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As US Blake Opposes Sri Lankan General Silva as UN Adviser, French PR Araud No Comments & Worse

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 28, updated -- While countries like Pakistan have tried to help the UN's image by urging that Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva, whose 58th Division is depicted in UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Panel of Experts report as engaged in war crimes, not continue as on the Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, the French putative owners of UN Peacekeeping have had nothing to say.

  Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in row atop the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, has evaded the issue including at a recent press conference.

  On February 28, after SAG chairperson Louise Frechette said it would not be appropriate for Silva to participate and Sri Lanka fought back in the Asia Group, Inner City Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud if France thinks Silva should be on the SAG.

  Araud hesitated, then said nothing and continued. Silence, as they say, is consent.

  French foreign minister Alain Juppe is speechifying in Geneva that "there can be no impunity" with regard to Syria. But on this issue, whether French-dominated UN Peacekeeping should be advised by an alleged war criminal, France has nothing to say at the UN. At least publicly....

[Photo removed March 30, 2012] spin of DPKO & war criminal not shown

   Publicly, on Twitter, US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake on Tuesday took Inner City Press' question: "What does US say to Asia Group mulling backing Gen Shavendra Silva as UN adviser, & Ban Ki-moon being silent?"

  Blake responded, publicly, "Appointment was inappropriate given lack of independent investigation into end of war circumstances."

   By contrast, not only did Araud say nothing publicly -- privately, Inner City Press is informed, he has been defending Ladsous and Ban Ki-moon's inaction, claiming they have no jurisdiction at all, and even undermining Frechette's determination. We can have more on this. France is the home of human rights? Hardly.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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