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Amid UN Stonewalling on Minova Rapes, Victims Traded for Generic Deal?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- After stonewalling on Press questions about 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army for four months, the UN haltingly told favored scribes and its own media that it set an April 1 deadline for action.

It now appears that “action” was no more than another signing to bolster the UN itself: a generic agreement with Ban Ki-moon's expert. The 126 victims have been traded for this?

The April deadline passed and the UN did nothing. Inner City Press asked on March 28 -- UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous refused to answer -- and on April 1 and April 2.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey told April 1 that some unspecified assurances had been given.

  Reuters typed up the same quotes on April 2 from Ladsous' spokesman who had seized the UN Television microphone on December 18 to avoid exactly this question. Video here.

  With the UN refusing to say what the assurances are, three hours after Inner City Press' questions at the April 2 noon briefing the UN's own News Service reports breathlessly on a March 30 signing of a generic agreement between the Congolese prime minister and Ban's special representative on Sexual Violence and Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura.

  But even as reported by the UN's own in-house (that is, North Korea style) media, the agreement brings no accountability for the 126 victims of rape in Minova.

  They have, it seems, been used for the UN to get a generic agreement and move on. Or try to move on. Watch this site.

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