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On Rwanda 1994, New Cables Show Ladsous "Wryly Noting," Now Stonewalling

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 3, 2014 -- Newly released cables about Rwanda in 1994 from (some) members of the UN Security Council have a direct connection to today's UN.

  A June 1994 US cable, including "to NSC for Rice and Steinberg," recounts that "the French Deputy PR wryly noted that, once in Rwanda, it would become France's highest priority to ensure that others made available the troops that would allow France to depart." Click here for just released document.

  The "French Deputy" Permanent Representative to the UN during the Rwanda genocide was Herve Ladsous -- now the head of UN Peacekeeping, even as it "welcomes" and mischaracterizes a false surrender of the Hutu FDLR militia rather than "neutralizing" them.

   Inner City Press has previously reported, with documents, on Ladsous' role during the Rwanda genocide, for example publishing this cable by Ladsous himself. (The set just released has New Zealand, for example, but not France.)

  After that, Ladsous began refusing to answer Inner City Press' questions. This continued on May 29, 2014, on questions about rapes by the Congolese Army and UN drones solicited for Mali, here.

Background: On April 7, 2014, the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, Ladsous openly refused to answer Inner City Press' question about when MONUSCO will belatedly go after the Hutu FDLR militia, saying "Mister, you know I never answer your questions and you know very well why." Video here.

Why, then? Ladsous was France's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide, and he argued for French policies including the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo. See sample memo, here.

Ladsous would certainly like that 1994 memo to disappear - in fact, by refusing to answer Press questions he tries to disappear the issue. But consider this:

On the old MONUC missions website,, was this about former UN staffer Callixte Mbarushimana:

"Callixte Mbarushimana in Paris

"The serious and consistent allegations against Callixte Mbarushimana, the executive secretary of the FDLR, have been a source of considerable embarrassment for the UN for many years. After the evacuation of foreign staff, the 44-year-old computer technician appointed himself as Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda, from 10 April to 4 July 1994. He is accused by dozens of witnesses, including former colleagues, militiamen and local administrators, of used his position, and the resources, of the UNDP, to advance the policy of massacres, including the murder of Tutsis who worked for the UNDP. Dressed in military fatigues, armed with a gun and carrying grenades in his belt, witnesses say that he lent the vehicles and satellite telephones of the UNDP to militaryofficers, that he also used the UNDP vehicles to facilitate his own contribution to the killings."

On a previous April 7, Inner City Press had written about Mbarushimana, citing and linking to

  But attempting it on April 7, 2014 it emerged that the UN has not only abandoned the website of its largest and longest running peacekeeping mission - it has allowed a for profit company to take it over. So much for preserving memory. Under Ladsous, the goal seems to be to censor or disappear memory.

Also in Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping there is a process of not speaking in the first place. At the event on April 7, 2014 where Ladsous refused to answer, Inner City Press also asked why for example Ladsous' Western Sahara mission MINURSO has no social media presence. It is listed at the bottom of UN Peacekeeping's website as a "missions with no social media presence."

The answer given -- not by Ladsous, who refuses Inner City Press questions -- is that for some missions, countries do no give permission for certain equipment or, apparently, Twitter accounts. But who could it be, banning MINURSO in Western Sahara from social media?

Ladsous tries to spoonfeed information to friendly scribes; in his favor first the UN Correspondents Association (requested by Agence France Presse) then the current spokesperson of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have made threats to discourage coverage. There's more on this - but this is today's video, here; this is today's UN. Watch this site.


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