Thursday, February 16, 2017

In CAR, UN Kills 3 Civilians, Spox Haq Dodges, Calls Press Obsessive A*hole

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, February 14 – The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Central African Republic, under its fourth consecutive French director in a row Herve Ladsous, is dumping waste negligently leading to malaria, a UN memo leaked to and exclusively published on February 3 by Inner City Press has shown.

  On February 13, when Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about the UN killing three civilians along with one combatant near Bambari, the lack of accountability in UN Peacekeeping was again on display. Haq dodged - this was a day before he called Inner City Press obsessive and then, as he left, an a*hole - so on February 14 Inner City Press asked, transcript here: 
Inner City Press: the UN is calling on the… the Congolese authorities to look into the civilian casualties they may have caused; I'm wondering if now, a day later, if… if you have anything on the reported killing of three civilians by MINUSCA in CAR outside of Bambari.  What is… what procedure is in place for the UN to know how many people were killed?  And it's… you described it as a crossing of the red line.  But how many people… how many non-combatants were killed?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, you've heard the update I gave you about the situation there.  The UN mission has reaffirmed its impartiality in the hostilities.  And, again, its core mandate is to protect civilians.  The worry in this case was that if… once the red line was crossed, that fighting would be brought to the civilians of Bambari, which has happened before, mind you.  And it needed to be stopped at this stage.  Beyond this, we are looking into our actions over… of the past few days to see whether there are any further details.

Inner City Press:  No, I just want to follow up, because I'm sure the DRC army said they did what they did for a reason.  So I'm not contesting your reason for shooting.  I'm just saying, doesn't the UN have a mechanism to, in fact, discover and disclose civilians that it killed?  And what is that mechanism?  And what is the deadline to state what happened?  Not why it happened.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, it's not a question of deadline.  We'll need to get further details, and the mission is trying to get further details about what happened, including any potential casualties, such as civilian casualties.  

  It's called hypocrisy.