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Ladsous Bases Non-Answers on "Insults," Drones & Rwanda, Haiti to Ben Ali

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 22 -- When top UN Peacekeeper Herve Ladsous was asked two questions on Sudan by Inner City Press on Monday, his only reply was, "Mister I told you already that I would answer your questions when you stop making insulting insinuations about me." Video here, at Minute 26:22.

 There was no insinuation in the questions Inner City Press asked, which concerned a deadly attack on UNAMID peacekeepers in Darfur, and whether Ladsous' peacekeepers in their logistics base in Southern Kordofan are able to at least observe and report on human rights violations. Video here, from Minute 25:40.

  So Ladsous must be referring to some earlier "insulting insinuation" which he didn't specify, and which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky, when asked to confirm that Ladsous is conditioning answers on receiving positive coverage, could not or would not specify.

   What could these "insulting insinuations" be?

  In March 2012, Inner City Press exclusively reported that Ladsous had proposed DPKO use of drones to the General Assembly's C-34 committee on peacekeeping, a proposal that a number of delegations criticized to Inner City Press.

  Does Ladsous not answer member states "insulting" questions about drones?

  Back on September 2, 2011 Inner City Press first reported on Ladsous as replacement DPKO chief:

After leaving the UN's top peacekeeping job vacant for four weeks, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday as expected named a Frenchman to the post, but not the Frenchman who had been bragging that he had the job, Jerome Bonnafont.

   Inner City Press had been the first to name Bonnafont, and quoted Indian diplomats to whom Bonnafont bragged he had the job... On August 20,Inner City Press published a card of congratulation directed to Bonnafont at the UN in New York from French Senator Jean-Marie Bockel.

  But at Friday's noon briefing, the name read out was Herve Ladsous. Inner City Press asked Ban's new deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey to describe the selection process, and whether any of the finalists had not been French. His answer was general, that all UN selections like the one through which he got his job are transparent.

  But the top peacekeeping job, and most Under Secretary General jobs, are different. Kofi Annan "gave" DPKO to France as part of being Secretary General. From Jean-Marie Guehenno the post went to Alain Le Roy and now to the fourth Frenchman in a row.

   Owning UN Peacekeeping is useful to France: just this week in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy bragged of his country's military action in Cote d'Ivoire as well as Libya. As reflected in documents exclusively obtained and published by Inner City Press, France has no problem using DPKO to advance its economic interests, click here for examples.

  Who is Herve Ladsous?

   On October 13, 2011, Ladsous refused to answer Inner City Press' questions about, among other things, his time and statements as French Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide in 1994, his statement on removing Aristide from Haiti, and having arranged the flights of disgraced French foreign minister Michele Aliot-Marie on airplanes owned by cronies of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali.

   In March 2012, after Inner City Press exclusively reported that Ladsous had proposed DPKO use of drones to the C-34, it was confirmed, but Ladsous was then allowed to dodge questions about it.

  On May 29, 2012, emboldened, Ladsous announced on UN TV that he would not answer any Inner City Press questions, including that day's on Haiti cholera and accepting a Sri Lankan alleged war criminal as an advisor due to previously "insults" -- seemingly, those above. He had since refused to answer short, polite questions ranging from Abyei (video) to Lebanon, mercentaries and the Democratic Repubilc of the Congo to, on October 22, Darfur.

   As Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Nesirky, is this appropriate? For a UN official getting paid -- tax free -- with public taxpayer money? This is Ban's UN's freedom of the press? Watch this site.

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