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Ladsous Won't Say If UN to Defend Bukavu, Was Rejected to Head DPKO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 21 -- After UN Peacekeeping did nothing as the M23 mutineers it calls so brutal took over first Goma, then Sake, and prospectively Bukavu, it seems certain that Herve Ladsous the chief of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would be asked and have to answer, "Would the UN defend Bukavu?"

  But when Ladsous came out to the Security Council stakeout early Wednesday afternoon, he refused to answer the question.

  His spokesman Kieran Dwyer, who has previously tried at Ladsous' behest to order censorship, this time called repeatedly for the UN microphone to be given to a French reporter. Video here, at Minute 11:50.

   No one else asked Ladsous the question, which is most directly his responsibility because of protests and threats against the people under his control who are in Bukavu, as in Bunia and Kisangani.

   So Inner City Press asked the question, and each time Ladsous looked the other way. Video here, at Minute 10:13, 13:25 and especially 11:50.

   Afterward several Security Council diplomats shook that heads, one calling Ladsous' performance "unacceptable." But this is the UN -- France OWNS UN Peacekeeping, having appointed the last four chiefs in a row.

   The problem this time is that the selected and vetted Frenchman Jerome Bonnafront was, due to bragging in India, nixed at the last moment, as exclusively reported by Inner City Press. And so Ladsous was put in without review, and has tried to erase this history ever since.

  But there's more.

   Inner City Press has been told by a well placed source in the Secretariat at the time that Herve Ladsous was previously REJECTED for the post that Ban Ki-moon ended up letting him have, since it was "France's decision."

    All of this could have been addressed and answered early in Ladsous' tenure. But Ladsous immediately refused to answer any questions, including about his time as France's Deputy Permanent Representative during the Rwanda genocide in 1994, supporting the genocidaire government.

   Now, emboldened by other anti-press freedom moves in the UN, Ladsous has adopted a policy of not taking questions from questioners whose coverage he doesn't like. As one wag put it, it's a small taste of North Korea in Ban Ki-moon's UN. How is it acceptable? Watch this site.

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