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Exclusive: UN Jobs Sold By Ivorian Mission in Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping, Leaks Show

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 7 -- In UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous, position in missions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Haiti was corruptly put up for sale, a 49-page “Strictly Confidential” UN investigative report obtained and exclusively published by Inner City Press show.

   The report, by the Office of Internal Oversight Services, is an “Investigation into Corrupt Practices in the Selection and Recruitment of Members of UN Police for UN Peacekeeping Operations,” #353/13. Referred to is “Le Departement des operations de maintien de la paix et son SGA M. Herve Ladsous.”

   The documents show that Ladsous was formally informed of the corrupt recruitment practices in his Department by Cote d'Ivoire all the way back on April 22, 2014. But, whistle-blowing sources tell Inner City Press, little to nothing has been done. “It's a cover up,” one source complained to Inner City Press. Hence this publication.

   Inner City Press, prior to this exclusive publication, has raised its contents to two members of the Cote d'Ivoire Permanent Mission to the UN, referred to throughout. Ladsous, once questions of corruption was raised, has refused all Inner City Press questions, for example here.

   Under Ladsous, the Cote d'Ivoire mission, in particular its Deputy Permanent Representative Bafetigue Ouattara, was allowed to charge money to choose and promote UN Peacekeeping personnel. One witness said it was like Bafetigue Ouattara “had  your career in his hands.”

  (While Inner City Press is informed that Bafetigue Ouattara is no relation to the Ivorian president, others say he let people believe that he was, and that despite the exposure of his role to Ladsous since at least April 22, 2014, Permanent Representative Youssoufou Bamba has suffering more repercussions.

  In a January 5, 2015 letter, Bamba states that he told Ladsous of the racket (“practique de racket”) in UN Peacekeeping missions.. On January 22, 2015, Ladsous refused to answer any Inner City Press question, saying “I do not respond to you, Mister.” Video here.

  The corruption was first discovered in Ladsous' mission in the DR Congo, MONUSCO.  Bafetigue Ouattara was copied on correspondence and thereupon wrote to all Ivorian officers in MONUSCO coaching them on what to say and not say. Hubertine Foue, part of the corruption in MONUSCO, was by then in Ladsous' mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH.

 But Ivorian authorities in Abidjan -- in the Ouattara government -- were said to ban Ms. Foue from traveling to the UN in New York to be interviewed.

  The “strictly confidential” UN report says that Bafetigue Ouattara charged $4,000 to arrange placements in Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping missions. Paragraph 39. Several of the payments were made via the Trust Merchant Bank account of Hubertine Foue as an intermediary. Paragraphs 40 and 43.

   After detailing sample cases of payments for jobs in Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping mission, the report detailed the transfer of the payments from Hubertine Foue to  Bafetigue Ouattara, for example 10 million CFA Francs put into the ABRI Housing Project. Paragraph 221, Figure 6.

ICP Exclusive: Cote d'Ivoire Mission Sold Jobs in Herve Ladsous' MONUSCO and MINUSTAH by Matthew Russell Lee

  Another part of the payment was to buy Bafetigue Ouattara, then living in West Orange, New Jersey, a car, a Honda Pilot. To procure jobs in Ladsous' DRC mission MONUSCO,  Hubertine Foue transfered to Bafetigue Ouattara bank account in Cote d'Ivoire $18,834, then $13,000.

    But what has been done? Why has this been covered up? Who should be held accountable? How will the ongoing review panel into UN Peace Operations, chaired by Jose Ramos Horta, deal with this, and Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping? We'll have more in this exclusive series. Watch this site.


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