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At UN, Forest Whitaker on South Sudan & Myanmar But Not Scotland

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 8, more here -- With Children and Armed Conflict the subject of a UN Security Council's debate on September 8, Forest Whitaker spoke in the Council and then took questions at the media stakeout outside.

  Inner City Press asked Whitaker about South Sudan, where his foundation runs a program. Whitaker said while agreements have been signed, the conflict has "not ended in any way." Video here and embedded below.

  Since he played "The Last King of Scotland" Idi Amin, Whitaker was asked about the vote on independence on Scotland. He said he didn't have the expertise and turned the question over to the UN's Leila Zerrougui, who also declined to answer.

   Whitaker's foundation also runs programs in Uganda, Mexico and, he said, in the United States on gangs. It is considering Myanmar, and talking at an early stage about Lebanon. Whitaker said he needs more data.

  Here's something on which no more data is needed, only a commitment for UN Peacekeeping to end its hypocrisy: why will UN Peacekeeping include the child recruiting DR Congo Army in its upcoming mission in Central African Republic?

   When UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous spoke inside the Council, he did not directly address this hypocrisy. Obliquely he said that individual soldiers from this child soldier recruiting army will be screened.

  But even that is less than meaningful. For the 130 rapes in Minova by the DRC Army in November 2012, only two soldiers were convicted. So the other rapists could serve in CAR with Ladsous' screening seal of approval.

   What of UN Peacekeeping's hypocrisy under Ladsous, who refuses to answer questions on it (video here, UK coverage here), and the lack of oversight?


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