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In UNSC, Ladsous' Drones Questioned by 5, on Who Gets Info, Tendering, ICAO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 8 -- When the UN's use of drones was proposed to the Security Council Tuesday by Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, many focused on Rwanda being opposed.

  It was an easy if mechanical plot line: the UN wants to assess cross border arms flows, but Rwanda wants to hide them.

   But inside the Security Council's closed door meeting, Rwanda was far from the only member raising questions.

As Inner City Press first reported in March when Ladsous proposed drones to the UN's C-34, there are doubts about which member states would get the information, and if Ladsous as the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping had already chosen the French company Thales as the provider.

   Tuesday, sources exclusively tell Inner City Press, not only Russia (through co-Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev) and China but also Azerbaijan and Guatemala, both through their Permanent Representatives, expressed concern about Ladsous' proposed used of drones.

   The concerns ranged from the control of information -- that is, who would get it -- to compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization rules. And, as Inner City Press first reported, concerns were again expressed about the tender process.

  Which company would Ladsous select? Thales?

Therefore while certainly Ladsous, who has repeatedly refused Inner City Press questions about drones and his failure to act on 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, his partners, would like to portray the opposition as mostly coming from Rwanda, that is not the case.

   More people are taking note that Ladsous was France's Deputy Permanent Representative in the UN Security Council during the Rwanda genocide in 1994, and argued to support the escape of the Hutu genocidaires into Eastern Congo.

  Now Ladsous wants to return with drones. But he has run into opposition, more widespread than most report it.

 Agence France-Presse, quoting Ladsous, focused on Rwanda's opposition. AFP and Ladsous have previously worked together. In fact, Ladsous has served on one of AFP's boards.

  Reuters' Lou Charbonneau went further, putting Rwanda and its opposition as the first words in the Reuters headline, here.

  Charbonneau and AFP's Tim Witcher previously withdrew into the hall with Ladsous from the stakeout where Ladsous refused Press questions about the rapes in Minova, video here.

   Speaking in favor of drones on Tuesday were, not surprisingly, France though Permanent Representative Gerard Araud, and his counterpart from Luxembourg. Major drone user the United States supported the proposal, through Ambassador Jeffrey de Laurentis.

  But with the questions raised by Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Rwanda and Guatemala, some view this as another failed proposal by Herve Ladsous, following his peacekeepers' failure in Goma, his cover up of his partners' rapes in Minova, and of his mission's introduction of cholera into Haiti.

   What's next for the man some call Herve "The Drone" Ladsous? Watch this site.

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