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With UN Too Little, Too Late on Minova Rapes, Ladsous' Spin Triggers New Video in #LADSOUS2013

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 10, new video -- The UN under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon claims it won't support army units which engage in abuses like rape.

  But Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous three times refused to answer Press questions about the Congolese Army's 126 rapes in Minova: on November 27, December 7 and December 18, 2012. This gave rise to a first beta video, #LADSOUS2013.

  Ladsous' stonewalling also triggered Inner City Press questions to Ban Ki-moon himself, on December 19 and then on March 5.

  Apparently even the UN was unsatisfied with Ban's March 5 response.

  And so on March 7, Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations decided to brief some scribes -- NOT Inner City Press which had been asking the Minova questions -- about a letter DPKO sent on February 4 to the Congolese Army, urging prosecution of the Minova rapists.

  The stories that came out later on March 7, on Reuters, Agence France Presse, AP, BBC and Voice of America (if only in a Facebook post), did not mention why the briefing was given, nor who gave it, nor what the deadline is, nor which Congolese Army units were involved.

  On March 8, Inner City Press directly asked Ladsous which units, and what's the deadline? Ladsous refused to answer.

  At the day's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky the two questions -- neither was answered -- and asked about how the “information” was disseminated only to friendly scribes, while Nesirky had said Inner City Press would be informed.

  Nesirky said the dissemination had been by DPKO, and that he would provide the information when he had it. Tim Witcher of AFP and Michelle Nichols of Reuters then asked questions making clear how little they understood of the story, trying to save face. Too late.

  Today, as the expose moves forward, Inner City Press is publishing another short video in the #LADSOUS2013 series, here. It starts with Ban in the Security Council on March 5. We will have more on this. Watch this video -- and, watch this site.

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