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UN Was Asked of Ladsous Knowledge of Kidnaps, He Spins to Reuters

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 -- How lame has UN Peacekeeping become? Questions are publicly asked, about the more and more evident lack of credibility of Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous and are and not answered. Then DPKO tries to spoon-feed information to scribes like Reuters who don't ask any questions.

At the UN noon briefing on May 16, only Inner City Press asked about the agency, led by Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to hold the position:

Inner City Press: on this issue that arose yesterday in the debate on the Syria resolution in the General Assembly, where Ambassador Jaíafari of Syria held up an e-mail which he says is from a staff person in Damascus, to high up in DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations], is what he said, stating that the Syrian opposition ambassador 'in Doha was involved in some way in the kidnapping of UN peacekeepers.' Is there any UN response? It seems like it is a very serious charge. I understand you canít reopen the negotiation, but do you deny that the UN is aware that the Syrian ambassador in Doha was part of the kidnapping?

Deputy Spokesperson: Matthew, we donít comment on leaked documents.

Inner City Press: Forget that he waved the e-mail. I am asking you, is it the UNís understanding that the Syrian opposition thatís named in the resolution adopted yesterday was involved in the kidnapping of UN peacekeepers?

Deputy Spokesperson: Matthew, we are not going to comment on the modalities of the negotiations that took place for obvious reasons.

  Then after yet more peacekeepers were grabbed, rather than even put out an e-mail announcement, Ladsous summoned a group of friendly journalists, who typed up what he said without any context at all.

  Reuters' Michelle Nichols, for example, typed up quotes from Ladsous without any mention of what happened in the GA Hall the day before, and said Fiji would replace the fleeing peacekeepers, according to unnamed diplomats.

   With all due respect to Fiji, it was barred by Kofi Annan from contributing troops due to its coup d'etat. The reason it would step in now would be to put that behind. To not include that in a story is just lazy, ignorant, or worse.

  But this is what Ladsous, and now apparently the UN he is corrupting, is looking for. It so ill-serves even the troop contributing countries that by them Ladsous is called a loser. And what are the scribes who serve him? Watch this site.

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