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At UN, As Hague Opposes Aid to M23, Cameron Asked Not of Aid but Mitchell

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 25 -- When UK foreign secretary William Hague spoke Tuesday about the importance of the Sexual Violence and Conflict issue to his country, Inner City Press asked him about the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, when the UN Peacekeeping mission has admitted flying the army to a meeting seeking support in the fight against the M23 from Mai Mai militia, themselves reportedly involved in sexual violence.

  Hague was fast with an answer about the M23 -- he said "it is very important that any external support to rebel groups in Eastern DRC come to end," taken as a code word for Rwanda and perhaps Uganda -- but did not address why a UN mission created and supervised by the Security Council, on which the UK has one of five permanent seats, is simultaneously claiming to get trainings to combat sexual violence, while facilitating it with the Mai Mai militia.

  Perhaps naively, some continue to expect the UK to use its permanent seat on the Security Council to oversee at least the human rights related performance of UN authorized or supported missions, for example the shelling of Kismayo in Somalia by the Kenyan Navy, working in conjunction with the UN funded AMISOM mission. But the UK is generally loath to criticize the UN.

  Later on Tuesday UK Prime Minister David Cameron took questions in the same acoustically challenged stakeout, ostensibly on Post-2015 Development.

  The two UK questions, however, concerned former international aid minister Andrew Mitchell: how can he not fully resign if the police say he calls them plebs?

At least the Australia-centric questions to that country's Julia Gillard had a UN angle, how much was spent on the run for Security Council seat? (Gillard answered Inner City Press that "twenty four million dollars were allocated," but would not say much much was spent.)

   Some countries' media identify closely with their governments, asking the Press for example, "how did we do?" BBC and ITV from the UK prepared and asked a harder question, but didn't link it to the UN.

   Mitchell back on June 28, 2010 took ten minutes of questions from Inner City Press; coming full circle, his answers included praise of Rwanda. And so it goes with the UN - and the UK. Watch this site.

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