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Congo Tour by Ladsous Triggers Questions by Uganda, on Mai Mai & Safeguards

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18 -- During top UN Peacekeeper Herve Ladsous' little reported trip to the Great Lakes region, Uganda's foreign minister Henry Okello Oryem told reporters 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."

  One would expect Ladsous to have to address this criticism of one of the largest missions under his command, during consultations with the Security Council Tuesday afternoon and with the press afterward.

  But when Ladsous emerged before his briefing from the first session of the 67th UN General Assembly, he walked alone. Finally he struck up a conversation with a Permanent Representative -- not from the region, but from former colonial power Belgium.

  There are other questions for Ladsous. Why did MONUSCO fly Congolese officials to meet with Mai Mai militia, who said afterward it was an attempt to recruit them to fight the M23 mutineers? What was the body count when MONUSCO used helicopter gunships and rockets in North Kivu?

  Ladsous since May has said he will not answer Press questions such as these. This began after unanswered questions about his proposal that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations use drones. Who would get the information? All 193 member states? Only the 15 Security Council members? Only the Permanent Five? Only France? The questions have yet to be answered. Watch this site.

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