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ICC “Not In” UNSC Statement for Rwanda's Debate, Ladsous in the Mix

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- The fight in the UN Security Council over whether to include a reference to the International Criminal Court in the Presidential Statement for today's Rwanda-sponsored debate on Africa continued even after the debate was supposed to begin.

  From 10 to 10:25 am, members were in closed door consultations about the hardball push by France and other to include the ICC in Rwanda's draft statement.

  The irony was that it was France which pushed into the UN, as the fourth Frenchman to head UN Peacekeeping in a row, Herve Ladsous who during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 argued in favor of the genocidaires escaping into Eastern Congo. See Inner City Press' April 13 article, here.

  Ladsous showed up for the meeting. He has refused to answer Inner City Press questions about his four months of inaction on the 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, his partners.

  When Rwanda's delegation came in, Inner City Press first asked Permanent Representative Eugene Richard Gasana if the ICC would be in the Presidential Statement. “We'll see in a minute,” he replied.

  Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo greeted Inner City Press and said with a smile, “We're ready.”

  The 15 members of the Council, rather than going into the Chamber to start the debate, went into closed door consultations. A Western member's legal adviser came out, holding a page with a single paragraph on it, reading it into his cell phone. (Inner City Press did not report the contents.)

  At 10:25 am, the Council members came out. Member after member, on both sides of the issue, told Inner City Press that the words International Criminal Court are not in.

  The representative of a country which opposed its inclusion smiled and told Inner City Press, “It's out!” A supporter said, the idea is still in. Watch this site.

Footnote: Soon after the debate began, Ladsous left. Inner City Press asked him to name the units of the Congolese Army which were involved in the Minova rapes. He refused.

  Sure it's unacceptable. But is Ladsous, now that his record and lack of transparency are being exposed, a liability not only for the UN but for the cause of international justice, or at least the ICC? Watch this site.

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