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In DRC, Ladsous Flies In As Drone Set to Fly, As in Mali, For Whom Will It Spy?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has arrived Sunday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just as the drone he pushed for at the UN in New York is set to launch as a spy-eye in the sky over the borders of Eastern Congo.

   Friday afternoon in New York, Ladsous was asked by the Press about his peacekeepers role in Kidal, Mali urging the dispersal of protesters who then were shot by the Malian army. Ladsous refused to answer, as has been his pattern. Video here, UK coverage here.

   Nor in the 48 hours since has any information been forthcoming from the UN, beyond a MINUSMA mission press release that even Reuters said was UNclear.

   Ladsous role in the Great Lakes region, back to 1994 when he was France's Deputy Permanent Representative arguing for the escape of genocidaires from Rwanda into Eastern Congo is documented, there there are attempts to bury it. Click here.

  While UN Peacekeeping's new spying, not only in DRC but also now with the Dutch in Mali, is celebrated by some. But given Ladsous' history, it is important to ask and to determine: who exactly will get the information from the drones and "signal intelligence" and surveillance in Mali?

Inner City Press went to the UN on Friday, November 29, a UN workday, and posed this question in writing since there was no in-person noon briefing:

"In Mali, after protesters in Kidal were subjected to live fire, please describe the role of the MINUSMA peacekeepers in the events, including in reportedly telling the protesters to leave the airport. Is that true? Is so, why did the UN tell protesters to leave, given the UN's stated commitment to the right to protest?"

  In-person, Inner City Press asked UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous about Kidal, but he said nothing. Here is the UN's written response to Inner City Press, citing an UNclear MINUSMA press release:

Subject: Your questions for Friday
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding the questions you asked by email, the Spokesperson has the following to say:

Regarding your questions on Mali, the UN Mission, MINUSMA, has provided the following information in a press release today:

Bamako, 29 November 2013 - MINUSMA strongly condemns the violence that took place yesterday in Kidal prior to the scheduled arrival of the Prime Minister and a Government delegation.

The Mission deplores the fact that, despite a security plan coordinated by the Malian Government on Wednesday in cooperation with MINUSMA and supported by Serval, incidents of a serious nature took place.

MINUSMA, in close cooperation with Serval, assisted the evacuation of three of the injured for medical care in Gao.

MINUSMA calls for restraint and a return to the negotiating table to continue discussions toward a solution in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2100 (2013) and the commitments made, including on security and investigation arrangements, in the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement.

  If as reported the Malian Army shot protesters, leaving two women in critical condition, what does it mean to say the UN "deplores the fact that, despite a security plan coordinated by the Malian Government on Wednesday in cooperation with MINUSMA and supported by Serval, incidents of a serious nature took place"?

  Is the UN deploring the protesters? Or the Malian Army shooting at them? 

  As noted, even Reuters found the MINUSMA press release to "not shed much light on what actually happened in Kidal yesterday."

  We say "even" because Ladsous has several times used Reuters at the UN as a pass-through for misleading or self-serving answering, for example as he covered up for months the 135 rapes in Minova by his partners in the Congolese Army.

  Now, Reuters' promoted piece on the MNLA's decision doesn't even mention the role of Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping.

  Reuters at the UN coordinated with AFP at attempt to get Inner City Press thrown out; AFP led with the way Inner City Press asked Ladsous a question about the Minova mass rapes. Now, after the two were linked by MediaBistro with troll counterfeit Inner City Press twitter accounts, on November 27 the troll social media campaign began again.

  Ladsous is who he is -- but Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople, even just to keep UN Peacekeeping here from making the whole UN look bad, need to provide more and better answers, as well as to question their "exclusive" partnership with an association of big media "mean girls" who have descended into anonymous trolling. Two more questions Inner City Press asked on Friday weren't even acknowledged. Another DPKO question:

"With regard to Lebanon and UNIFIL, please state the UN's knowledge of Israel's "spying" stations and whether these spy on UNIFIL's communications as alleged by the Lebanese government and its Committee on Assessing the Dangers of the Israeli Telecomm Towers in Lebanese Territory."

  To this, Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople replied to Inner City Press:

"Regarding your questions on Lebanon, the UN Interim Force, UNIFIL, says it has no information on this."

  Well, beyond the UK coverage of Ladsous, here's coverage of the issue in Lebanon, on which Ladsous' UNIFIL said "it has no information." Again, in the past 48 hours, no UN Peacekeeping or wider UN answer to this and at least four other questions posed on Friday. Watch this site.


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