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UN Says 135 Rapes in Minova, Only 2 Arrests, Diplomat Says It's Not Enough

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 8 -- Asked about 20 then 126 rapes in Minova in Eastern Congo, UN Peackeeping chief Herve Ladsous refused to answer for four months, one time even having the UN Television microphone seized to try to avoid Inner City Press' question about the rapes. Video here.

  Now at least a UN report has issued, raising the rape count in Minova to 135. But the threat Ladsous made, to suspend UN support to two battalions which he repeatedly refused to name, has been revoked.

  Inner City Press on May 8 asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if the mere two arrests made so far, for 135 rapes, was enough to continue to support the 41st and 391st Battalions.

  Nesirky noted that 12 officers have also been suspended. Inner City Press conveyed this to a diplomat back at the Security Council, who laughed bitterly and asked, are they still getting paid while suspended? We need to see action, under the Due Diligence Policy.

But if Ladsous' fourth months of stonewalling is any guide, there will either be no substantive enforcement of the due diligence policy, or not transparency about it. We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

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