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As NYT Spins UN Flying FDLR Leader, UN Implies Feingold Requested It

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow up on Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 28 -- Two days after Inner City Press reported Rwanda complained to the UN Security Council that UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous and his MONUSCO mission flew FDLR leader Gaston Iyamuremye / Rumuli Michel on UN aircraft even as Ladsous travel waiver request was denied, the New York Times spun Ladsous' request - without naming him.
   Not naming the person responsible for UN Peacekeeping's failures, from Haiti through Mali to the Great Lakes, is now routine. But the NY Times story quotes UN Great Lakes envoy Russ Feingold as against negotiating with the FDLR.

  Nothing doesn't fit: when Inner City Press on June 27 asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on what basis Ladsous' MONUSCO started flying FDLR leader Rumuli without any approval, Dujarric said it was at "at the request of a group of special envoys." Click here for transcript.

  That either includes envoy Feingold - or the other envoys are working around Feingold and the US. Which is it? And why didn't the New York Times in its not-uninteresting story even ask, or hold Ladsous accountable?

  Inner City Press obtained Rwanda's complaint letter, on which it first reported on June 26, and put it online here. At the June 27 briefing, to Inner City Press' questions, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied "not aware," transcript here, video here:

Inner City Press: why did MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] fly him to Goma to Kisangani and then to Kinshasa when, in fact, I think there’s an arrest warrant for him?

Spokesman Dujarric: I’m not aware of any other services provided to him by MONUSCO.

   Since the complaint to UNSC members says Rumuli was flown on MONUSCO aircraft, and given Ladsous' history of refusing to answer Press questions, Inner City Press has twice asked Kobler and MONUSCO the simple question: did they fly Rumuli?
   While they tweeted photographs of Kobler singing with a MONUSCO choir, still no answer. This is the Ladsousificiation of UN Peacekeeping.

  When Herve Ladsous was appointed head of UN Peacekeeping by France and UN Peacekeeping, Inner City Press asked him to address his past as French Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide, arguing for the escape into Eastern Congo of the genocidaires who would become the FDLR.

  Ladsous refused to answer, and then adopted the policy of trying to block Inner City Press questions, going so far as to have his spokesman grab the UN Television microphone to prevent a question. Video here, compilation here.

  Now -- not surprisingly -- a scandal has arisen, with Rwandan officials exclusively complaining to Inner City Press, citing letters, about Ladsous granting a travel ban waiver for FDLR leader Iyamuremye / Rumuli to fly from the DR Congo to Rome -- to meet with UN envoy Mary Robinson.

  Of course, Robinson could have met the FDLR leader without him breaking the travel ban. But in a UN trend, Robinson has been allowed to remained based in Ireland, just as Romano Prodi was allowed to remain based in Italy and to (over) charge the UN for his travel inside Italy.

  Earlier this year, Ladsous refused to answer Inner City Press' simple question on when UN Peacekeeping under his watch might belatedly go after or “neutralize” the FDLR, video here.

.Watch this site.


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