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Before Golan Pullout by Austria, Ladsous Stonewall on Qatar Kidnap Probe

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 -- With the Austrian pullout from the observer mission in the Golan, UNDOF, a new light is cast on the UN's lack of transparency about whether Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous was aware of or looking into a Qatar role in kidnappings of and attacks on peacekeepers in the Golan, and Austria's repeated warnings that it might leave.

On June 4, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: at the session this morning of the Human Rights Council, it was said that Mr. [Hervé] Ladsous is investigating the role of Qatar in the three kidnappings of peacekeepers in the Golan Heights by the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade or Battalion, and I wanted to know, since there has been some back and forth about what, what this 22 May letter from the Syrian Mission to Mr. Ladsous was. Can we find out, yes or no? Is it true that [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] is conducting an “investigation” of a Qatari role in the, in the kidnapping of UN peacekeepers?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I’ll ask [Department of Peacekeeping Operations], Matthew.

But 48 hours later, nothing, no answer. This is Ladsous, who had repeatedly refused to answer Press questions. See compilation video, here. But who is being served?

 On the third kidnapping, Ladsous spoke only to friendly reporters. Now there's even a claim of an "exclusive" spoonfeeding Ladsous' spokesman Kieran Dwyer, who appears justifying refusal to answer at the end of the video.

  Likewise Inner City Press repeatedly asked Nesirky's deputy Eduardo Del Buey to respond to public statements by Austrian's defense minister and then foreign minister that the country would pull its troops out of UNDOF, if the EU arms embargo expired, or in other situations. Each time Del Buey insisted the UN had heard nothing about it. Now this.

Will Ladsous be held responsible for any of this? Watch this site.

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