Wednesday, April 20, 2016

On South Sudan, Inner City Press Asks UN of Reported Rapes In Its "Protection" Camps, Inept Redux

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 20-- How low has the UN fallen, in terms of corruption, not stopping rapes, and retaliating against the Press that asks the questions? April 16 eviction here and here.
On April 20, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about rapes inside the UN's "protection" camps, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: There’s a lengthy 18 April piece in Time magazine about rape as a tool of war.  And one of the situations that it describes are people who sought shelter in the UN… UNMISS Protection of Civilians Sites being, they say, repeatedly raped inside the camps.  And so it… it’s not something that I’d heard of.  And I wonder, is it something that the UN and UNMISS keep track of?  It sounds pretty bad to be in a… in a POC (protection of civilians) site.  And so what is the UN’s position on whether rapes have occurred in these sites, as described in Time magazine?

Spokesman:  I don’t have any reports to that end.  Obviously, the situations inside the camps are challenging given that these protection of civilians sites were not designed to house the tens and tens of thousands of people we are housing.  We’ve seen that sometimes the security situation inside those POCs has been precarious.  We hope, if there are any reports, that they are reported to the UN authorities.
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.

On April 14, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video hereUN transcript here: