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UN Standoff on Broken Equipment & Deployment, Ladsous Silent on Silva

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- When UN Peacekeeping's so-called Senior Advisory Group was appointed, the inclusion of Shavendra Silva, a Sri Lankan military figure depicted in the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's own report as engaged in war crimes, was first exposed and covered by Inner City Press.

  Ban told Inner City Press, Silva's inclusion is a decision of member states. His chief of Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous refused to answer Inner City Press questions about it.

  Now in the endgame of the SAG, there are at least three issues. And April 3, diplomats met until 8 pm about them, including UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant, French Deputy PR Martin Briens, Pakistan's DPR and others.

  The SAG recommended setting troop rotations at every 12 months.

  But many Latin American countries say their constitutions do not allow more than six months; India is said to share this position.

  The longer deployments would save the UN, or Ban Ki-moon as SAG-ers put it, $21 million.

  The SAG also proposed that if a country deploys troops but malfunctioning equipment, they should not be paid for personnel. Surprisingly, this would save $170 million according to SAG sources.

  After a dispute about the survey mechanism, the proposed increased troop compensation would be $80 million.

  And so even now on April 3 in the UN's North Lawn building, Permanent Representatives and Deputies were dueling about how to jibe these three. If the cost savings, of longer deployments say, are foregone, how to pay the increased compensation to the troops, without going back to recalcitrant taxpayers for more money?

  Earlier on April 3, Inner City Press sought to ask Ladsous a question. While others also leaving the Security Council, such as DPA's Jeffrey Feltman and DFS' Ameera Haq, were willing to answer, Ladsous was not. This is a pattern.

  UN Budget Committee chair Miguel Berger of Germany was on the scene on April 3. He remarked to Inner City Press, again you are the only one covering it. He talked up a de-mining event on April 4, which stonewalling Herve Ladsous is slated to also attend. Click here for notice of event on the site of the Free UN Coalition for Access. Watch this site.

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