Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In Surprise Answers, Ladsous Says UN Has Identified Most Minova Rapists, Cites Penal Code in Haiti

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 6, updated – On the 126 rapes by Congolese security forces in Minova in late November, new information emerged on Wednesday from an unlikely but welcome source: UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.

  Inner City Press asked Ladsous how the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy was being applied to the 126 rapes, and if the UN has continued to work for the past two months with units of the Congolese Army (FARDC) which were present in Minova during the rapes. Video here from Minute 27:28; transcript below.

   Ladsous replied that the “UN investigations have identified 126 cases of rape and in most cases, the identity of the perpetrators.”

  This is a major statement. But has the UN continued to work with them?

  Are those of whom Ladsous said the UN will “permanently... not work with them” limited to the line soldiers who committed the rapes, or the commanders of the units from which the rapists came?

  This question remains to be answered, hopefully soon. Ladsous went on to say, “it is for Congolese to prosecute them,” and he called the prosecutions so far “too few.”

  This should be addressed: of the eleven soldiers arrested so far by the South Kivu prosecutor, none was for the rapes in Minova in late November. The three charged with rapes involve unrelated incidents in December, two in Buganga, This must be followed up.

  So too must the impact and lessons of the introduction of cholera to Haiti, allegedly by the UN mission MINUSTAH though peacekeepers from areas of Nepal where cholera is endemic.

  Inner City Press asked Ladsous what safeguards have been implemented to try to prevent the UN from spreading deadly diseases in the future. As Inner City Press has previously noted, even UN Volunteers are subject to a battery of screening tests before being deployed.

  Ladsous' response, while appreciated, did not address any safeguards. Rather he recounted that the UN has “spent $180 million on clear water project” and mentioned Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's “initiative for the eradication of cholera in Hispanola, Haiti and Santo Domingo.”

  Referring to his January visit to Haiti, Ladsous noted for example that “the penal code has not changed since 1835.” He said “it is clear there are a number of processes that need to be speeded up.”

  This includes finding a replacement for now-gone Special Representative of the Secretary General Mariano Fernandez – a candidate Honore from Trinidad and Tobago was put forward by Ban but rejected, as exclusively reported by Inner City Press.

  Now Nigel Fisher, previously considered for a thematic (or “horizontal,” in Ladsous' parlance) post is the acting SRSG. But in the geo-political way in which the UN works, not only for the top post in Peacekeeping but also the SRSG posts, the Haiti job “belongs” to Latin America and the Caribbean. Watch this site.

Footnotes: Inner City Press prefaced the two questions by thanking Ladsous for his presence, on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access.

 Since December 2012, FUNCA has been raising the need for reforms including briefings and answers by all Under Secretaries General – not only Herve Ladsous, who in a process that began in May and we hope has now ended refused to answer Press questions, but also Jeffrey Feltman of Political Affairs.

  After Ladsous' briefing on Wednesday, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky announced that on Friday Feltman will be the guest at the noon briefing, his first sit-down press conference since assuming his post. FUNCA likes – but there is much more to do. Watch this site.

Update of 6:25 pm -- here is DPKO's transcript:

Question (Matthew Lee, Inner City Press): Sure, great. On behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, thanks for being here and I’m hoping to get this question answered and I’ll try to ask it as civilly as I can.

The rapes in Minova, the 126 rapes seemed to have taken place in late November. And although the Congolese authorities are investigating, it seems that none of the people arrested, people have been arrested even for rape but in other places and in other times. It’s unclear, I guess to some, which units of the FARDC were present at the time and whether, in these two months since, whether MONUSCO has continued to work with them. So I guess I’m just asking you to tie the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy to these two months and who may have been there.

And just one other question has to do with the cholera in Haiti which some attribute to MINUSTAH, inadvertently, possibly having brought it in. Have any reforms, or is there any thinking about trying to avoid spreading diseases in the future? Is anything learned from that? Thank you for taking the question.

USG Ladsous: On the first point, I think we are in a situation where our own UN investigations have identified 126 cases of rape and in most cases the identity of perpetrators. Clearly of course it is for the Congolese justice to - how do you say in English? - to sue them, to prosecute, thank you. Sorry for my poor English. That is what we are pushing for. But knowing the identity of those perpetrators of course they are identified and that is a thing to take permanently into consideration within the Due Diligence Policy. Meaning that these people, we will not accept to work with them. But I think what is necessary is really to continue and this we are doing, to call for actual prosecutions to happen on a more significant scale than the very few individual cases which have been launched so far.

On cholera, I would simply say that you have seen all that the UN has been doing over the last couple of years in helping address one of the issues which is the issue of very poor water sanitation in the country. We have done many quick impact projects, we have spent I believe $118 already, sorry, $118 million on projects related to clean water because that is what is crucially necessary. The Secretary-General also launched his initiative called the Eradication of Cholera in Hispaniola, that is to say both Haiti and Santo Domingo. And there will be a vaccination campaign for the groups who are at risk. So this is an issue which I think is being tackled by all those who want to help Haiti in those difficult circumstances.

Let me add that I was in Haiti in January to look at all the work that is being done by MINUSTAH. It is very clear that there are a number of processes which need to be speeded up in Haiti. In particular, the remaining elections, that is for the Senate, that is for the local elections. The Security Council did indeed make a presidential statement on this. It is essential that this be moved as fast as possible, because otherwise the legislative processes, all the number of reforms that need to be implemented in Haiti simply cannot be worked upon in that country and that is crucial. One example, the Penal Code which has not changed since 1835. Clearly there is a need to work and elections are necessary for that.

Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]