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After UN Chides Press for Not Asking of 1 Leaked DRC Email, Mum on 2 More

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 31 -- Yesterday the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations' mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo "strongly denounced" Inner City Press for publishing a leaked e-mail reflecting UN awareness that its partners the Congolese Army work in support of the FDLR militia.

  Today Inner City Press asked the UN, prior to publication, to confirm or deny two additional e-mails, and to identify the alleged "errors" in the first e-mail.

  Finding that the mission's "Contact Us" web page does not list any e-mail address, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's three top spokespeople about the e-mails, below.

  But at the January 31 noon briefing, Ban's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey refused even to entertain a question about the e-mails or their contents, saying that the UN does not comment on leaked documents. Video here, from Minute 13:34.

  Then how can the UN "strongly denounce" the Press for not checking with the UN prior to publication? It appears that the goal is to simply block publication, and coverage of these issues.

  Inner City Press, and the new Free UN Coalition for Access, cannot agree to this. Accordingly, here is what was asked of Ban Ki-moon three top spokespeople, and the e-mails or "documents" asked about:

Subject: Request to be informed of "errors" in documents, for confirmation and denials with specificity, MONUSCO has no email address? Please confirm
Date: Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 11:27 AM
From: Matthew Russell Lee [at]
To: Eduardo Del Buey, Martin Nesirky, Farhan Haq
Cc: funca [at]

While as you know USG Ladsous refuses to answer any Inner City Press question, and has directed his spokesperson in New York to even grab the UNTV microphone (on December 18, 2012) so that Inner City Press could not ask a question about the DRC, yesterday MONUSCO issud a press release that if the time had been taken to verify with the UN, "the errors contained in the document would have been brought to their attention."

This is a request to be informed as quickly as possible of the alleged errors in the first email; I am also pasting below two further emails, on deadline, to be informed of any errors in them, and to have the material therein confirmed or denial, with specificity.

Because, amazingly, MONUSCO's "Contact Us page" lists no email address,

I sending this to the OSSG spokesman who read out MONUSCO's "denunciation" at yesterday's noon briefing. On deadline. Thank you.

new emails requesting comment on, on deadline:



1. On 02 Jan 13 between 0800B to 0900B, a recce patrol was launched along the International Boundary between Petite Barrier and Grande Barrier. The patrol moved on foot along the International Boundary (DRC side) for approx 1.5 km from Petite Barrier to Grand Barrier.

2. The following was observed :-

(a) There is dense construction and habitation all along the track.

(b) There is a boundary wall-cum-fence of approx 100 mtr running from North to South on Rwandan territory.

(c) Construction along the route was observed on both sides of the international boundary.

(d) There were lanes after every 50 mtr moving towards Rwandan territory and were observed to be manned by RDF troops.

3. The patrol was met by an RDF officer, 300 mtr short of the Grande Barrier who informed that further move of the patrol would be in Rwandan territory and hence may not proceed further. The patrol thereafter changed the route and after diversion moved towards Grande Barrier along main road. There is no other route close to the border.

4. Since the foot track is along the border there is scope for ambiguity of ownership. We may avoid such patrols along border and restrict to lanes leading upto border internally.

With Warm Regards,

Lt Col Rajeev Sharma
G3 Chief Operation Officer
North Kivu Bde



Date: 11/01/2013 09:46 PM

1. At about 1100B on 11 Jan 13, a patrol comprising of one officer, one JCO and 12 Other Ranks of MONUSCO were carrying out area domination and familiarisation patrol in Mapendo Quarter, Goma. While moving from Petite Barrier around Mapendo Quarter along the track close to the border and remaining on the DRC border side, the patrol was stopped by an RDF officer and four soldiers who objected to the photographs being taken by the patrol. The patrol leader explained to the RDF officer that he will delete all the photographs that are objected to by the RDF officer. The RDF officer took the camera to see the photographs. In the meantime the patrol leader informed HQ NK Bde of the objection by the RDF officer. He also informed that there was an officer of the rank of Brig Gen who had come to investigate the matter. Commander, NK Bde on learning of this, rushed to the spot and explained that these photos are being taken by the patrol with a view to brief subsequent patrols so that they do not stray into Rwandan side of border particularly during hours of darkness and offered to delete the photos which are objectionable. However, the RDF Brig Gen informed that this matter has been reported to the higher authorities and camera will be returned after necessary investigations have been carried out. At this stage Commander, NK Bde informed the Rwandan representative of EJVM of the incident so that he may inform his higher authority. The return of camera is awaited.

2. The patrolling in the area has been recently instituted in view of reports of increased negative incidents in the Mapendo Quarter of Goma, DRC, which is adjacent to the border. As most of these incidents are in hours of darkness these photos were being taken to avoid inadvertent straying of patrols across border. It was confirmed from the local Chief of PNC Border Police that the patrol was on a track well within DRC side of border.

With Warm Regards,

Lt Col Rajeev Sharma
G3 Chief Operation Officer
North Kivu Bde

  Inner City Press also asked about Herve Ladsous' drive for drones in the DRC; Del Buey promised an answer. The above raises the question: though approved by the DRC, would the UN's drones film into Rwanda? Watch this site.

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