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With Ladsous in DRC for Drones, UN Repeats Mali Stonewall, Madagascar Later

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 2 -- When civilians are shot and killed by an army that UN Peacekeeping is supporting, one expects the UN to be able to explain what happened.

  But after just this happened in Mali last week, and UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous refused to answer the Press question, Inner City Press put it to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson on Monday, and he said he had no more information [video here with raw transcript and embedded below]

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask about the incidents that took place in Kidal. There seem to have been two different incidents, but in one account, UN peacekeepers told protestors at the airport in Kidal to disperse and the protesters ended up being fired on. Then, there may have been some actual armed groups that also attacked the army, but have you been able to find out what the MINUSMA [United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali] peacekeepers, did they tell protesters to disperse? If so, were the protesters armed or was there some suspension of the normal right to engage in protest?

Spokesperson Nesirky : Well, I do understand that the Mission, MINUSMA, issued a statement on this. A nd I donít have anything further on that at this point. And if that changes, Iíll certainly update you. But, at this point, I donít have anything further on that, Matthew.

Inner City Press: Iím only asking because I think, I mean, because I have seen the statement, and I appreciated you sending it, but it doesn't really explain this, it doesnít address thisÖ

Spokesperson: Well, as I said, thatís what we have at the moment.

Ladsous meanwhile was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to celebrate the launch of drones he had pushed for in the UN since France installed him as their fourth had of UN Peacekeeping in a row in September 2011. There he will ostensibly do a press conference with UN envoy Martin Kobler -- Kobler did his on UN TV with questions by Twitter, will Ladsous?

After back and forth about security - not peacekeepers - in Libya and layoffs of security staff in the UN itself, Inner City Press asked about Madagascar:

Inner City Press: Can I ask you about Madagascar?

Spokesperson: Yes, you did mentionÖ

Inner City Press: It has to do with Andry Rajoelina I know that it seems that the UN is providing some kind of electricalÖ electoral assistance running up to the election.

Spokesperson: Maybe electrical, as well. I donít know.

Inner City Press: Yeah, it could be. But, it may get blacked out by this, because Mr. Rajoelina, under the SADC (Southern African Development Community) road map, was not supposed to either run or endorse candidates. And on 1 December, he appeared at a rally for a series of legislative candidates and theyíre actually running under a ticket known as With President Andry Rajoelina. Either you have it or DPA (Department of Political Affairs) maybe could answer this. Does the UN believe that Mr. Rajoelina appearing at these rallies and running aÖ a ticket of his supporters is complying with the road map? And if not, is the UN electoral assistance, which was supposedly tied to complying with the road map, still in place for the 20 December election?

Spokesperson: Well, the road map is certainly the guiding principle here and Iíll check with the DPA to see whether they have any updates on both the UNís involvement in helping with the election process and its views on these latest developments. But, I donít have anything right now.

And so it goes at the UN. When the UN answers this, we'll have more to say. Watch this site.


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