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After Ban's Ladsous Won't Reply on DRC Rapes, Ban's Spox Calls It "Personal"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 29 -- When Herve Ladsous, the chief of UN Peacekeeping, held a press conference on Wednesday, Inner City Press asked him for an update on the mass rape of 135 women in Minova in Eastern Congo, committee by the UN's partners in the 41st and 391st Battalions of the Congolese Army. Video here. And embedded below.

Ladsous, who covered up the rapes by repeatedly refusing to answer any questions or provide any information about them in response to Inner City Press questions starting in November 2012, on May 29 the Day of the Peacekeeper said to Inner City Press, on camera, "You know I do not respond to you."

Inner City Press suggested to Ladsous that he pretend the question was asked by someone else, and provided an update, since it is an important issue for UN Peacekeeping. But he did not. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey turned to another journalist, who did not ask about the mass rapes in Minova.

At the noon briefing after Ladsous left, Inner City Press asked Del Buey if Ban Ki-moon finds Ladsous' refusal to answer particular media's questions acceptable.

Del Buey said he wouldn't get involved in "personal issues."

But it's not personal, Inner City Press responded. What if Ladsous openly refused to answer any questions about, for example, Haiti? There, Inner City Press also asked, MSF has found the UN's vaunted cholera response, ostensibly making up for the lawless dismissal of the legal claim of victims of the UN having brought cholera to the island: what does the UN say? The UN believes itself.

Del Buey ended the briefing. Later when Ban Ki-moon did a rare question and answer stakeout at the UN in New York, he said he would focus on Africa. But the two questions Del Buey selected were about Syria. Inner City Press said, what about DRC? Ban to his credit paused, and Inner City PRess managed to ask about DRC - watch this site.

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