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In Golan, UNSC Cites "SC-Designated Terrorist Groups," While DPKO Silent

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 30 -- Two day after the nationalities and details of the peacekeepers detained and restricted in the Golan Heights were first published here, but while the UN still refused to say who was detaining and restricting them, the UN Security Council at 5:21 pm on August 30 put out this Press Statement which narrowed it down:

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned continued attacks today on United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) positions in the Golan Heights.  They reiterated their strong condemnation of the ongoing detention of 44 Fijian peacekeepers from position 27, as well as the surrounding of position 68, where Security Council-designated terrorist groups and non-state armed actors continue to trap 40 Filipino peacekeepers.  The members demanded the immediate and unconditional release of these peacekeepers, as well as their safe passage.

"The members of the Security Council welcomed news that 32 Filipino peacekeepers from position 69 were extricated to safety.   They insisted that UNDOF’s mandate, impartiality, operations, safety, and security must be respected.  They called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel.  They also called upon countries with influence to strongly convey to those responsible in the UNDOF area of operation to immediately release the peacekeepers. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unconditional support for UNDOF."

   The UN Security Council cites "SC-designated terrorist groups" soon after their resolution on ISIL and Al Nusra; the Al Qaida sanctions committee maintains a list.

   On August 15 the Security Council added to its terrorist designations individuals in the Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIL or the Islamic State  has been listed since October, 2011.

 And "non-state armed actors"? A previous grabbing of Golan peacekeepers, not followed up by UN Peacekeeping's Ladsous, involved the Al-Yarmouk Brigades. Now it's time to name names, something that UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous has for too long refused to do.

  Kidnapped for their own good has also been a line UN Peacekeeping has used. Now some are under fire - but the UN won't say by whom.

  On August 29 the US said Vice President Biden

"spoke with President Aquino of the Philippines today to express U.S. support for the Filipino peacekeepers currently surrounded by armed non-state groups in the Golan Heights.  The two leaders discussed their shared interest in strengthening UN peacekeeping operations.  The Vice President praised the commitment of the Philippines over many years to UN peacekeeping missions, including in Liberia, where the support of the international community remains critical to addressing the Ebola outbreak.  The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to a strong bilateral alliance."

   If they really want to "strengthen UN peacekeeping operations," they should take a look at the top, and what was done (or wasn't) after previous attacks on peacekeepers in the Golan -- and refusal to answer questions about human rights abuses by UN Peacekeeping's partners.

 On August 28 after the UN belated announced that “forty-three peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were detained early this morning an armed group in the vicinity of Al Qunaytirah.. in addition, another eighty-one UNDOF peacekeepers are currently being restricted to their positions in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah,” Inner City Press began looking into it.

And hour an half later, Inner City Press understands that Syria's Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari met with UN Peacekeeping. Chief Herve Ladsous, who previously did little to nothing when Filipino peacekeepers were taken hostage, was not present. So Ja'fari met with Edmond Mulet, whom Inner City Press then witnessed going into the Security Council at 11:30 am.

Inner City Press was informed on the record by Syrian Ambassador Ja'afari that the 43 peacekeepers detained are from Fiji, and that those “restricted” are from the Philippines. This comes after Filipino leadership already said it plans to pull its troops out both the Golan Heights and Liberia. Now what?

The UN has confirmed "Fiji and Philippines," but only anonymously, initially to scribes. This is Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping.


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