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Ladsous Says Syria Opposition Trains Salafists, Won't Answer on Congo Army Rapes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 -- When the UN on December 3 announced it was pulling non essential staff out of Syria and suspending missions, many media linked this to a separate story of the day on chemical weapons.

  But UN sources told Inner City Press to "check with the Austrians and Croatians," whose personnel in the UNDOF mission had come under attack.

  Now sometimes reclusive UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has surfaced, where else, in Paris in his native France, saying of two shot Austrians, "certain countries are concerned. We will reinforce security, most notably with armored vehicles and we plan to send more political advisers to analyze the situation on the ground."

   Whether UN "political advisers" is the solution that Troop Contributing Countries are asking for is unclear.

  On November 30 the peacekeeping advisor of a major TCC told Inner City Press, "Ladsous is the worst head of DPKO we've ever had, even the French think so." He added, "Le Roy was a king by comparison," referring to Ladsous' predecessor Alain Le Roy who was the third of now four Frenchmen in a row to be given the UN post.

When Ladsous moved to pull UN observers out of Syria this past summer, many saw it as him doing the bidding of France.

  But now in fairness, Ladsous in Paris went on to veer from the Hollande administration narrative, saying that "the situation in Syria sparked a cascade of insecurity which has had consequences highlighted by the presence of armed groups belonging to the Syrian opposition in the disengagement zones ... There are people being trained that appear a lot like (hardline Muslim) Salafists."

  Is Ladsous veering to address the mounting criticism of him? Click here for video of Ladsous' last stakeout inside the UN in New York, where he refused to answer Press questions about rapes in Minova, DRC while the Congolese Army retreated there.

   If even outside of the UN Ladsous won't disclose which Congolese Army units were there, nor which units his MONUSCO mission works with, how can the UN's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy be assessed? Reviews, if not assessments, are coming in. Watch this site.

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