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UN Confirms Flying DRC Officials to Meet Mai Mai, Says Didn't Know Topic

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 24 -- The UN flew Congolese government officials to meet with a Mai Mai militia leader, Janvier Karairi, who afterward said "they came to ask me to form an alliance with the army to fight M23" mutineers.

  On August 23, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky, "given the history of criticism [by] the UN [of] many of the Mai Mai factions, is it true that the UN is assisting the Government of the Congo to recruit these militias to fight another militia?"

  Nesirky first referred the question to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations -- whose chief Herve Ladsous has twice said on camera he will not answer any Inner City Press questions -- then on August 24 offered an amazing answer.

  Nesirky confirmed that the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo "provided transporation and security" for the Congolese officials to meet with Javier and the Mai Mai, but said that MONUSCO is "not aware of any initiative to recruit Mai Mai."

  So what did the UN think the meeting with militia leader Javier was about? Especially AFTER Javier said publicly that it was a request that what he says are his 4000 fights to take up arms against M23?

  Inner City Press asked Nesirky this, quoting Javier that "they came to ask me to form an alliance with the army to fight M23." Video here, from Minute 12:15.

Nesirky repeated that MONUSCO did not know what the meeting was about. But why then did they fly Congolese government officials to the meeting? What type of meeting WOULDN'T the UN fly government officials to?

Nesirky said, "ask the DRC." But it is a UN question. How can the UN ask anyone to be accountable, when it is not? We'll have more on this, which again highlight how the UN has lost its way in the Congo.

  After nearly being thrown out of the country by President Joseph Kabila, the price for staying in has been to slavishly support the government and its often undisciplined army, the FARDC.

  As previously noted, DPKO chief Herve Ladsous has said openly, twice on camera, that he will not answer any Inner City Press questions. Video here, at Minute 28:10. And Ladsous spokesman Kieran Dwyer reiterated this in writing, and on camera. Video here, Minute 6:50.

  But this is a question that should be answered: how can the UN be playing a role, even a transportation and facilitation and "security" role, in recruit a militia that the UN itself has been highly critical of?

  In Sudan, the UN provided free helicopter flights to Ahmed Harun, indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, click here for one of Inner City Press' exposes on this.

  This year, Ban Ki-moon and Ladsous accepted as a Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping Operations the Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva, whose battalion is depicted in Ban's own Panel of Experts report as engaged in war crimes.

  Ladsous specifically refused to answer a question about Silva - this was the first time Ladsous said, "I will not answer questions" from Inner City Press. Video here, at Minute 28:10

  But in the Congo, the UN is going "hands on," flying Congolese officials to meetings with a militia leader who says the meeting was to recruit him and his 4000 fighters to join the bloody fight with the M23? How much lower can DPKO go, under Ladsous? How much more unaccountable can this UN become? Watch this site.

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