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NYT on Darfur Failure of UNAMID Omits Call for Ladsous' Ouster

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 25, more here -- Amid the cover up of rapes in DR Congo and now in Darfur by UN Peacekeeping, whose chief Herve Ladsous met with Sudan's International Criminal Court - indicted president Omar al Bashir without ever explaining why, 123 non-governmental organizations and human rights experts and activists have called for Ladsous to be fired. Ladsous video here, Vine here.

  Therefore it is amazing that the "paper of record" can write about UN Peacekeeping in Darfur, and even quote Ladsous (who had not even tried to hold any open UNHQ Q&A since September, when he blocked the Press' camera and canceled) -- without mentioning this or the letter from the 123 NGOs and experts asking that Ladsous by fired for under-performance in Darfur.

 It is reported:

“The heart of the matter for us remains the protection of civilians affected by the conflict and ensuring that any drawdown does not have a negative impact on this critical task,” said the United Nations’ under secretary general for peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous. “My sense is that while we have by no means been perfect in this regard, without us many, many more would have been killed, displaced, put in harm’s way.”

  What about the calls to fire Ladsous?  Inner City Press has obtained the letter and published it.

  At the UN's December 22 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric to confirm receiving and then provide responsive comment on the letter. Video here, including sample Ladsous "walk away" on April 23, 2014 about his cover up in South Sudan.

   This follows UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon taking no questions about Darfur or Sudan during his December 17 press conference (at which, as noted by the Free UN Coalition for Access, Ban seemed to have the content of questions in advance.) Nor did Ban answer Inner City Press' request for an update at the Darfur rapes at the end of his December 22 media stake-out.

  The letter is copied to the presidents / prime minister, foreign ministers and UN ambassadors of the US, UK and France. How will they respond, particularly France which installed Ladsous atop UN Peacekeeping after their first selection, Jerome Bonnafont, was rejected at the last minute by the UN? And how might this new outspokenness of NGOs impact attempts to install Andrew Lansley atop the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs?

  The letter says, "The result has been a vastly expensive and discredited UN mission, led by Herve Ladsous, who consistently and deliberately diminishes the scale of the conflict in Darfur, thereby enabling Khartoum’s crimes to flourish, whilst the international community congratulates itself on improved circumstances in Darfur."

  The letter's final paragraph begins, "At the very least Herve Ladsous should not continue his role at the UN DPKO."


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