Thursday, July 2, 2015

On Yemen, Ban Ki-moon at Midnight Reheats Ceasefire Call Amid Saudi Dalliance


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, July 1 -- The UN Secretariat's bungling of Yemen mediation has become ever more clear, according to multiple sources and documents exclusively seen by Inner City Press, see below. 
  Now on July 1 past 11 pm in New York UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has put out this statement. The question is, why now? And why was Ban so pro-Saudi, to the point to meeting with a US listed Al Qaeda terrorist in Geneva? Here's the statement:
"The Secretary-General repeats his call for an immediate end to the fighting in Yemen to help stem the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the country.

He calls on the parties to agree, at the very minimum, on an immediate pause in hostilities until the end of the holy month of Ramadan so that humanitarian aid can be delivered into and across Yemen and reach people cut off from vital supplies for months.

In the past three months, some 3,000 Yemenis have been killed, half of them civilians, and 14,000 injured. Over a million people have had to flee their homes and 21 million need immediate help. Close to 13 million people are unable to meet their food needs, 15 million people have no healthcare and outbreaks of dengue and malaria are raging unchecked.

Humanitarian partners have reached 4.4 million people with aid in the past three months, but this is a fraction of those in need. The United Nations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement and international NGOs working together have now activated the highest level of emergency response. But without access to all parts of the country, children, women and men will continue to die for lack of food, clean water and healthcare.

The Secretary-General emphasizes that the parties to the conflict must adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law, protecting civilians and enabling humanitarian workers to deliver life-saving assistance. 

The Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations, as expressed through the efforts of his Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed, to support Yemen in the search for a political solution — the only viable solution — to the conflict."
  On June 29, the UN has issued a statement by or about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon concerned at a Coalition airstrike on UNDP in Aden. Here is the full text:
"The Secretary-General deplores the Coalition airstrikes on a UN compound in Aden on 28 June, which resulted in serious damage to the UNDP office and injured a guard.

International humanitarian law requires protection by all parties of civilians and civilian facilities, including UN staff and UN premises. The inviolability of UN premises and the important work of all United Nations staff must be respected at all times. The Secretary-General urges a full investigation into this incident and that anyone found to be responsible for any breaches be held to account. Ensuring accountability is indispensable in preventing such incidents.

The Secretary-General strongly believes that this incident only underscores the imperative that all the parties to the conflict must end the fighting and return to the negotiation table as the only possible way to achieve a durable peace in Yemen."
  On June 24, Inner City Press asked the UN's replacement envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed about the request by the Houthis and others to meet not with him but with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who did not meet with them in Geneva. Transcribed here
  On June 25 Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq to confirm receipt of the letter and if Ban will meet them. Haq said Cheikh Ahmed is the envoy, and Ban's headed to San Francisco. The UN Security Council issued a Press Statement, here.
 Also on June 25, Inner City Press asked new UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien three questions about Yemen: cholera, the destruction of ambulances in Sa'ada and about international staff. Video here.
  O'Brien replied that cholera is a risk; he had no information on WHO it was that destroyed the ambulances in Sa'ada (we can guess.) On international staff, which the UN evacuated earlier, he spoke of a rise from 17 to 70, with the goal of getting to 200. He would not say if they are anywhere in the country outside of Sana'a, citing security. But at least he spoke - the Free UN Coalition for Access thanked him.

Here's from the June 24 stakeout, as fast transcribed by Inner City Press:
Inner City Press: On the parties in Sanaa requesting to meet the Secretary General – what’s your response?
Cheikh Ahmed: "This question was raised during our discussion with the Houthis, the GPC and their allies. The Secretary General had delayed twice his travel in order to be there for the parties. We have sent twice a plane from Sanaa which the delegation from Sana'a could not take..  Therefore the Secretary General had a major engagement, which was the election of the new president of the General Assembly which takes place only once a year , and he had to attend it. But the Secretary General will continue being engaged on this."
  The ceremonial elevation of the President of the GA who will take over in September was not an election at all - no vote was taken. At the top, Cheikh Ahmed said (again, as fast transcribed by Inner City Press)
"I just briefed the Security Council on the latest developments in Yemen, with a particular focus on the Geneva Consultation. I informed the Council that the Geneva intra-Yemeni Consultations are a milestone... Despite the raging battles and ongoing violence, and the dramatic humanitarian situation, Yemenis accepted the Secretary General’s invitation and participated in the consultations.
"The personal presence of the Secretary General was an indication of the primary importance attached by the United Nations and the international community, and in particular the Secretary General himself on the Yemeni situation. I deeply regret the deep division between the parties and the lack of compromise that prevented an agreement that was within reach. The holding of the Geneva consultation was itself a great achievement in light of the extreme violence unleashed in Yemen.
"While the government came to Geneva to seek the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2216, the government acted in a positive and constructive spirit. Both sides showed signs of constructive engagement. There is an emerging common ground upon which we can build to achieve a ceasefire coupled with a withdrawal.
"While we pursue a long term cessation of violence, I call on all relevant parties to agree without delay to the humanitarian truce, especially during Ramadan. We should not forget that Yemenis are living under dire conditions and it pains me to witness this ongoing suffering. I call on all stakeholders to spare no effort to help us achieve a temporary respite for the Yemeni people.
"I am aware that reviving the political process will not be easy. The Secretary General and I have been clear from the outset that this consultation was only a stepping stone towards the long inclusive political process. All the parties affirmed their commitment to remain engaged with the UN in search of a peaceful solution of the conflict. I have no doubt that it is possible to build upon this positive spirit in the forthcoming consultation.
"I strongly believe that the UN facilitated intra-Yemeni consultations offer the best chance for moving towards a de-escalation of the crisis and a return to the political process. I personally believe there is no military answer to this conflict. I therefore remain committed and will spare no effort to achieve a cease fire and the swift return to a peaceful, inclusive political process."
 Before the meeting, UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft stopped and told the press of the danger of famine in the country, and of his hope for a Yemen Press Statement from the UNSC, in which the UK is the "penholder" on Yemen.  Periscope video here, replay including on desktop for 24 hours.
 Inner City Press was digging into the letter from political parties IN Yemen, asking for a meeting with Ban Ki-moon, NOT with replacement envoy Cheikh Ahmed. These parties, including but not limited to the Houthis, were delayed in getting to Geneva so that they could not meet with Ban (who while there DID meet with a US-listed Al Qaeda terrorist).
  While some are sure to argue that Ban now meeting with the parties would undercut Cheikh Ahmed, others point out the the underlying resolution speaks of the Secretary General's Good Offices INCLUDING his Envoy. The envoy is not the only game in town - nor, given his lack of disclosure, raised by Inner City Press, should he be. We'll have more on this.

 
  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In South Sudan, Attack on Malakal UN Base Condemned, Johnson Olony Named, Of Sanctions


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, July 1 -- The UN Security Council on July 1 imposed sanctions including a travel ban on six South Sudan individuals, for only one of which the UN has a passport number listed. Travel ban on non-travelers?

  Hours later, UN Secretary General issued a statement condemning an attack on the UN's Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, specifically asking for an investigation from Riek Machar and Johnson Olony:
"The Secretary-General condemns the attack today on a UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) protection of civilians site in Malakal by opposition forces. He deplores the killing of one Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and the injury of six others as a result of this attack.

"The Secretary-General calls on former Vice President Riek Machar and Johnson Olony, Commander of opposition forces, to conduct an immediate investigation into this incident and hold to account those responsible. He reminds the parties that they must respect the inviolability of UNMISS premises, including protection of civilian sites, which are now host to more than 140,000 IDPs.

"The Secretary-General reiterates that there is no military solution to the conflict in South Sudan and calls on all parties to immediately cease the hostilities and make the necessary compromises to urgently conclude the negotiations facilitated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). He expresses his condolences to the bereaved family and he wishes speedy recovery to those wounded in this attack."
 Of the UNSC sancctions, one of those now sanctioned, without a listed passport, is Peter Gadet, regarding whom Inner City Press has previously asked the US State Department, here. The individual WITH the passport is Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, Passport no.: R00005943, South Sudan. Here's the full list, from US Ambassador Samantha Power's July 1 statement:
"Today, the Security Council took strong action in support of a peaceful end to the conflict in South Sudan by sanctioning six South Sudanese individuals for fueling the ongoing conflict and contributing to the devastating humanitarian crisis in their country.

Major-General Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok; Lieutenant-General Gabriel Jok Riak;  Major-General Santino Deng Wol; Major-General Simon Gatwech Dual; Major-General James Koang Chuol; and Major-General Peter Gadet will now be subject to a global travel ban and asset freeze for their contributions to a conflict that has  left more than 6.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and forced more than 2 million from their homes."
  Back on May 20, six days after the UN's envoy to South Sudan Ellen Loj spoke to the Security Council and to the Press at the Council stakeout on May 14, on the evening of May 20 the US State Department issued a statement about violence in South Sudan:
"The United States condemns the intensified fighting and violence in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states in South Sudan by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the armed opposition, and forces led by General Johnson Olony that have led to massive new developments and had a devastating effect on civilians.  We call on all armed groups to immediately halt offensive actions taken in contravention of the January 2014 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
Violations of international humanitarian norms, including the outright targeting of civilians already vulnerable to greater harm, especially women and children, and grave human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by all sides are unacceptable.  The international community will hold those who perpetrate such abuses and violations to account.  We call on all sides to silence the guns immediately, permit the UN Mission in South Sudan to investigate the sites of all alleged human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and allow all humanitarian workers immediate, free and unobstructed access to conflicted-affected communities regardless of their locations.
The human, social, and economic costs of this war have been devastating and the long-suffering people of South Sudan will also bear the brunt of the potential long-term consequences of this escalating fighting.  Any damage to South Sudan’s oil infrastructure is an additional life-long wound to the people and jeopardizes South Sudan’s development and rebuilding.  These resources belong to all South Sudanese people and the needs of the nation should be prioritized over the violent intentions of a few.
We will continue to work for a better future for all South Sudanese citizens and condemn those that intentionally jeopardize their collective future."
    Inner City Press on May 15 asked Loj about the UN Mission in South Sudan base in Bentiu, and more generally about proposals to lift UN immunity, called Code Blue, in the wake of the alleged rape of children in Central African Republic by French "peacekeepers" in the Sangaris force, allegedly covered up by French UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.   (While the Security Council, on which France has one of five permanent veto-wielding seats, has taken no action on this issue, the General Assembly's Fifth (Budget) Committee has summoned Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff to a close door meeting, as Inner City Press first reported.)
  The Council's statement mentions for example the UNMISS camp at Bentiu, but none of the issues raised to and by Loj at her May 14 stakeout and May 15 press conference. Video here.
  Loj acknowledged that the new Bentiu camp she had referred to the day prior was not yet ready, and that SPLA intelligence are sometimes in front of the existing camp. She again noted camp residents, not only in Bentiu but also in Juba, cutting the wires of the fence. Afterward, her and one of Ladsous' spokespeople said that journalists are free to visit the Bentui camp (although Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access have heard differently; we hope to have more on this.)

  Here is the Security Council's May 17 press statement:

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania):

On 14 May, the members of the Security Council were briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ellen Margrethe Løj on the situation in South Sudan.

The members of the Security Council expressed condemnation at the renewed and ongoing large-scale violence in Unity State caused by the recent Government of South Sudan offensive and resulting in the displacement of more than 100,000 civilians and the suspension of nearly all activity and delivery of aid to populations in the affected areas, over 300,000 civilians, by humanitarian agencies and organizations.  The members of the Security Council further expressed their condemnation of the large-scale attack initiated on 15 May by the SPLM/A (in Opposition) on the town of Malakal, in Upper Nile State. 

The members of the Security Council underlined their grave concern that as a result of violence and increased insecurity since the beginning of the conflict, more than 50,000 internally displaced persons have sought shelter and assistance at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp in Bentiu, and an additional nearly 25,000 at the UNMISS camp in Malakal, only further magnifying a dire humanitarian crisis.

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the repeated violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement accepted and signed by the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition) on 23 January 2014, and underscored that there is no military solution to this conflict that has now lasted more than 17 months.  

The members of the Security Council called upon all parties to engage meaningfully in the peace process so as to bring about a political solution to the crisis and an end to the conflict.  They acknowledged the IGAD-led peace process and urged renewed regional and international efforts to swiftly implement a common plan and to table a reasonable and comprehensive solution to end the crisis in South Sudan.  In this context, they reiterated their willingness to impose sanctions against those who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan as established in resolution 2206 (2015), and noted the 24 March 2015 African Union Peace and Security Council Communiqué on South Sudan and the 12 May 2015 African Union Commission Chairperson’s Statement on South Sudan in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for UNMISS peacekeepers and for the vital mandate they are performing under very difficult conditions, including to protect civilians in South Sudan.  They demanded that all parties end intimidation and harassment against UNMISS and humanitarian personnel, cease ongoing restrictions on freedom of movement, and allow UNMISS to fully implement its mandate.  They further demanded full adherence to the Status of Forces Agreement and permission for the deployment of essential assets and enablers currently being blocked by the Government of South Sudan.  The members of the Security Council underscored the importance of close cooperation and communication between UNMISS and the Government in addressing these issues.

The members of the Security Council condemned, and reiterated their demand for an immediate end to, all human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.  They reiterated that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable and that the Government of South Sudan bears the primary responsibility to protect civilians within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, including from potential crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Security Council renewed its calls for the parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel, equipment and supplies to all those in need and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.

 Loj said that as a former diplomat she did not favor any blanket lifting of immunity. She said she has taken sexual abuse seriously, then said she is strict about curfew. One was left wondering how the UN will reform itself, if it ever will.  Let's see how you write this up, Loj genially said. Well here it is.

May 14 Video here.

 Loosely transcribed by Inner City Press (video here), Loj replied on May 14
"Let me say what UNMIS has undertaken in collaboration with IOM [the International Organization for Migration]. Primarily the project is primarily financed by the Dutch government. It’s actually a new site for the camp, on higher ground and with better drainage, because the Bentiu camp was totally flooded during the last rainy season. That work is being undertaken as of this week. We are hoping to get it finished…

As far as the fence, the problem with the fence is not that UNMIS is not putting up the fence. It’s that even if the fence were there, the problem with the fence is that the IDPs themselves cross the fence  in order to sneak out...

Yes, we have had troubles with the SPLA,  right outside the gates, and we have tried to solve it...We are doing our utmost to ensure that nobody enters the camp with weapons. We are doing regular searches in all camps … for alcohol and illegal substances…"
  She then said that UNMISS installed lights, but people break them. There was more to ask, including from great reporters on the bround. Inner City Press asked for another question but was told no, to ask on May 15. Watch this site.
After the May 14 stakeout, Loj told a story about UN staff in Liberia telling her all about Inner City Press, which after time she associated with her time on the UN Security Council. She has seen the UN from that position and now two countries.
Day After ICP Asks UN of Sudan Ouster, Reuters Runs Answer With No Credit
By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, December 25, more here -- Amid charges that the UN in Sudan, including Herve Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping in Darfur, has colluded with the authorities in Khartoum to cover up rapes and killing, now the UN's Resident Coordinator Ali Al Za'tari has been ordered to leave Sudan by January 2, Inner City Press first reportedearlier today.
  On December 24, Inner City Press similarly exclusively reported and then asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about UNDP Country Director Yvonne Helle being ordered out of Sudan, citing her and Al-Za'tari's e-mails. Video here.
  A full day after that, Reuters reported on Helle's ouster -- typically, for Reuters, with no credit to the Press' prior exclusive story. (Reuters' UN bureau chief has said he has a policy of not crediting Inner City Press' exclusive, and has gone to far as to censor, Sudan-style, his "for the record" anti-Press complains to the UN, click here for that, via EFF's ChillingEffect.org).
 Now, after UN Spokesman Dujarric issued two statements on the afternoon and evening of December 25 responsive to the question Inner City Press asked at the December 24 noon briefing, Reuters has run a piece with no fewer than eight journalists listed, and of course no credit. This is policy, untransparenty (when Inner City Press asked top Reuters brass including Stephen J. Adler for Reuters policy on crediting, none was provided.)
 But eight journalists?
  The above-referenced Reuters UN bureau chief, it must be noted, under his own byline sought to exonerate Ladsous, reporting without context complaints made to Ladsous about another UN staff member, without mentioning Ladsous' own role in covering up rapes in the DR Congo and now Darfur. Reuters has not reported the complaints against Ladsous, even as a Permanent Three mission on the Security Council has confirmed to Inner City Press its receipt of the letter.
   On December 24, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Sudan having just similarly "PNG-ed" or declared persona non-grata the Sudan Country Director of the UN Development Program Yvonne Helle, with Za'tari barely pushing back against the government.
  Dujarric said that host countries' ordered to PNG a UN staff member are treated seriously and should be sent to, and considered and acted on by, Ban's Secretariat in New York. But Dujarric in the 18 hours after Inner City Press asked about Helle has not returned with any information or answer. Then Reuters published its story, with no credit.


 
  

Of Central African Republic Rapes, UNICEF Answers Inner City Press Questions, Status of Troops Cited - For Not Telling CAR?


By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series
UNITED NATIONS, July 1 -- French soldiers in the Central African Republic allegedly sexually abused children, as exposed in a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNICEF report given to the French government by longtime OHCHR staffer Anders Kompass.

  Kompass was urged to resign -- according to a UN Dispute Tribunal ruling reinstating him, by French head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, who has since tersely denied it -- and Miranda Brown who worked with him did in fact have her UN service ended, see below.
 Since UNICEF had said very little about what it did after it learned of the alleged child rapes in CAR, when on June 30 UNICEF's Policy Director Jeffrey O'Malley held a press conference at the UN, Inner City Press asked him not only a question about water privatization, but also about UNICEF's response to child rape allegations in CAR, specificaly if it is UNICEF policy to at least give host government such information. Video here.

 After non-response, Inner City Press emailed questions - now replied to by Sarah Crowe, UNICEF's Global Spokesperson:
Dear Mathew, here is our response to the questions you sent to my colleagues on CAR:

1) Is it UNICEF's policy to tell host governments when it becomes aware of such abuse? 2)  Did it do so in this case?  
This was a complex situation because of the status of the troops involved.  UNICEF assisted MINUSCA with its interviews of the children affected and also helped to bring the issue to the attention of the Head of MINUSCA.  
3) What if anything did UNICEF do for the “alleged” child victims once it learned of the allegations?
From the day the interviews with the children began, until the present, UNICEF has been working through local partners to help the affected children have access to medical assistance, psychosocial and legal support and the help of social workers, and to try to protect their identities.
4) When did Tony Lake become aware of the allegations of child sexual abuse by “peacekeepers” from France in the CAR? What did he do?
One of the Deputy Executive Directors was informed of these reports of abuse in mid July 2014 and then shared that information with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, as was UNICEF’s responsibility.

5) Will UNICEF hold a press conference to answer questions about its and its staff and officials actions in this case?

The UN Secretary-General has established an independent review into the process and the actions of the UN in relation to the CAR cases.  To support the integrity of that independent process UNICEF does not plan any press conference on the issue. 
 While appreciating the responses, the first one about apparently not telling CAR authorities about the allegations due to the "status" of the troops involved is noteworthy. Does UNICEF have agreements with host countries? And does "status" here mean "nationality" -- French?
 In any event, Ms. Crowe's answers are much better than the UN Office of the Spokesperson's two responses, and UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous' refusal to respond to Press questions.
 On June 30, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said it wasn't an appropriate question -- Inner City Press, and the new Free UN Coalition for Access, disagree. Haq and O'Malley, after saying he was't dodging the question, said to ask UNICEF's communications team. Which was done.
  On July 1, having received no substantive response, Inner City Pressasked Haq:
 Sure.  I wanted to ask kind of two interrelated questions.  It's been announced by the French Defence Ministry that two of its soldiers in the Burkina Faso have been suspended on allegations of sexual abuse of a 5-year-old girl.  So I wanted to know, given these pending allegations in CAR [Central African Republic], which the UN was aware last year, first, do you have any comment on that?  Second, is there any update on the panel, now that we're in July?  And third, yesterday you told me to write to UNICEF for their position on their role in the non… seeming non-action on this, and I did immediately from this very room.  And I just… I guess I want to tell you I still don't have an answer.  So I'd like to ask you…

Deputy Spokesman:  On the last one, luckily, UNICEF has conveyed to me something to share with you, which is the following:  What they're saying is that the Secretary-General has established an independent review into the process and the actions of the United Nations in relation to the Central African Republic cases.  To support the integrity of that independent process, UNICEF does not plan any press conference on the issue.  UNICEF continues to focus on the protection and care for the children who reported abuse, to monitor that they are receiving necessary support, and to protect the children from exposure to further traumatic experiences.

So that is for that.  You've asked several questions.  So please repeat those.

Question:  A follow-up to that one.

Deputy Spokesman:  That's what I have.

Question:  It seems like the panel is now an opportunity to not answer questions.  One of the questions that I asked them was, simply, does UNICEF have a policy of telling host country Governments when they become aware of allegations of sexual abuse against their own nationals?  This seems like they shouldn't be able to say that. 

Deputy Spokesman:  This is the response of UNICEF and that's where they stand.  Regarding the activities of the panel, I don't have any further updates to provide.  Right now, the panel is in the process of gathering information.  I know that a number of UN offices are sharing whatever relevant information they have, and we'll have to see what they do with that.

Question:  Are the three panellists in New York?

Deputy Spokesman:  I don't believe that they are in New York right now.  But certainly we will share with them whatever information we can and they'll take it upon them.

Question:  Has the ten weeks begun?  Has the clock begun of the ten weeks?

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes, the clock has begun.  They're gathering information from… as I just said.  And you had some other question?

Question:  Burkina Faso, whether there’s any comments on the peacekeepers there…

[overlapping talking]

Deputy Spokesman:  Those are not UN peacekeepers.  That's a separate French force that has nothing to do with the United Nations. 
 Ah, the "status of the troops involved" again. But what does UNICEF say or do about the rape of a five year old girl? We'll have more on this.

Inner City Press: This has to do with the panel on the Central African Republic sexual abuse allegations.  The Government Accountability Project, watchdog of whistle-blower protections, has identified Article 5 of the terms of reference, where it says that information will be provided… I remember it was said from here the panel can get all the information.  But it seems to say it will only be provided with the information to the extent consistent with OIOS’s (Office of Internal Oversight Services) mandate.  Since the mandate of OIOS is always described as being independent from the Secretariat, etc., does this, can you clarify what this means in terms of them actually getting information and address the concern that, if… if Carman Lapointe’s decision to meet with Flavia Pansieri and the Ethics Office in Italy in March is one of the issues that people are most concerned about in terms of independence, how can she be the one to decide what information to give and not give to the panel?

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Well, regarding the mandate, I mean, ultimately, the panel itself is operationally independent.  They’ll have access to any UN documents or communications that they want to examine and they have access to personnel and all UN staff will be required to cooperate with the panel.  So they have a very broad range of powers in order to carry out their work.  But how they will go about that, that’s their decision.

Inner City Press:  But this limitation on consistent with OIOS’s mandate does seem to provide… it doesn’t seem to say that they’re going to have access to every document they want.

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Ultimately, let’s see how the panel works within this.  Like I said, they have a wide range of powers and ability to get information across the UN system and they will be operationally independent. 
  This doesn't resolve the conflict(s) of interest.
 On June 24, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric not only of Penel member Jallow working for the ICTR, but being subject to an OIOS investigation:
Inner City Press: on Central African Republic, I wanted to ask, you'd said that Mr. [Hassan Bubacar] Jallow is going to step back from the ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda] during the ten weeks.  But it's been — it's — OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] has had — has jurisdiction over ICTR and has during his tenure there and it's my understanding that there were at least two OIOS inquiries into — you know, without casting aspersion on it only, to say to some it's sort of — it's not an independent inquiry.  You have somebody that's worked for a long time for something subject to OIOS and had investigations by OIOS — OIOS now investigating OIOS and so what would you —

Spokesman:   I think the panel, taken as a whole, is a first-rate panel.  It has human rights experts.  It has in — the panel member from South Africa served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who's been an active voice for human rights in Africa.  It has a former Supreme Court Justice of Canada who has led the independent investigation into sexual abuses, into the Canadian Armed Forces, that was done some years ago.  And it has Mr. Jallow, who has knowledge of the UN system, who is an independent prosecutor, who is a first-rate jurist.  And I think, you know, people are free to question the composition of the panel.  And whatever the composition of the panel will be, people would have questioned it.  I think we stand by this panel.  We're very proud of it.  It will do its work independently.  It will choose its own staff.  And it will work under the, I think, fairly broad terms of reference.

Inner City Press:  Can you just get a statement on whether in fact Mr. Jallow has had — has been the respondent in OIOS cases, given that OIOS is being investigated by this panel?

Spokesman:  First of all, OIOS is not being investigated by this panel.

Inner City Press:  They're not?

Spokesman:  I think they will look — the panel will look how the issues were handled, but I think to say that OIOS will be investigated by the panel is a jump.

Inner CIty Prss:  But is it…

Spokesman:  I — you know, if the — you know, the proceedings of any administrative tribunals are public, you're free to look; but, again, I'm not going to go on a witch hunt against Mr. Jallow and we're very proud to have him on the panel.
 We'll have more on this.
On June 23 Inner City Press asked Dujarric why the investigation of Kompass would continue alongside Ban's new panel - and why Ban was refusing to disclose the country of origin of a new set of accused child sexual abusers, this time directly in the MINUSCA mission.

  Dujarric on the latter replied that Ban will wait until (at least) his next report to begin naming names. In response, Inner City Press can report that senior UN sources have exclusively told it that in CAR the allegation is of two peacekeepers having sex with a 12 year old girl for less than one dollar - and these these peacekeepers are from Burundi.

 That Ban would refuse to disclose this is particularly troubling in light of questions raised by Burundi civil society, and the Free UN Coalition for Access, about Ladsous' Peacekeeping still using abusive Burundi security forces. We'll have more on this.

  On June 24 the UN's Fifth (Budget) Committee adopted a resolution (in advance we put it online here and embedded below) which, on these issues, says that

Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse

42. Recalls section IV of its resolution 66/264 and reaffirms the collective and unanimous position that one substantiated case of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse is one case too many;

43. Reaffirms the need for full implementation of the United Nations policy of zero-tolerance of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in peacekeeping operations;

44. Welcomes the Secretary-General’s determination to strengthen measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in the areas of prevention, enforcement and remedial action;

45. Notes the declining number of reported allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse cases during this reporting period, and reiterates its concern at the number of cases, particularly those involving the most egregious forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse;

46. Expresses concern about the response of the United Nations to the recent allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in the Central African Republic;

47. Welcomes the establishment of an External Independent Review by the Secretary-General to review and assess the response of the United Nations to recent allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, including in the Central African Republic, as well as a broad range of systemic issues related to how the United Nations responds to serious information of this kind, and encourages the Review to give due consideration to decision-making processes in all involved departments and offices and at all levels of the Organisation, including senior management;

48. Requests the Secretary-General to report expeditiously to the General Assembly on the findings of the Review, and further requests him to report on the lessons learned and measures for improvement no later than the main part of its seventieth session;
49. Recalls the Secretary-General’s Bulletin ST/SGB/2005/21 on protection against retaliation for reporting misconduct and for cooperating with duly authorized audits or investigations, and welcomes the prompt reporting in good faith of any misconduct, including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in peacekeeping operations;

50. Recalls paragraph 21 of its resolution 69/272, encourages the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to strengthen accountability in all sectors of field missions, and, to this end, urges the Secretary-General and Member States to undertake all relevant actions within their respective areas of competence, including holding perpetrators accountable;
51. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure the availability of easily accessible reporting mechanisms for victims of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse;

52. Also requests the Secretary-General to improve the timeliness and quality of investigations;

53. Stresses the importance of responsibility and accountability of the most senior managers in HQ and missions in determining organisational behaviour and leading by example for the conduct of both uniformed personnel and civilian staff in peacekeeping operations;

54. Requests the Secretary-General to make further efforts to ensure that all personnel are made fully aware of, and remain compliant with, their personal responsibilities regarding the zero-tolerance policy of the Organisation, upon their arrival in the mission and throughout their deployment;

55. Stresses the importance of training all personnel for the prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and requests the Secretary-General to expedite the development of the e-learning programme and deploy it as soon as possible;
56. Recognizes the commitment of the troop-contributing countries to the United Nations zero tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and abuse;

57. Recalls paragraph 55 of the report of the Secretary-General (A/69/779) and requests the Secretary-General to engage in consultations with MS, in particular TCCS, on the reporting methodology on SEA cases, and to update the relevant Committees on the results of his efforts in this regard in his future reports;

58. Reiterates the importance of improving the collaboration between the SG and the TCCs and PCCs with regard to allegations of SEA, emphasizing the need to maintain a frequent exchange of information on the ongoing processes;

  The UN tried to forestall questions by saying Secretary General Ban Ki-moon  would name an independent panel to investigate. On June 5, Inner City Press exclusively reported that Ban himself told a group of states his panel would include at least one African, and one woman. The slower FP Turtle re-reported this, days later, as if heard for the first time; later it said Sweden is on the group, which is not the case. 
 On June 22 Ban belatedly named his three member panel. While it's called independent, one of the three members currently works for the UN's International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Jallow. 
   Inner City Press at the June 22 UN noon briefing asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric how then it could be considered independent. He insisted it should be seen that way, while separately stating that everyone who works for the UN is paid by the UN. 
  On June 23, Dujarric returned to say Jallow will be stepping away in some fashion from the ICTR.

  The other two members are Yasmin Sooka of South Africa, previously on a UN panel on Sri Lanka, and Marie Deschamps, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. “No Volcker,” one observer remarked.
  Inner City Press asked Dujarric to confirm that Ban's deputy Jan Eliasson met on June 19 with concerned member states -- he did -- and to explain why this was not on Eliasson's public schedule (he did not).  Inner City Press asked about Spokesman Dujarric about a UN spokesperson calling whistleblower Kompass a “sleaze-bag.”  Video here.  


  On June 11 Miranda Brown wrote a second letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, stating that Ban's Executive Office and presumably his Deputy Jan Eliasson knew back on August 8, 2014 of the evidence of child rape in CAR by French "peacekeepers" - and did nothing except months later try to get Kompass to resign.

 On June 12, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about this and he denied that Deputy Secretary General Eliasson knew anything about the CAR sexual abuse allegations in August 2014, saying he only learned of them in April 2015.

  Inner City Press asked if this meant the UN was denying the existence of an April 8, 2015 email from Ban's executive office saying that Eliasson would be briefed.

  Dujarric responded by saying "categorically" that Eliasson was not told of the CAR allegations until April 2015. See transcript below.
  In light of this response, Inner City Press now reports it is informed that the August 8, 2014 response from Ban's Executive Office was not from any clerical or scheduling staff, but high official Andrew Gilmour, whose influence spreads to Syria and elsewhere, who said  DSG Eliasson would be briefed that afternoon." If he wasn't, why not? And who was briefed? We'll have more on this.
Inner City Press:  Two interrelated questions.  One has to do with Miranda Brown, who I have asked you about before, whistle-blower, has put in writing that the Office of Ban Ki-Moon was told about the sexual allegations and evidence of sexual abuse in Central Africa Republic on, at latest, 8 August 2014.  She says there was a response by that office to Mr. [Anders] Kompass's assistant saying that Jan Eliasson had been put in charge of it.  I'd like to know what’s your response to that?  It's very different than hearing what they heard about it in the spring.  How would you explain the lack of action, given that?  The inter-related question is that on the report that you insist on calling a draft, when it was given to the DFS [Department of Field Support], but actually it was finished, it was just withheld for a month.  It says clearly in the report that victims are not… that there's a problem.  United Nations have performed very poorly in assisting victims of sexual abuse and assault.  Only 26 of 217 SEA [sexual exploitation and abuse] victims were even referred for assistance and it's unclear if they received any.  So, I'm wondering, on Monday, are you going to have, like, a written response that is available?

Spokesman:  I think what… it's hard for me to predict what I'm going to do in the next hour, so I don't know what we'll have on Monday.  On your second part, this UN report, this OIOS report is yet another tool to help the system, DFS, DPKO and all the parts of the house to perform better on issues relating to sexual abuse and exploitation.  We can always do better and we need to do much better.  On the issue of support for the victims and follow-through in support of the victims, one of the big challenges that we have had is the lack of funding, is that what had been proposed by the Secretary-General was not funded by the Member States.  We've had to do it with existing resources and we haven't had the funds that we needed.  We also need to do better in terms of communications to the population at large in terms of how they can access hot line, what their rights are, what is illegal, how they can protect themselves.  There are all sorts of ways we can improve.  I think what we have seen since, over the past number of years, is a decrease of cases of sexual abuse while overall the number of peacekeepers has increased.  What I would go on to Miss Brown, she makes a number of claims in her letter, which are, you know, claims.  Obviously, as to who was told in various offices, when, what and where it will be looked at thoroughly by the external panel, independent panel, which we hope to announce, hopefully next week.  What I can tell you categorically is that the Deputy Secretary-General was only made aware of this issue in April.  So, that is a fact which I am telling you now.  What information was passed onto his office, to whom it was passed on, how that was dealt with, that will be looked at by the review panel, but the Deputy Secretary-General was not made aware of this issue until April of this year.

Inner City Press:  So, are you saying an 8 April 2014 email from Executive Office of Ban Ki-Moon to Ms. Linnea Arvidsson, Mr. Kompass's personal assistant, indicating that the Deputy Secretary-General would be briefed on the report that was submitted doesn't exist?

Spokesman:  That's not what at all I'm saying.  What I'm saying is that obviously the panel will have access to e-mails, will look as to who received what documents, who was informed, who was not informed.  What I can tell you categorically is that, personally, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations was not informed of this until April.

Inner City Press:  In March on the timeline… in March, when it was the staff retreat in Turin and Ms. [Susana] Malcorra asked OIOS and the Ethics Office to get together to speak about Mr. Kompass, who else other than Miss Malcorra was made aware that…?

Spokesman:  All these issues will be looked at, but she makes a claim regarding the Deputy Secretary-General, which I counter and which to me is false. 
  Miranda Brown, regarding whose case Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the UN in New York and Geneva, writes:
"I was the Acting Director of the Africa Branch at OHCHR in early August 2014 during the period shortly after the MINUSCA report came to OHCHR’s attention in Geneva. Mr Kompass was my direct supervisor at the time. My testimony to the OIOS investigation would have supported Mr Kompass’ decision to disclose the MINUSCA report to the French Government and would have shed light on many elements relating to the disclosure.
"Emails document my involvement and I was the key contact between OHCHR and MINUSCA during the period immediately following the disclosure. Following my email to Mr Kompass on 7 August 2014, the Special Assistant to Deputy High Commissioner Flavia Pansieri, Ms Linnea Arvidsson, sent an email to the Executive Office of the Secretary General informing the UN leadership about the allegations of child sexual abuse in the Central African Republic and advising the UN leadership that the unredacted MINUSCA report had been transmitted to the French Government. Ms Arvidsson’s email to your Executive Office included as attachments the unredacted MINUSCA report and the letter of
acknowledgement from the French Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nicolas Niemtchinow. On 8 August 2014, your Executive Office confirmed receipt of Ms Arvidsson’s email and indicated that the Deputy Secretary General was being briefed about the transmittal of the unredacted report to the French Government.
"Thus the UN leadership, including your Executive Office and the Deputy Secretary General as aware that the unredacted MINUSCA report had been transmitted to the French Government. If child victims and witnesses had been put at risk through the transmittal of the unredacted report to the French Government, why did the UN leadership wait until March
2015 to take disciplinary action against Mr Kompass? At the time, in August 2014, the message being conveyed to OHCHR staff in Geneva was that the UN leadership considered Mr Kompass’ disclosure of the unredacted MINUSCA report to the French Government to b appropriate under the circumstances."
  Inner City Press asks again: what did Ban and his Office DO after being informed of the evidence of French "peacekeepers" child rape in CAR on August 7-8, 2014? Ban's (French) head of UN Peacekeeping appears in the UNDT ruling asking for Kompass to resign. His UNexplained subsequent denial then (like Ban) long trip out of New York has left these questions unanswered. But the questions must be answered. Watch this site.
 On June 8, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric first about the French forces' non-inclusion in Ban's Children and Armed Conflict list, then about the whistleblowers, video heretranscript here:
Inner City Press: it seems like the abuse the UN was aware of in the Central African Republic by the French Sangaris forces, was there any consideration of including them and if so, why not?

Spokesman Dujarric:  On the CAR [Central African Republic], the situation in the CAR, part of the CAR was drafted with the information available at the time of the writing of the report.  As you know, the… we do hope to announce soon the external independent inquiry which will shed light on the process.

Inner City Press: I'm sorry to reiterate this.  I'd sent you these questions but wanted to ask you.  I asked the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights who said that Mr. Kompass is going to be extended, although he also said it's not Geneva's decision; it's up to New York.  And there are several Member State who believe he's not being extended--

Spokesman:  No, I have no indication whatsoever that his contract will not be renewed.

Inner City Press:  It does apparently expire in one month.

Spokesman:  Right.  No, as I said, I have no indication whatsoever that his contract will not be renewed.

Inner City Press: ]OHCHR] had said something about contracts being automatically extended if a person is under investigation.  Is that your understanding?

Spokesman:  I think that is very likely a policy but as I said, for Mr. Kompass, I have no indication that his…

Inner City Press: The other thing I asked you is about Miranda Brown who was an… worked with Mr. Kompass and has since been terminated.  I know that she wrote a letter to the Secretary-General dated 23 May saying she's willing to participate, but not if she's fired by the UN and has no immunity.  Has the Secretary-General’s responded to the letter?

Spokesman:  I don't believe there has been a response.  I don't know if it was received.  I don't believe she was terminated, I think her fixed-term contract was not renewed.

Inner City Press: What would you say to those who say if you actually want to know… this was a person who was number two to Kompass at the time involved.  What arrangements were being made to try to get her evidence?

Spokesman:  I think we would have to leave that to the panel once it's named.
   Miranda Brown wrote to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:
"I am a key witness in the Office of Internal Oversight Service (OIOS) investigation into the disclosure by Mr Anders Kompass, Director at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), of the MINUSCA report Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces in the M’Poko IDP camp in Bangui, Central African Republic to the French authorities.
Despite my appeals to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, my employment at OHCHR was terminated on 21 May 2015, one day before I was scheduled to provide testimony as a key witness in the OIOS investigation. Please see attached OIOS’ repeated requests to interview me. As a result of my termination, I now have no functional immunity and given this and the punitive termination of my employment, I am scared of testifying in the investigation.

I was the Acting Director of the Africa Branch at OHCHR in early August 2014 during the period shortly after the MINUSCA report came to OHCHR’s attention in Geneva. Mr Kompass was my direct supervisor at the time. Emails document my involvement and I was the key contact between OHCHR and MINUSCA during the period immediately following the disclosure.
My testimony to the OIOS investigation would have supported Mr Kompass’ decision to disclose the MINUSCA report to the French Government and would have shed light on many  elements relating to the disclosure. As such, my testimony would also have been very embarrassing and potentially problematic for High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and others in the UN leadership, who have publicly denounced Mr Kompass for wrongdoing and placing victims, investigators and witnesses at risk. 
The stated reason for the termination of my employment at OHCHR is that there is no position available for me at OHCHR headquarters in Geneva, where half of the roughly one thousand OHCHR staff work. This explanation is implausible, deeply suspicious, bears all the hallmarks of retaliation, and is, at best, an abject failure to protect a key witness and, at worst, constitutes possible witness tampering. I have requested an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the termination of my employment at OHCHR.
I understand there may have been a second disclosure of the MINUSCA report to the French authorities by a female staff member at OHCHR, and that because of my prior history as a whistleblower at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), suspicions may have fallen on me as the source of the second disclosure. This is false. While I agree with Mr Kompass’ decision to disclose the report to the French authorities and enjoy good relations with the French Permanent Mission in Geneva, I have had no contact with the French Government on the MINUSCA report. The French Government would be able to confirm this. I believe that I know the female OHCHR staff member who made the second disclosure to the French Permanent Mission in Geneva. I do not expect her identity will be revealed as she would then herself become at risk of reprisal.
Secretary General, if you would like my testimony in the OIOS investigation and for this investigation to have any credibility at all, you will need to immediately reinstate me in a P5 level position in Geneva, if necessary in another UN organisation or entity. I shall be willing to testify in this investigation or another inquiry if one is launched, once my functional immunity is restored, my job is safe and I no longer fear retaliation.
I am sure you will agree that the Member States of the United Nations expect the investigation into Mr Kompass’ disclosure of the MINUSCA report to the French authoritiesand any subsequent inquiry into these matters to be thorough, fair, transparent and impartial. 
This will not be the case without my testimony, however inconvenient this might prove to some in the UN leadership."
   What will Ban do, now that he has belatedly said he will appoint an “independent” Panel?
  Meanwhile, amid reports that OHCHR would not extend Kompass' contract, Inner City Press asked OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville to “confirm or deny this decision to not extend this fixed term contract.”
   Colville has, in fact, denied, writing to Inner City Press that
“It is not true. Like all the rest of us, Anders's contract has an end date (which is indeed some time in July). The High Commissioner will request that it be extended (the final decision for someone at Anders's very senior D2 level is in fact made in New York not Geneva). However, when someone's contract ends while they are under investigation, an extension is automatically granted anyway.”
   The answer is appreciate. But why didn't that policy apply to Miranda Brown? Watch this site.
 On June 3, after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced an intention to name an independent panel at least 14 UN member statesmet about its terms of reference and to whom beyond Ban it should report, as Inner City Press exclusively details below.
  Now Inner City Press reports on the June 5 meeting between four of those states -- minus South Africa - which met on June 5 with Ban Ki-moon and more than a half dozen other officials, including Deputy Eliasson, DFS' Atule Khare, Herve Ladsous' fill-in and others.
  The states -- the UN identified them as Australia, Guatemala, Japan  and Finland, though the last was Norway -- went in with a series of positions and questions, including:
"We are concerned by the damage that these incidents, and their follow-up, have done to the UN’s reputation and credibility in an area where the UN is expected to uphold the highest standards and values.

The review must be conducted in an expeditious manner and the results must be fully transparent.

It is crucial that the review looks at the whole chain of events, including the senior management’s decisions leading to disciplinary action against Mr. Anders Kompass. This has cast doubt about the credibility of the UN’s human rights commitments in field missions and about the integrity of its whistleblower policy.
It is crucial to remove any doubts that the UN is fully committed to preventing sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure effective investigation of any such allegations in field missions. In addition, accountability for perpetrators, and protection and assistance to victims, must be ensured.

Questions: What will be the scope of the Independent External Review (CAR only? The UN’s handling of the investigation, SEA more broadly?)

To what extent has the Human Rights Up Front approach been applied?

Will the review look at institutional reforms to better address cases of SEA, including timely reporting and action in cases of abuse?
Will the review look at the protection of whistleblowers? What is the status regarding the pending case against Mr. Anders Kompass – in light of doubts that have been raised about this process?"
  In fact, Inner City Press is informed that OHCHR and Zeid personally are poised to not renew Kompass' fixed term contract, set to expire on July 8, 2015, and to give the required one month notice by June 8. 
  Inner City Press in response to the UN read-out on the evening of June 5 formally asked the UN Spokesman: "I have heard that UN OHCHR has decided not to extend Anders Kompass' fixed term contract, which is set to expire on July 8, 2015. I understand that under UN rules, he must be given one month's notice and will thus need to receive notification by no later than Monday June 8, 2015.

"Given the allegations of retaliation (and the UNDT ruling), please confirm or deny this decision to not extend this fixed term contract."
  This retaliation, despite US Mission attempts to protect the UN, could result in funding cuts or at least damaging hearings. But as with Ladsous, high UN officials are allowed to operate out of control in their fiefdoms.
  In response to the above, Inner City Press can exclusively report these UN responses:
The Office of the High Commisioner for Human Rights is sending a team to the Central African Republic.

Regarding the External Independent Review, it was assured that it will be done by someone completely outside the UN, also excluding the UN’s own investigative capacity. It was still not decided who would lead the panel, but it would consist of at least one woman and one African. It would examine the specific case of allegations in the Central African Republic, but also look at the broad range of systemic issues being raised.

Regarding the time-frame and further ToR’s of the Review, this would be discussed after the meeting and be determined shortly.

Regarding the case of Anders Kompass, it was pointed out that the separate investigation was ongoing, and the outcome must be awaited before further comments.
  But if Zeid intends to not extend Kompas' fixed term contract, that part of it is moot. And Ban is heading off on another long trip. Watch this site.
Note: three days after Inner City Press exclusively reported that Ban told the ambassadors he would name an African and a woman, slower others are repeating it, citing "diplomats." That's the UN beat.
  An emerging and damaging question for the UN is who knew what, when. Inner City Press asked when Ban knew of the alleged child rapes -- "March" is now the answer.
  There was a retreat of all senior UN officials in Turin, Italy on March 18-19, 2015. This was days after Kompass says he was told the French Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous wanted him to resign. (Ladsous now denies this, see below.)
  In Turin, Ban's chief of staff Susan Malcorra put together the ostensibly independent Ethics Office and Office of Internal Oversight Services, calling into further question the UN's claimed whistleblower protections.
  If Ban's chief of staff knew of the alleged child rapes, it is difficult to believe Ban didn't know. But what did he do?
 Which of the other high UN officials present in Turin learned there or before about the alleged child rapes, by then already covered up for months? There is a photo of the participants.

UN in Turin, March 19, 2015 UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe ICP: Who knew?
 These include some who want to run to replace Ban, or for other high positions. We will have more on this.
  The UN did not give the report to the host country authorities in CAR. And according to UN documents -- on May 29 released in more detail by Code Blue naming Ladsous directly, here -- UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous then urged that the whistleblower Kompass be forced to resign.

  The documents also implicate a number of other UN officials, and French government inaction, see below. After Press questioning turned to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, what he knew and when he knew it, Ban on June 3 announced an intention to set up an "independent" Panel. Inner City Press asked if it will report only to Ban -- yes. This is a problem.  Video here.

   On June 3 a meeting was convened to seek answers and improvement on the UN's response, by Guatemala and Norway, with attendees from all UN Regional Groups, see below. Inner City Press has spoken with several members; Norway will be requesting a meeting for the group with Ban Ki-moon, on topics ranging from to whom the Panel will report to its Terms of Reference to the actions of OIOS and the Ethics Office.

 As Inner City Press analyzed below, there is a history of UN panels being used to cover up.

Now Code Blue has these three recommendations:

"First, this must be a truly external and independent inquiry.  No member of existing UN staff should be appointed to investigate nor to act as the investigators’ secretariat.

"Second, it must be understood that top members of the Secretary-General’s own staff will have to be subject to investigation. This must go right up to the level of Under-Secretaries General. No one can be excluded, whether the Director of the Ethics Office or the USG of the Office of Internal Oversight Services or the Secretary-General’s own Chef de Cabinet. It would appear that all of them and more acted inappropriately in response to the dreadful events in CAR.

"Third, the reference in the Secretary-General’s announcement of a review to ‘the broad range of systemic issues’ is crucial to the inquiry. What happened in the Central African Republic was an atrocity, but the fact that the UN stood silent for nearly a year after its own discovery of widespread peacekeeper sexual abuse (even if by non-UN troops) is itself a bitter commentary on the Secretary-General’s declared policy of ‘zero tolerance’."

  Inner City Press would add, past UN staff and offiicals as well. Consider these past panels, as put together and at the end analyzed by Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access:

The "Ahtissari Panel" (2003) --

On 22 September 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, to chair an Independent Panel on the Safety and Security of UN Personnel in Iraq.

The "Walzer Panel" (2004)

Panel finds senior officials lax in ensuring UN’s safe return to Iraq

The Volcker Panel (2004)

The priority of the Independent Panel’s investigation of the “oil-for-food” programme was to “get after” allegations of corruption and misconduct within the United Nations itself and, more broadly, the question of the maladministration of the “oil-for-food” programme, stated Paul A. Volcker, Chairman of the Independent Panel, in a press conference at UNHQ.

The Munoz Panel (2009)

The UN Commission of Inquiry, appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the request of the Pakistani Government, reached no conclusion as to the organizers and sponsors behind the attack in which a 15-year-old suicide bomber blew up Ms. Bhutto’s vehicle in the city of Rawalpindi on 27 December 2007.  The three-member panel, which was headed by Chilean Ambassador to UN Heraldo Muñoz and included Marzuki Darusman, former attorney-general of Indonesia, and Peter Fitzgerald, a veteran official of the Irish National Police, urged the Government to undertake police reform in view of its “deeply flawed performance and conduct.”

The Palmer Panel (2011)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident on 2 August 2010. The Panel received and reviewed reports of the detailed national investigations conducted by both Turkey and Israel.

The Marzuki Panel (2011)

On 22 June 2010, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of a Panel of Experts to advise him on the implementation of the joint commitment included in the statement issued by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary-General at the conclusion of the Secretary-General's visit to Sri Lanka on 23 March 2009.

  What exactly has the UN done about Sri Lanka?

And here is the UN's June 3 announcement, and Inner City Press' immediate questions, here.


 Meanwhile UN staff advocates have written to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his chief of staff and Ladsous, among others, demanding resignations. On June 2 Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who Banned any Inner City Press question to Ladsous on May 29, what Ban Ki-moon DID, once he learned in March about the rapes.Video here and embedded below.

 Dujarric said he had nothing to add to his previous answers. Huh?

 Inner City Press asked Dujarric, in light of OHCHR Zeid using a private email address for UN business, what the UN's record retention policy is. Dujarric said the policy must be available somewhere. To this has the UN descended.

  Dujarric said the investigation by Lapointe's OIOS, discredited in the leaked emails, will "lead where it will lead." But Lapointe has told OIOS invstigators to not go beyond what they are asked to look at -- in this case, only the whistleblower. This is called a cover up.


Many are asking why UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid, while emailing with the UN Ethics Office and OIOS, was using a private Gmail address, and not his work account.

 When Hillary Clinton used the UN Security Council stakeout to belatedly answer questions about her own use of private email while US Secretary of State, it was described as an accident of scheduling, or attempt to use the UNSC backdrop to convey gravitas. But the echo now with Prince Zeid also using private email for presumably public business raises similar questions.

  But will the questions be asked, much less answered? Reuters, typically, ran a piece on May 30 repeating Zeid's press release, withlittle analysis of his role, or use of private email, or Herve Ladsous, who has now been emailed staff advocates' call for resignations.

  Anders Kompass was asked to send his side of the story -- to a private email address, but wisely declined.

Beyond the treatment of Kompass himself, the documents show pressure brought to bear on lower-level staff to make and thereby launder the high officials' desire for an investigation of Kompass.

  Most directly, it is asked, what UN staff member will now report fraud or misconduct, knowing that OIOS and the Ethics Office will then discuss the accusations with their boss? This is a question Inner City Press on May 29 asked UN Spokesman Staphen Dujarric, who BannedInner City Press from putting a single question to Ladsous - the question has yet to be answered.

    UN staff advocates have written directly to Ban Ki-moon and his deputy, Ladsous and Atul Khare and others, demanding resignations. They are offended by the exposure of lack of independence at the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and UN Ethics Office, and question whether the US should cut off funding under the 2014 U.S. Consolidated Appropriation Act, section 7048(a)(1)(B). After reading those leaked documents, how exactly can the U.S. Secretary of State (or anybody else) certify that the UN's whistle-blower policy fulfils the Act's requirements? Is there any "independent adjudicative body" in this chain? Evidently the Ethics Office and OIOS are not."

  The staff notice Ban's appearance at another softball soccer game, among those who are supposed to hold him and the UN accountable. The call for Ladsous to resign out be fired has spread from the African Group to Latin America and GRULAC.

On May 30, OHCHR for Prince Zeid issued a statement beginning, "In the wake of the revelations of alleged serious sexual abuse of children."

  But Zeid was told of the allegations long before their "revelation" via leaks. And tellingly, he continued to mistakenly think and say the rapes were in Mali and not CAR.

 Likewise, both UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous -- listed as urging the whistleblower to resign, which he denies while refusing to take questions on -- and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon both knew of the alleged child rapes by "the Spring," but did nothing.

  This requires an investigation, and not by the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services, shown to not be independent, told to meet Zeid and the UN Ethics Office by Ban's chief of staff Susan Malcorra.

  Inner City Press reported on some of the documents and went to Ladsous' rare press conference on May 29 (International Day of UN Peacekeepers) in order to ask some questions. Video here.

  But Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, choosing who could ask questions, refused to call on Inner City Press, even for Ladsous to say, as he did under Dujarric's predecessor Martin Nesirky, "I don't respond to you, Mister."

  So Inner City Press objected, on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access (the old UNCA has become part of the problem) and asked questions, video heretranscript here.

  The documents also call into serious question the claims of "independence" from the office of Ban Ki-moon of the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the UN Ethics Office.

  Consider this: OIOS head Carman Lapointe, writing to James Finness (still in charge of the "investigation" spokesman Stephane Dujarric continues to use as an excuse to not answer question), noted that at the UN staff retreat in March "I received an urgent email from the CdC [Ban's Chef de Cabinet Susana Malcorra] to meet with Zeid, Flavia and Joan."

  So OIOS is not independent - it can to told, by Ban's chief of staff, to meet with collaborate with the Ethics Office as well as OHCHR's Zeid and Pansieri.

 Inner City Press previously reported on and asked Dujarric about OIOS' flawed process and a high profile recusal, see below.

  Embarrassingly, Lapointe says for fully 20 minutes they were told the rapes occurred in Mali, not CAR -- the same mistake Zeid made. How can a mere OIOS investigation be accepted? We'll have more on this.

 As noted, Inner City Press reported on some of the documents and went to Ladsous' rare press conference on May 29 (International Day of UN Peacekeepers) in order to ask some questions.

  But Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, choosing who could ask questions, refused to call on Inner City Press, even for Ladsous to say, as he did under Dujarric's predecessor Martin Nesirky, "I don't respond to you, Mister."

So why did Nesirky allow Press questions to Ladsous, and Dujarric didn't?

  Dujarric set the first question aside for "UNCA" -- but called on an individual who was not elected to their board, who lost the election; her question was a vague softball offering Ladsous a chance to comment on Central African Republic. He said, it was one nation, not under blue helmet.

  But Ladsous' MINUSCA mission knew of the sexual abuse since at latest August 5, 2014. Inner City Press said, "Follow up on CAR?" Dujarric called on Reuters, which previously wrote to him trying to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN (then filed to get his leaked complaint blocked or Banned from Google's Search, here.) Reuters did not even aske about the CAR sexual abuse.

  What emerged is that both Ladsous -- and, troublingly, Ban Ki-moon -- were formally informed of the sexual abuse of children in CAR "in the spring."  What date? And what did they do?

  Dujarric said, "last question;" as Ladsous left the room Inner City Press asked Ladsous about him speaking about the whistleblower Kompass with OHCHR's Zeid, also a subject of the new documents -- no answer.

  Inner City Press objected to Dujarric, who has fielded or dodged a dozen Inner City Press questions about the CAR rapes and Ladsous' role, not even being allowed to ask a question. Dujarric said, "Noted."Video here.

 And what? Again, Dujarric's predecessor Nesirky, and his deputy Del Buey, allowed Inner City Press to put questions to Ladsous. What if the difference? We'll have more on this.

On July 30, 2014, Ambassador Nicolas Niemtchinow, Permanent Representative of France to the UN in Geneva wrote to
Kompass that action was being taken. But then, nothing.

 On August 5, 2014 the Human Rights Officer in CAR of OHCHR wrote to Renner Onana of the already-then UN mission MINUSCA; DPKO's SRSG Babacar Gaye was referenced.

   So when did Gaye or MINUSCA tell DPKO chief Ladsous?

Tellingly, even the UN's cover up was delayed by High Commissioner Prince Zeid thinking he heard of French troops' sexual abuse in MINUSMA (Mali) and not MINUSCA (CAR).

  Zeid asked his predecessor Navi Pillay if she met with French representatives about rapes in Mali -- the answer was no -- then much later asked her if she'd met with the French about CAR (the answer was yes.)

  It was Zeid's Deputy Flavia Pansieri who conveyed Ladsous' directive to Kompass to resign. Zeid in his statement makes much of Pansieri meeting with a Swedish diplomat in the street, in casual clothes, after Sweden raised l'affaire Kompass at a dinner in honor of Ban Ki-moon's Deputy Jan Eliasson. THe UN's move now seems to be to try to lay all blame on Pansieri, whose term was expiring anyway. We'll have more on this.

   From Kompass' March 29, 2015 narrative, here:

"On 12 March 2015 meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner I was informed that the High Commissioner requested my resignation for the way I dealt with the reports of paedophilia in the Central African Republic. I was told that the High Commissioner had been asked for my resignation by Mr. Ladsous, Under Secretary-General for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York, during a visit of the High Commissioner to New York."

  Ladsous curtly denied this to Inner City Press, video here, then again refused to answer questions -- as he has outright refused to answer Press questions on rapes in the DR Congo and Darfur.

   On May 27, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, here.

  Follow up stories in the New York Times and on AP managed to not mention Ladsous, despite Paragraph 9 of the UN Dispute Tribunal reinstatement order.
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 Inner City Press, which reported exclusively on that meeting, on May 22 asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq about the probe, video here



Absent from the UN Fifth (Budget) Committee's May 18 meeting was not only embattled Peacekeeping chief Ladsous,, but also OIOS' Carman Lapointe.
 In her stead for OIOS was Michael Stefanovic, who told the Fifth Committee that he has recused himself from the investigation and has written to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as to why. 
  This is highly irregular. If the recusal was made on a personal connection between Stefanovic and the whistleblower Anders Kompass, Stefanovic would have recused himself from the earlier investigation - but he didn't. If it were such a recusal, he would have written to Lapointe, and not to the S-G.
   For now we add this -- if OIOS Director Stefanovic has a conflict of interest, how can the UN be asking others to rely on an OIOS investigation? Inner City Press has asked a Permanent Member of the Security Council -- not France -- if an OIOS investigation would be sufficient, and has been told "No." 
 Now we have this, from the Fifth Committee's May 20 meeting:
Lapointe, summoned to the meeting via her Byun-kun Min, was asked
-When did OIOS/ID start the investigation into Anders Kompass?
-Why did Mr. Stefanovic recuse himself from the Kompass investigation?
-In view of Mr. Stefanovic recusing himself, did Ms. Lapointe see any impediments for the scope of the investigation, especially as it appeared to implicate an ASG or USG in misconduct?
  Note - this is a reference to UN Peacekeeping USG Ladsous.
 Multiple sources tell Inner City Press Lapointe replied that Stefanovic told only the Secretary General, not her, that he recused himself, and that the Deputy Director of OIOS in Vienna is now "overseeing" the investigation.
So those now on the case are James Finniss, Kanja and Margaret Gichanga -- who has been asking to interview WIPO whistleblower Miranda Brown, who worked alongside Kompass for a time. We'll have more on this. It is a new low for the UN.
Back on May 18, Inner City Press, staking out the Budget Committee meeting, spoke with Ban's chief of staff Susana Malcorra when she left the meeting. Here is a transcript, followed by an exclusive summary of what happened inside the closed meeting.
Inner City Press: How did it go in there? Are their questions answered?
CdC Malcorra: Well I hope, yes. Some of them still have questions that will be answered by my colleague. I think I’ve made a point of what it is that we’re discussing here. This investigation is a UN investigation. It was led by the UN in the field when they had allegations handed to them. It was the human rights cell in the mission that led this investigation. It looks like we were absent, but it was us...
And this investigation could, at least prima facie, there were places clear enough to further investigate by the member state. And as such, the information was provided to a member state. On a separate front, is how the information is provided. And we cannot accept the irresponsibility of the names of the victims, the witnesses and the investigators shared with the member states ... it’s inacceptable. It may look like a bureaucratic approach. It’s not a bureaucratic approach...
Inner City Press: What about not telling Central African Republic authorities?
CdC Malcora: They are discussing that now.
   After the meeting ended, and Inner City Press spoke with numerous attendees - a common refrain was that the UN leadership is "in denial" - we have pieced together this summary of the meeting, and the totally insufficient answer on UN Peacekeeping chief Ladsous' role, a lack of recognition of his UNAMID mission's previous cover up of rapes in Tabit in Darfur, which the US and UK and other say they care about, and lack of follow up on whistleblowers.
Attendees' summary of Ban Ki-moon chief of staff Malcorra:
"Malcorra said she had no idea the session would go into the specifics of CAR, she thought it was to touch upon general Sexual Abuse and Exploitation policy (several attendees were dubious and angry about this approach.)
  Malcorra said that in the case of misconduct by UN staff the procedures were in place. In this case, even when it was not UN peacekeepers the human rights cell in Bangui was there and they were the ones that initiated the investigation. It is thanks to the UN that allegations were substantiated and it was enough to decide to proceed with a further investigation.
  The wrongdoing of the UN staffer Anders Kompass was to have shared the information without it being redacted putting the victims, witnesses and investigators lives in danger. She repeated many times this was a serious breach and that she disagreed with anyone that didn’t view this conduct wrong.
   According to Malcorra the UN investigation lasted three months which allowed them to substantiate the allegations.  When that finding was final it went to the two lines of command: The head of mission in CAR and the OHCHR.  But, several asked, why didn't either of these tell the CAR authorities?
Malcorra said she would have preferred this case hadn't surfaced in the media and that it is regrettable member states have had to learn matters from the press. But that, Malcorra said, member states have to be aware that the press manipulates everything. Several states talked about the UN image and credibility to which Malcorra said she was very sad with those comments because if not for the UN these troops could have gotten away with these disturbing acts. She also said this was a clear case of damned if you do damned if you don’t. But what about the cover up? What about Ladsous?
  Malcorra said that “no other element had been taken into account” for Kompass' firing. But member states were aware of Paragraph 9 of the UN Dispute Tribunal ruling reinstating Kompass. As noted, one Permanent Representatives (and several other diplomats) told Inner City Press that Ladsous should resign.
  Tellingly, the sources say, Malcorra claimed didn’t recall any UNAMID coverup allegations. Tabit?
   Malcorra didn’t even address the Otis report on whistleblowers - which Inner City Press has been asking Ban's spokesman about, repeatedly -- but assured member states that due protections are in place and that an adequate policy exists.
  Malcorra said she looks forward to working further on the UN convention in paragraph 57 of the SG report on SEA and agrees that there are systemic flaws, and therefore there will be a review of all the processes.
  According to sources in the meeting -- Inner City Press asked and was told to inquiry with member states -- the  Legal Counsel and head of OLA qualified as excellent the cooperation with the French Authorities and that the lifting of immunity so far hasn’t been necessary because at this stage its very general requests of information that the UN promptly has given to the French authorities. For the sake of efficiency hasn’t gone through the lifting of immunity process but if a trial or judge becomes involved they will do it quickly at a later stage. Several member states were dubious. The EU, Inner City ress is informed, said “accountability starts at the top.”
 Malcorra left unanswered why the host state, the CAR, was not involved. She is said to have ignored the specific question on the status of the OIOS investigation. She ignored the complaints about under-reporting saying that the trend of decrease was very clear and that the USG of DFS would go into details (what he did, genially, was repeat the Secretary General's report).
  An impartial investigation was called for, from both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere. There was a refrain afterward: Ladsous should resign."
  Herve Ladsous was conveniently out of town, on Mali over that weekend he chided Malians for not sufficiently thanking France for the French Operation Serval. Would he say the say in Bangui, about Operation Sangaris?
  A well-placed African Permanent Representative before the meeting told Inner City Press before the meeting that Ladsous should resign. But with him conveniently absent, would others be left holding the bag, trying to explain why he, Ladsous, appears in the UN Dispute Tribunal ruling as urging that the whistleblower resign?
  Back on May 8, Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Samantha Power about both issues - the UN's failure to tell the CAR authorities, and Ladsous' "surprising" role, as High Commissioner Zeid put it earlier in the day. Video here and embedded below. Then Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, about the contradiction; for the first time, he gave a timeline.
  Here is the video of Inner City Press questions to US Ambassador Power:

  It is an answer that may move things forward. Ladsous, it should be noted, just this week snubbed a Joe Biden-linked Hemispheric peacekeeping conference in Uruguay, wasting an $8,000 first class plane ticket and angering many troop contributing countries. He refuses to answer Press question, for example on rapes in Minova, DRC and Tabit in Darfur.
   As noted, on May 8, High Commissioner Zeid held a press conference, and twice refused to comment on why Ladsous was said to have pressured to fire or suspend the whistleblower.
  Inner City Press has covered Ladsous' role from the beginning, and highlighted his appearance in Paragraph 9 of the UN Dispute Tribunal ruling reinstating Kompass. On May 7, Ladsous told Inner City Press, "I deny that" - then refused to take questions.
 Zeid was asked, and first time said he should first give his view of the pressure to the investigator, not the media.
 The second time, he said he was surprised to read it -- his Office did not contest that part of the ruling, effectively admitting it -- and that the head of UN Peacekeeping should not have been intervening about a non-UN force.  Video here.
 Neither he nor the questioners in the room in Geneva said the obvious: Ladsous is a longtime French diplomat; it is not rocket science to read Paragraph 9 as him (inappropriately) still working for "his" country.

 Zeid said other things we'll report later; he alluded to the need for a Commission of Inquiry. Some ask, will Ladsous quit before then? Or after?
 For more than nine months, no action was taken -- no interviews of victims or alleged perpetrators were done -- other than the UN suspending Kompass for the leak, on which the UN Dispute Tribunal ruling recites that UN Peacekeeping chief Ladsous requested Kompass' resignation. (See Paragraph 9, here.) Ladsous told Inner City Press he denies it - then refused questions.
  Early on May 8, UN system staff complained to Inner City Press that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid of Jordan, in a closed staff meeting on May 8, tried to downplay the scandal, going so far as to blame imams in Bangui for not playing their role.
  But it was OHCHR which didn't even give the report of the rape of CAR children to CAR authorities, only to the French.
  In places, Zeid appeared to try to use his record ten years ago on sexual abuse to shift the blame to imams.  Inner City Press has shown a failure by his Office to act on past leaking, to Morocco. We'll have more on this.
  On May 7, Inner City Press asked more questions about this - including to Herve Ladsous himself.
  After a long closed-door consultation meeting of the Security Council, Ladsous emerged. Inner City Press asked him, based on Paragraph 9 of the UNDT ruling, Why did you ask Kompass to resign?"
  Ladsous stopped and said, "I deny that." Inner City Press put the handheld video online, here.