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As UN Brags of 691 DRC Police, from Minova, Won't Answer on Rapes, Units

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 7 -- After what the UN now says were at least 70 rapes while the Congolese Army and National Police retreated to Minova in late November, the UN still refuses to say which units and regiments were in Minova at that time.

  It is a key question, since the UN claims to have a conditionality and Human Rights Due Diligence Policy which precludes it from working with or supporting those who commit abuses such as rape. So far, the UN has refused to state which Congolese Army or FARDC units it works with.

  But now, after the Department of Peacekeeping Operations led by Herve Ladsous refused for the second day in a row to confirm or deny the presence in Minova of particular regiments (the 802 and the 1001), now the UN Mission in the Congo has blithely announced that 691 Congolese police from Bukavu and Minova are now in Goma. Click here (in French).

  So the UN knows the precise number of police, but not what regiments or units they are in?

  Back on November 27, Inner City Press asked Ladsous about the rapes in Minova, and he outright refused to answer, instead shepherding chosen correspondents out into the hall. Video here.

  Then on November 30, across First Avenue from the UN, when Inner City Press asked the question in a more open setting, Ladsous offered only an indirect answer about the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy -- which the UN now claims would apply in Mali -- but refused to answer Inner City Press' follow up if he would disclose the numbers of the Congolese Army units.

  Ladsous resurfaced in Paris, making statements about the possible mission to Mali that to many did not sound like UN statements. Inner City Press has asked in what capacity Ladsous spoke and for whom, and if there is a transcript. Twenty hours later, there has been no answer. Watch this site.

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