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UN Slow in S. Sudan, Has Nothing on Nepali Death in Lebanon, What's Wrong?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 20, updated May 21 -- What's wrong with UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous? The press in Nepal is full of stories about a Nepali soldier who died -- or was "martyred" -- on May 16 serving Ladsous' UNIFIL in Lebanon.

  But nothing was announced. Last week Ladsous "announced" the news of the third kidnapping of peacekeepers in the Golan Heights in a conversation with a few hand-picked friendly journalists. Now, the death of a peacekeeper is not even announced in that fashion.

  At the May 20 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked about the death of the Nepali peacekeeper, identified as Deepak Thapa Magar. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduard Del Buey said he didn't have any information about the death -- that is, DPKO had not provided Ban's spokesperson's office even with an if-asked about the death.

  Last week Del Buey answered a question about Ladsous' strange and selective mode of releasing information only to journalists friendly to him by saying "Ask DPKO." So Inner City Press did ask DPKO, three days ago -- and the question, at least the one that Del Buey said should be put to DPKO, has still not been answered. Here's video from the May 20 briefing.

  The problem is wide-spread. Also on May 20, Inner City Press asked what Ladsous' mission in South Sudan has been doing while the town of Boma was overrun and deserted. (This question was also twice tweeted at the UN Peacekeeping "social" media account over the weekend, without response).

  Del Buey replied that UNMISS "as soon as conditions allow" will be sending an assessment mission to assess the need to protect civilians. But civilians already had to flee.

  As we asked, and will continue to ask: what is WRONG with UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous? Watch this site.

Update of May 21: the next day, more than 19 hours after it was asked, this: "Regarding your question on a peacekeeper of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) who died recently, UNIFIL reports that a peacekeeper from Nepal died on 16 May, after collapsing while on duty. A post-mortem was conducted on 17 May."

  Again, what is WRONG with UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous? Watch this site.

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