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As UN Raises Minova Rapes to 70, Ladsous Hasn't Answered, on Regiments 802 or 100

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5, updated with video -- First the UN said there were 21 rapes in Minova while the Congolese Army FARDC was there in late November.

  But UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous refused repeatedly to answer Press questions, about which FADRC regiments were in Minova at the time, and if his MONUSCO mission works with them, under the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

  Click here for video of Ladsous refusing Press questions on the Minova rapes, then taking chosen correspondents into the hall.

  On December 3, the UN told Inner City Press that it had not been able to access Minova to get this information. But as noted, UNICEF was able to deliver medical supplies soon after the rapes, and journalists traveled there.

  From such eye witnesses, Inner City Press knows of at least two FARDC regiments present during the rape spree. But shouldn't it be UN Peacekeeping which discloses what it knows, if its supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy is to have any meaning?

   On December 5, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky read out a statement that an inter agency assessment team had gotten to Minova, and upped the number of rapes to 70, saying that the 70 survivors are receiving treatment. (Actually, Inner City Press is informed that at least one of the rape victims died.)

   So Inner City Press asked again, which units of the FARDC, which with the UN works, were present in Minova during the 70 rapes? Video here, from Minute 14:39.

   Nesirky said the statement is all he had, but that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was listening to the questions.

   Inner City Press then asked, yes or no, whether FARDC regiments 802 and 1001 were in Minova during the time at issue, and whether the UN works with either regiment. Three hours later and counting, there has been no answer. Nor to the previous questions about which FARDC units have re-entered Goma, and which units the UN is working. Here was Ladsous on Nov 27:

  At the Security Council stakeout later on Wednesday, December 5, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud about the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. (Unlike Ladsous (here, on Abyei and Sudan), Araud now answers Press questions, click here for Mali coverage.)

  On DRC Araud said that if the UN find units or personnel which engaged in abuse, "the UN should cease supporting these units, that is I think the rules in DRC." Video here, from Minute 11:50. We'll see, in this test case. Watch this site.

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