information the UN should not have, here: quid pro quo? And so it goes.

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