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On Western Sahara, Cables Show Ladsous Undercutting MINURSO on Human Rights

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 5, updated -- Document leaks from inside the UN have identified improper service of Morocco, on the question of Western Sahara, by a staffer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Anders Kompass.

  Inner City Press has waited to report on them; the spokesperson for the High Commissioner has today said his office is aware the leaked cables, which contain the perspective of certain diplomats, and that the situation is being investigated to clarify the facts.

  Whatever the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, now under Jordan's Prince Zeid, does about the content of the leaks, more will be required in the UN Secretariat in New York -- particularly at the top of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which runs the MINURSO mission in Western Sahara.

  The cables show that Herve Ladsous, a long-time French diplomat now the boss of DPKO and thus of MINURSO, was flacking for Morocco on the supposed quality of its human rights mechanisms. This directly undercuts the MINURSO mission, for which Ladsous is supposed to be working.

  African Union members of the Security Council, from Uganda to South Africa to Nigeria, have demanded that MINURSO have the same type of human rights monitoring mechanism as the UN Peacekeeping missions in the DR Congo, Mali and Central African Republic.

  Now Ladsous is exposed undermining extending this to Western Sahara -- the policy of his country, France, but undercutting DPKO.

  During General Assembly debate week in September 2014, Ladsous refused to answer Press questions and ended up blocking the Press' camera, Vine here.

  This is a scandal. And since Ladsous had refused to answer Press questions, about rapes by his mission's partners in the DRC, about DPKO bringing cholera to Haiti, about under-reporting attacks on civilians and even peacekeepers in Darfur and now Central African Republic, it is time for the question to be asked.

Update: on November 6, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about this, video here.

  Immediately after the briefing, Inner City Press emailed Dujarric the cable it had asked about. Watch this site.


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