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DRC Army Linked to Child Soldiers By UN Group of Experts, Reuters Ignores

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 6 -- What did Reuters write so far on the French-led UN Security Council through Africa?

It quoted a UN MONUSCO mission staffer Dee Brillenburg Wurth, who expressed "surprise at Washington's decision regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo, which last year signed an action plan with the United Nations to stop and prevent recruitment of child soldiers. 'There have been huge results... They don't recruit children any more. There's been zero tolerance,' she said."

  That's how the Reuters article ends.

   But this is directly contradicted by the UN's own Group of Experts report, which Inner City Press obtained and then exclusively put online, as credited not only by BBC and Bloomberg but also Congolese publications like Le Potentiel.

Here, to be compared to the statement of MONUSCO's Dee Brillenburg Wurth run unquestioned by Reuters, are two sample paragraphs from the UN's own Group of Experts report:

149. The Group is also investigating cases involving the illegal detention and use of children for military purposes by the FARDC. According to FARDC and MONUSCO sources as well as local authorities in the Kisala area of Butembo territory, between February and April 2013, FARDC’s 1032nd Battalion arrested four boys aged between 15 and 17 on charges of belonging to the Nyatura rebel group. An FARDC Major subsequently enlisted three of them as cooks, while assigning the fourth to be a soldier in Mushaki with the 106th Regiment commanded by Col. Civiri.

150. In April, UNICEF separated 19 children from the FARDC 812th Regiment located at Camp Bobozo in Kananga, in Kasai Occidental province. The Regiment had rotated from North Kivu to Kananga in March, and had forcefully recruited the children before their departure from North Kivu. Four soldiers from this Regiment acknowledged to the Group that they had been aware of the presence of the minors (commonly referred to as ‘kadogo’) in their ranks. In April, UNICEF separated two minors (one of them a girl) from the same Regiment; both had been forcefully recruited.

  So why is MONUSCO, through Reuters, defending the DRC Army (which, incidentally, commited at least 135 rapes in Minova in November 2012)?

  Inner City Press has asked MONUSCO and its leader Martin Kobler to make public a transcript of what Dee Brillenburg Wurth (and Goma office chief Ray Torres) "told reporters" -- so far, without response. Your tax dollars at work.

  Meanwhile another media hand-picked by France, Voice of America, published a story praising a UN "Quick Impact Project," and now tweets a photograph of peacekeepers, captioned -- just as MONUSCO or Ladsous' DPKO would do it -- "20,000 UN Peacekeepers working to make civilians safer in eastern DRC."

 She'd surely say the same thing, on cue, about peacekeepers in Haiti, where the UN brought cholera. For this type of fluff coverage, just have the UN (or the French mission, which refuses questions) do it. Watch this site.

Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson Martin Nesirky on camera admitted that the decision on which media would be allowed to go on and cover the UNSC's Africa trip was made "in consultation" with the lead mission for the trip: France. Inner City Press YouTube channel video here:

This was sent to Inner City Press:

From: Jerome Bernard [at]
Date: Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 6:46 PM
Subject: Re: Security Council trip to Africa
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at] InnerCityPress [dot] com
Cc: Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info

Hi Matthew,

I am sorry but because of the very limited number of seats in the UN plane it won't be possible for you to travel with the Security Council for this trip to the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

I am sure there will be other opportunities for travel in the future.

Best regards,

Jerome Bernard
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Inner City Press was told that Bernard would be providing information from the trip. Then not. Watch this site.


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