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On Minova Rapes, UK On Zero Tolerance & Kang on DPKO, No Answer

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 4 -- The UN's partners in the Congolese Army committed at least 135 rapes in Minova in late November, with very few arrests since. What is the UN Security Council, and the UN's humanitarian arm, doing about it?

Inner City Press on June 4 asked June's Security Council president Mark Lyall Grant about the Minova rapes, and about Tanzanian president Kikwete's comment that Rwanda should negotiate with the FDLR militia.

  Lyall Grant spoke of "zero tolerance," as the UN does, but it remains unclear if the Council during his month will inquire into the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' questionable implementation of its Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

  When new Assistant Secretary General for humanitarian affairs Kyung-wha Kang appeared at the day's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked her about follow-through on Minova.

  She said, essentially, to "ask our colleagues at DPKO." But Inner City Press asked DPKO chief Herve Ladsous just that, for an update on Minova, on May 29 and he said, "You know I do not respond to you." Nor has any update been provided since.

  On the FDLR, Lyall Grant spoke broadly about the Intervention Brigade. But what about doubts of its objectivity, given that it is led by a Tanzanian commander? Watch this site.

Footnote: Inner City Press also asked Lyall Grant if the UK favors maintaining the media access and workspace that existed at the Security Council before and during the relocation. He said that's up to "DPI and the journalists." We'll have more on this.

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