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As IMF Stops $240M DRC Loan for Opacity, UN Stonewalls, Waits for Drones

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 31 -- The UN has been in the Democratic Republic of Congo for well over a decade, back to Dag Hammarskjold, in fact. And what has come of it?

   On Thursday Inner City Press posed Congo questions to the UN in New York, after the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

   During the IMF's embargoed morning briefing, Inner City Press asked about the IMF's freezing of $240 million in loans to the lack of transparency in the mining industry, which involves ENRC, Glencore and, of course, Freeport-McMoRan.

   An IMF spokesperson responded, before 11 am, "Hi Matthew, On your DRC question, the ECF arrangement expired on December 10, 2012... it was not extended as requested by the authorities because published information related to the transfer of mineral assets by a state-owned enterprise, which was considered necessary to complete the review, was deemed insufficient by the IMF."

   Then at the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked about the UN's and now the DRC's delayed investigation into 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army in November. UN deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey would not explain by UN Peacekeeping chief Ladsous' statement that the probe would be finished in January is not being abided with. Video here, from Minute 6:54.

   But from what spokesman Del Buey said, it's again clear the UN is relying on and supporting Congo's government, no matter what. Inner City Press asked about two new leaked e-mails from inside MONUSCO, about its patrols on the Rwanda border.

   Del Buey said the UN would not comment on documents "that may or may not have been leaked" to Inner City Press -- despite the UN's MONUSCO mission just the day previous saying that the Press should check with the UN about such documents.  Video here at Minute 13:34. Transparency, anyone?

  Would the IMF lend to its UN family (dysfunctional) sibling UN Secretariat and Department of Peacekeeping Operations?

  Nor, five hours after the briefing, has Del Buey explained why Ladsous' supposedly urgent drone request will not be opened until the second part of March.

   Inner City Press put the same drone question, and one about the failure in Addis Ababa of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's DRC framework, to outgoing Security Council president Masood Khan on Thursday afternoon.  Video here, from Minute 7:27.

  He called the differences in Addis "procedural," and deferred on the drone question. But at least he answered, all month, unlike Ladsous.  For the six minute beta #LADSOUS2013 video, click here. Watch this site.

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