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ICC Convicts Katanga, Child Soldier Recuiter Kerim Still Free, Ladsous Stonewalls

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 -- After the International Criminal Court scaled back its charges against Germain Katanga, today it announced:

Germain Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri [Patriotic Force of Resistance in Ituri] (FRPI), was tried before Trial Chamber II, composed of Judges Bruno Cotte, Fatoumata Dembele Diarra and Christine Van den Wyngaert... In her dissenting opinion, Judge Van den Wyngaert challenges the change in the characterization of Germain Katanga’s mode of liability. She argues that the change in characterization rendered the trial unfair and breached the rights of the Defense, as it did not receive proper notification of the new charges and was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to conduct investigations in order to mount a defence against them.

  But if Katanga is guilty, even of lesser charges and with this dissent, why wasn't Peter Karim ever put on trial? For the FPRI he recruited child soldiers, and kidnapped (and killed) UN Peacekeepers.

  Then head of UN Peacekeeper Jean-Marie Guehenno knows or knew all about Kerim, who in exchange for releasing the UN Peacekeepers he didn't kill demanded such things as the return of his motorcycle and a slew of boots. Guehenno, back in the era before candor was banned in the UN, mused that Kerim might be on drugs.

  On camera, Guehenno told Inner City Press of Kerim / Karim, "I know he wanted to be a colonel... if he does become a colonel in the Congolese army, he will need a lot of training, let me say that."

  But he struck a deal in Congo itself, and moved into the Grand Hotel in Kinsasha. The ICC became a tool of Joseph Kabila against his enemies.

  And the UN? Has it gotten better on child soldiers since it looked the other way on the Peter Kerim (non) case? Guehenno's successor twice removed, Herve Ladsous, on March 6 refused to answer an Inner City Press question about child soldiers.

  Under Ladsous, UN Peacekeeper has incorporated into its Mali Mission a UN-listed recruiter of child soldiers, and is about to do it again in the Central African Republic.

  Ladsous may cook the books, so to speak, and pragmatically get them delisted. But it is not credible, including because no questions are taken about it.

  Nor has Ladsous explained his meeting in July 2013 with ICC-indictee Omar al Bashir, which Inner City Press asked ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda about, click here for that.

  Now Ladsous' DPKO in South Sudan has been caught driving guns, by road, in white UN trucks. Where's the accountability?

   Here is UK coverage of how low Ladsous has taken UN Peacekeeping. His new spokesperson Nick Birnback, who used to work for Guehenno, has adopted the circus-like stonewalling of his predecessor, Kieran Dwyer.

  Dwyer now runs communications for OCHA, the UN's humanitarian arm. Click here for a video of Ladsous refusing questions about the 100 rapes in Minova by the UN's partners in the Congolese Army, and Dwyer's rationalization.

  This is today's UN. Watch this site.


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