By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- Speaking about the Central African Republic on Friday in the UN Security Council Herve Ladsous, the UN official who linked the rapes there to "R&R," claimed that he is "deeply disturbed by the continuing allegations."
Given his past, is Ladsous concerned about the rapes, or about the public allegations? He was named in a UN Dispute Tribunal ruling as having ordered the firing of whistleblower Anders Kompass. While he once curtly denied it to Inner City Press, he made a point of then refusing any questions from Inner City Press and is named by many people as one of those responsible for the ouster and eviction of Inner City Press from the UN.
“Sadly, these positive developments in the country have again been overshadowed by allegations of misconduct and sexual exploitation and abuse by MINUSCA and international forces,” Ladsous said on Friday. “We have engaged with MINUSCA's uniformed personnel in Bangui and New York on the issue and requested swift investigations and strict punishment for perpetrators.”
Really? As Inner City Press has asked Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople, without them even deigning a response, Burundians say that their troops were are repatriated from Central African Republic are just sent out for another pay-day with AMISOM in Somalia.
How low has the UN fallen, in terms of corruption, not stopping rapes, and retaliating against the Press that asks the questions? On April 12 Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq about an April 13 hearing in the US House of Representatives about impunity for UN rapes. Just as the UN skipped court hearings on bringing cholera to Haiti, Haq's answer did not say that the UN would attend the hearing. Video here.
Inner City Press live-tweeted the House hearing on April 13, in which Aicha Elbasri described Herve Ladsous' cover up in Darfur, and former OIOS auditor Peter Gallo described how top UN officials just USE the OIOS (as they have to de-link Ban Ki-moon from the Ng Lap Seng scandal). Brett Schaefer said there is a need for US training of other countries' peacekeepers. There's truth in that, but one of the DRC Army units implicated in the mass rapes in Minova was US trained.
Chairman Chris Smith cited the UN's "zero tolerance, zero compliance culture;" in the Senate there were strong argument for reducing the UN's funding.