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After DRC Deal Failed In Addis, UN Slammed for Blind Quotes to Embeds

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 3 -- It was a week ago that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's promised framework agreement for "peace enforcement" in the Eastern Congo failed at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

  On February 2 a diplomat who was centrally involved in Addis explained to Inner City Press, it was ridiculous, they showed us a two page plan at the last minute but they told BBC and the wires that we were going to agree to it. Well, we didn't.

  The diplomat constrasted the "arrogant" attempted closing of the deal by Ban and UN Peacekeeping and its chief, through (anonymous) quotes to the "embedded" media, to work that an official lower down in UN Peacekeeping, Babacar Gaye, did in traveling around Africa prior to the AU Summit.

  "All that got wasted," the diplomat said.

  On January 25 Reuters from the UN in New York ran a quote that "'It is not simply peacekeeping, this is peace enforcement. It's a much more robust stance,' said the official, who declined to be named."

  Inner City Press asked on January 26: why did Reuters accept this request for anonymity from a UN official on a concept -- "peace enforcement" -- that not all UN member states, particularly troop contributing countries, have agreed to?

  And where's the accountability now? Reuters story on the promoted deal's failure didn't use or mention the January 25 blind quote, or even use the term peace "enforcement."

   Agence France Presse went further, or lower, allowing a "second UN official" to also go unnamed.
   But AFP then named the associate spokesperson who announced the failure of the deal half an hour before it was to be signed.

   What are AFP's policies for allowing anonymous declarations of war by the UN, which is ostensibly controlled by the member states who now say they were not consulted?

  Again, what are Reuters' policies on granting anonymity in cases like this for Reuters editors like Stephen J. Adler, Walden Siew, and Paul Ingrassia, for Agence France Presse, for BBC?

Some of the media identified as running the blind quotes from "UN officials" about what would happen in Addis responded not on the record but by setting up an anonymous social media account to try to tie the critic to terrorist funding.

 Of the first 21 on the account, at least three are Reuters: the current UN reporter and the bureau chief, and the former bureau chief. The latter two control the UN Correspondents Association and its affiliate.

  They also purported and purport not to see the difference between granting anonymity as they did and do to UN officials to announce war plans as opposed to countries, particularly non Permanent Five members of the Security Council, to explain why they disagree, while not being retaliated against by the P5 or UN.

  By what right does the UN, ostensibly owned and controlled by its 193 member states, have to develop and anonymously promote war plans? And where are the corrections for having mis-reported what would happen in Addis?

Here's the inital video #LADSOUS2013, soft launched Jan 27.

  After the UN failed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to protect civilians first in Goma then in Minova, where the DRC Army raped at least 126 women in late November 2012, a reserve spin war began.

  UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous refused to answer Press questions about the Minova rapes, instead taking favored and compliant media out into the hall for a private briefing. Video here. These media included Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Voice of America.

  In terms of the UN, isn't this "inter-governmental organization" owned and supposedly by its member states? Many of them, particularly troop contributing countries, have not agreed to Ladsous' "peace enforcement" push, nor in the C-34 committee on peacekeeping have they signed off on his proposal to use drones.

  But Ladsous, Inner City Press reported on January 25, ran a procurement for drones from November 28, 2012 to January 11, 2013, before he had any approval at all.  Then last week, Inner City Press showed that the re-vamped RFP will not even be opened until the second half of March.

  Ladsous is now slated to hold a press conference on February 6. One would think these questions would up, could be raised. But the UN (and the above identified media, who dominate UNCA a/k/a the UN's Censorship Alliance) have enabled Ladsous to pick and choose which media's questions he will take. We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

Footnote: Another UN official in the mix is Susana Malcorra, sent to the region as the Personal Envoy of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. But Malcorra promised to be more transparent, after defending the UN's blacking out of material about war crimes. We'll see.

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