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In DRC, Will UNSC Visit Opposition Like Tshisekedi or Bunagana, or "Pull a Ripert"?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 4 -- As the UN Security Council moves from its European meeting to Joseph Kabila, his foreign minister Raymond Tshibanda and others in Kinshasa, the question arises: will they meet with opposition figures like Etienne Tshisekedi of the UDPS?

  As Inner City Press filmed and covered at the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Tshisekedi when it served him (meaning Ban).

  Last Saturday, Ban met with Saudi-sponsored Syria rebel boss Ahmad al Jarba, who has never won a vote inside Syria. On the democratic legitimacy scale, the countries which met with Jarba a week ago have no basis to avoid Tshisekedi.

  But the point of this trip, to accompany and cover which France was allowed to pick and ban particular media, seems different. Is it really a fact finding trip? Would the Council visit -- would Kabila permit them to visit -- M23 territory in Bunagana and elsewhere?

  Inner City Press has asked and is informed that "the program is still in flux." But when and where will the Council's program be made public?

  On a previous Security Council trip to Eastern Congo, which Inner City Press accompanied after France's attempt to block was opposed by then-UNSC member South Africa, the Council visited an IDP camp outside Goma.

  Inner City Press took and sent out photos of then French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert preening in front of France 24 while a restive crowd of camp residents complained. Finally the Congolese security forces beat up an elderly lady; no one did anything. And this time? 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. We're still waiting. Watch this site.


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