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Reuters Bashes Rwanda With MONUSCO, Brown Nosing DRC, VOA Fluff

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 5 -- While the UN Ambassadors of the US and UK asked the Congolese President and ministers about mass rape committed by their army soldiers in Minova last November (click here for report by Inner City Press), the media hand-picked by France to accompany the trip applied their quite different spin.

Rather than about any problem of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Reuters' correspondent issued a story reciting that one-third of "child soldiers" with the M23 rebels come from Rwanda.

  Extensively quoted is a staffer of the UN Peacekeeping mission, Dee Brillenburg Wurth, who went on to express "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 the mission of UN Peacekeeping, under its fourth Frenchman in a row Herve Ladsous, has not only continued material support to the Congolese Army units which committed the Minova rapes -- it has been to serve the Kabila government in any way possible.

  There is a structural problem here, on which Reuters does not report. After Kabila threatened to throw MONUC out, UN Peacekeeping changed its approach to one of subservience to his government, to remain relevant, even, to simply remain in the country. It did remain, in smaller "MONUSCO" form.

Under Ladsous, who as French Deputy Permanent Representative of France in 1994 argued in the Security Council for the genocidaires to escape from Rwanda into Eastern Congo, the siding against Rwanda has gotten worse.

  Even shelling of Rwanda was quickly blamed on the M23, which no evidence yet produced. Ladsous refuses to answer Inner City Press questions, video here.

  Now that France was allowed to choose which media could go on the trip and rejected or banned Inner City Press, which went on such trips in 2010 and 2008, its handpicked media issues as its belated first story from the trip an anti-Rwanda piece that could have been written from New York, or anywhere else.

  Meanwhile Voice of America, also selected by France, wrote as its first story a puff piece about a project funded by, you guessed it, the UN Peacekeeping mission. A MONUSCO staffer Laure Gnassou, who tweeted that she had taken France's hand-picked scribes to the project, gets named and praised in the piece.

  It reads like the worst of UN News Center, or even a UN Peacekeeping press release. Why take along an ostensibly independent journalist (actually, Voice of America is US state media) just to churn out the type of stories UN Peacekeeping writes itself? Why indeed. Watch this site.


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