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Ban Thanks Qatar For Role In Freeing UN Peacekeepers, Kidnapper Connections?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 -- At 3:30 in the morning Sunday in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement about the UN peacekeepers kidnapped in the Golan, crediting the undefined assistance of Qatar:

"The Secretary-General welcomes the release of the four United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers who had been detained on 7 May in the vicinity of Al Jamlah in the area of limitation. He appreciates the assistance of Qatar and of others involved in securing their safe release."

  The release is of course welcome. Whether it will change the recommendation by the Philippines government to pull their over 300 troops from the UN's UNDOF mission is not known.

  But what was and is the role of Qatar, with the Yarmouk Martyr's Brigade and the kidnapping?

At the UN's noon briefing on Friday, May 10 Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: The announcement by the Philippines Foreign Minister that he is proposing to the President to pull out their 342 people that are in UNDOF [United Nations Disengagement Observer Force], would the Mission still... whatís the UNís response to that? He has said that publicly.

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, we have not received any official communication from the authorities in Manila about their troop contingent.

  And now?

  Ban has let France put in charge of UN Peacekeeping one Herve Ladsous, who repeatedly refuses to answer Press questions, on topics ranging from rapes in the Congo by the UN's partners to the Ladsous' push to use drones in former French colony Cote d'Ivoire before having any approval to who will disarm the MNLA in Mali.

  Even as UN Peacekeepers have been killed in the last week in Abyei and, again, the Congo, Ladsous has stonewalled on issues as simple as Inner City Press' yes or no question, was notification given of the travel in Abyei, into an ambush.

  So will Ladsous answer about the role of Qatar, which is trying to pay to move the UN system's International Civil Aviation Organization from Montreal to Doha, in the kidnapping of the UN peacekeepers he is supposed to protect? Watch this site.

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