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On Kidnappings, Ja'afari Told Ladsous To Investigate, Secretariat "Is Involved"

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, May 17 -- After more peacekeepers were kidnapped in the Golan Heights but before the UN announced it Friday morning, UN official Herve Ladsous on Thursday had a "conversation" not only with hand-picked non-critical journalists, but also with Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari.

Inner City Press spoke with Ja'afari exclusively on Friday morning and got his read-out of his meeting with Ladsous.

  But before publishing this story, Inner City Press asked Ladsous's Department of Peacekeeping Operations twice for its side, and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey, who refused to answer. Video here.

  While Ladsous is almost pathologically adverse to answering Press questions -- video here -- the defensiveness of the UN Secretariat, according to Ja'afari, springs from the fact that in the kidnappings, "some people are involved in the Secretariat... it's a big scandal."

  Ja'afari told Inner City Press that when he met with Ladsous on May 16, Ladsous "tried not to give the impression he is aware of what I said, but he is."

  What Ja'afari said, in the General Assembly on May 15, was that e-mail shows that the UN was aware of the involvement of Doha, Qatar in the kidnappings, including a planning role of the Syrian opposition "ambassador" to whom Qatar has given Syria's embassy.

Ja'afari told Inner City Press that this went up to the "high level of DPKO." Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Del Buey about this at the May 16 noon briefing, but has yet to get an answer.

Inner City Press asked DPKO in writing one last time, after Del Buey refused on camera, here, to provide its own read out of Ladsous' meeting with Ja'afari. DPKO replied, "Regarding the read-out of USG Ladsous’ meeting with Syria’s Permanent Representative, DPKO does not provide read outs of the USGs meetings."

Ja'afari told Inner City Press that at his May 16 meeting with Ladsous, "I insisted on him to investigate, I told him, the ball is in your court, go and investigate, otherwise it will keep on going on."

  But if the past is any guide, Ladsous' DPKO does NOT investigate. It never investigated its own role in the killing in Cote d'Ivoire of internally displaced people perceived as Gbagbo supporters in the Nahibly camp.

 It has yet to investigate its role in the killings, including of a peacekeeper, in Abyei. DPKO was asking this again on Friday, and has yet to provide answers, insteading wishing a good weekend. Watch this site.

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