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Ladsous Refuses to Answer on Militia or "Lost Faith" in DPKO Under His Watch

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18 -- After the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission under his command assisted a meeting to recruit one militia to fight another in the Congo, the UN's Herve Ladsous openly refused to answer any questions about it.

  Ladsous, in fact, pretended that the question was not asked, saying even as the question was being asked, "No other questions?" Video here, from Minute 5:06. Afterward another UN official said Ladsous' too-ample paychecks should be cut.

   "If he can't answer questions about the peacekeeping missions he supervises he should go," the official said. "He's obviously not cut out for this."

   Minutes before Ladsous' stakeout where he selected only the questions he liked, Inner City Press put a MONUSCO question to Peter Wittig, this month's Security Council president. Wittig, who it should be noted is NOT paid by the UN, took and answered the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (thus, Ladsous) question, as he had a question on Yemen by Inner City Press earlier in the day.

   About the Congo peacekeeping mission overseen by Ladsous, Uganda's foreign minister Henry Okello Oryem told reporters, during Ladsous' uninspiring trip, that the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region "has lost faith in MONUSCO [the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo]. If it was doing its job with its large numbers and budget, - I don't think we would still have the crisis in the DRC today."

  When Inner City Press asked about this (video here from Minute 3:43) Wittig answered diplomatically that the engagement of neighboring countries is welcome:

"We take note of the engagement of the region -- which is something positive and the International Conference of the Great Lake Region has been engaging in that crises. And that a priori is a very positive development. We also take note of their suggestion -- that has been mentioned today -- to explore the possibility of a neutral force. That, of course, has to be discussed when the time comes. But I think all of us welcome regional engagement that helps to solve that crisis in the DRC."

   A substantive response should come from Ladsous, who is paid to oversee and answer for MONUSCO, one of the largest missions placed, however unwisely, under his command. But it did not. Ladsous' usual spokesman Kieran Dwyer, seen earlier in the afternoon, was not the one Tuesday playing m.c. at Le Show de Herve Ladsous: it was a different spokesman. What type of spokesperson goes along with this? More importantly, what type of "public" organization accepts and enables this?

   We are compelled to repeat: when he was France's Deputy Permanent Representative in the UN Security Council in 1994, he defended the Rwanda genocidaires.

   This, along with questions about statement concerning Aristide leaving Haiti and setting up flights for Michele Aliot-Marie on planes of cronies of Tunisia dictator Ben Ali were put to Ladsous when he took the DPKO job, and he could have answered them. But he refused.  Perhaps he thinks the UN is a privately owned company. Perhaps that is where he should work.

   There are other Congo questions for Ladsous. What was the body count when MONUSCO used helicopter gunships and rockets in North Kivu?

   Ladsous since May-- why it was May is another story -- has said he will not answer Press questions such as these. While this goes back to Inner City Press' factual reporting on how Ladsous was switched for prior nominee Jerome Bonafont, it became Ladsous' "policy" after unanswered questions about his proposal that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations use drones.

  Who would get the information gathered by Ladsous' drones? All 193 member states? Only the 15 Security Council members? Only the Permanent Five? Only France? The questions have yet to be answered.

  What does it say about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that this is his chief of peacekeeping, that he allows this? Watch this site.

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