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Amid Rape Protests, UN Calls Haiti IDPs Promiscuous, Covers Up FARDC Victims

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 5 -- As outrage at rape increases, from New Delhi in India to Steubenville in Ohio, what is the UN doing?

  Its Department of Peacekeeping Operation has delayed since November an investigation of 126 rapes in Minova by its partners the Congolese Army.

  DPKO chief Herve Ladsous has refused to answer Press questions about the rapes and the UN's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy of not working with army units which rape.

   Now DPKO's mission in Haiti is Tweeting and distributing a report about camps for Internally Displaced People in Haiti, which cites "promiscuity in most of the camps." Report at Page 3, going on about "one of such camps, Gaston Margon in the Carrefour commune south of Port-au-Prince."

   What is wrong with the UN? Or at least, what is wrong with Ladsous' DPKO?

   On January 4, Inner City Press tried for the upteenth time to get a status update on DPKO's claimed investigation of the rapes in Minova.

  How can DPKO be said to implement its Rights Digence or conditionality policy if it won't say which FARDC units were in Minova, nor even which FARDC units it works with?

   Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky said he had nothing new on this, and said Inner City Press has already raised questions comparing the speed with which Ladsous' DPKO "investigated" to debunk reports about the genocidaire militia FDLR (site visits December 21-24, press release already out) with DPKO's silence on the November rapes in Minova.

   Yes, Inner City Press HAS asked before.

   But where is the answer? Where is Ladsous? When last he was seen at the UN, he was directing his spokesman to seize the UN Television microphone so that the Press' question about the rapes could not be heard. Video here.

While it is now clear that the UNTV stakeout where this took place is in the purview of the UN Department of Public Affairs, and the issue was squarely raised to DPI on December 19, nothing has been done.

 Ladsous has in the past tried to use some media, particularly AFP on one of whose boards he used to serve, to block Press questioning. This has continued.

The worldwide protests of rape are against impunity. But the UN allows impunity, even embodies it, especially in Haiti. Watch this site.

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