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On UN Flying FDLR, Kobler & Dujarric Like Ladsous Still Won't Answer

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 1 -- Five days ago, Inner City Press reported Rwanda complained to the UN Security Council that UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous and his MONUSCO mission flew FDLR leader Gaston Iyamuremye / Rumuli Michel on UN aircraft even as Ladsous' travel waiver request was denied.

  This is a simple question about how public moneys were used by the UN - it is a yes or no question. But still it has not been answered.

  On June 27 Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric a simple factual question: did MONUSCO fly Rumuli around inside the DRC before any Security Council decision on Ladsous' request?

  This is a yes or no question, about the use of UN resources and money. But Dujarric did not answer it on June 27, and MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler did not answer it on June 28 or June 29.

  So on June 30 Inner City Press asked Dujarric again. He said, as he increasingly does, if he gets something on that, he'll pass it along. But that is UNacceptable. Did he even ASK Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping?

 On July 1, after covering the UN's Fifth (Budget) Committee negotiations in which Ladsous told Group of 77 members about $200 million in cuts including in Darfur, where his peacekeeping mission stands accused of under-reporting murders and attack, Inner City Press asked Dujarric again: did MONUSCO use UN resources to fly Rumuli around? 

  Dujarric again did not answer; he said, "If I have something on that, I will share it." Video here, from Minute 15:10. Has Dujarric even ASKED Ladsous' DPKO, to "have something" -- that is, an answer?

 These are public resources: the question will have to be answered.

  Defenders of Ladsous -- amazingly, they exist, usually for reasons that have nothing to do with Ladsous -- have emerged saying that if the request for a travel ban exception came from a group of special envoys whose precise line-up has yet to be disclosed, Ladsous is blameless.

  This ignores not only his 1994 role, but since he become UN Peacekeeping chief, his extraordinary refusal to answer Press questions. Video compilation here. Defenses of Ladsous from (some) in the Great Lakes and Belgium of his refusal to answer questions at the UN in New York are comical.

For now: it is undoubtedly newsworthy that the UN, or really France, chose to put at the helm of UN Peacekeeping in the Great Lakes a person who in 1994, in the Security Council, argued for the escape of genocidiares from Rwanda into Eastern Congo. Inner City Press story here; sample 1994 memo by Ladsous here.

  Ladsous' history has caused needless problems; when asked about it, rather than answering Ladsous has adopted a policy of refusing that and any related question.  Video compilation here.

  Now in the Congo Martin Kobler, who works for Ladsous, has not answered the simple question of flying Rumuli inside the DRC; instead MONUSCO tweets photos of Kobler singing in a choir in Kinshasa. Ladsous has turned the UN into a joke -- and it keeps getting worse.

  That the French government is in denial about its role in 1994 in the Rwanda genocide is one thing. But why aren't they told they have to appoint a chief of DPKO - a position they claim to own - without this pernicious baggage?

   A bare minimum: shouldn't this official at least have to answer questions?


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