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In UNSC, Sochi Truce Violation Alleged, Ladsous Gives Thanks for Drones

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 12 -- Two weeks ago the UN Security Council debate  on "War, its lessons, and the search for a permanent peace" under Jordan's presidency triggered several rounds of fighting on issues ranging from Japan and World War II to Russia and Georgia, Armenia and Turkey, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  On February 12 the debate on Protection of Civilians under this month's president Lithuania had fewer fights. At the end Azerbaijan and Armenia along with Russia and Georgia fought one round each; Israel fired back to Palestine and, strangely, Egypt.

  Israel chided Palestine on, among other things, gay rights, then said that the Egyptian government, post Morsi mind you, should submit a volume of its "best practices" on protection of civilians.

  Azerbaijan said that Armenia is "escalating... even during the Sochi Olympics;" afterward they told Inner City Press they still feel they are on the Security Council, which they only left in December, and that they have filed long letters with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  Russia, neither Ambassadors Churkin or Pankin, chided Georgia for "tiresome cliches;" Georgia said twenty percent of its territory is occupied. Reuters, not present at the Security Council stakeout, filed a story with the same quote that Russia opposes 30% of the Syria draft resolution as Inner City Press ran 22 hours before.

 The possibility of heavy snow and UN closure might, some said, cancel UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos' briefing on the topic, throwing off the game plan or time table on the resolution.

  Sudan's charge d'affaires spoke near the end, and asked if Valerie Amos who'd spoken in the morning could still hear him. He did not call out UN Peacekeeping head Herve Ladsous, who met with Sudan's ICC-indicted president Omar al Bashir in July.

  During the opening session Ladsous cited Ban's stated Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, of which he made a mockery in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by stonewalling on the DRC Army's mass rapes in Minova in November 2012. Ladsous' DPKO won't provide information on any convictions, nor the results of a closed investigation of alleged rapes by UN Peacekeepers in Mali.

  Ladsous also sung the praising of the drones he is now using in the Congo, saying they are "making a difference." One already crashed -- sources tell Inner City Press Ladsous in consultations tried to recharacterize it as a "hard landing" -- and it remains unclear when UN Peacekeeping will "neutralize" the Hutu FDLR militia. 

 Yesterday, Ladsous appeared on UNTV to read a statement but refused to answer any questions; the question of cluster bombs being used in South Sudan, and by whom, remains unanswered.

  Back on January 29, Chinese Permanent Representative Liu Jieyi told Inner City Press he would be raising the issue of Japanese prime minister Abe visiting the Class A War Criminals" in the Yasukuni shrine, and he did. He said, "What Abe is doing is to try to reverse the verdict on the war and defend war criminals."

  Since then, China has raised questions about Japan's treatment of letters by kamikaze pilots. But it did not arise, at least in rights of reply, in the February 12 debate.

   Lithuania's Permanent Representative Raimonda Murmokaite was chairing at the end, given each replier one turn and then politely explaining the dearth so far this month of question and answer stakeouts, which the Free UN Coalition for Access believes should take place after each closed consultation of the Council. Will there be one on February 13, along with and after Valerie Amos? Watch this site.


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