UNITED NATIONS, June 29 — Yesterday, Inner City Press exclusively put online the Annexes to the new Democratic Republic of the Congo sanctions report, zeroing in as others haven’t on Congolese Army torture, looting and rape, beyond the 135 Minova rapes the UN has failed to act on.
Today, Inner City Press puts online exclusively as an HTML file the 215 paragraph report itself, here. Usually right before UN Security Council meetings, this time just before the full deployment of the Council’s “Intervention Brigade,” the reports are leaked to a Western wire service and set the tenor of the debate.
Rarely are the actually documents put online, only the wire service’s gloss. In this case, Inner City Press immediately critiqued that gloss, which for example ignored Rwanda’s opposition to two of the Group of Experts’ members, Bernard Leloup and Marie Plamadiala, on which Inner City Press previously reported.
But now, after receiving copies from even more members of the Security Council, Inner City Press is putting not only the Annexes online, but also the report, as an HTML file, here.
Along with the new Free UN Coalition for Access, Inner City Press believes that the public, particularly the impacted public, has a right to see the actual documents, and not only Western wire services’ spin of them.
Readers will of course focus on the parts most of interest to them. Inner City Press’ focus, in the Great Lakes as in Haiti, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, is the UN at least purporting to try to live up to its stated principles.
The 135 rapes in Minova by two units of the Congolese Army have not resulted in any suspension of UN support, despite only two arrests being made for the rapes. This, like the inclusion of a listed child soldier recruiter into the new UN mission in Mali, is the responsibility of Herve Ladsous, the fourth French head of UN Peacekeeping in a row.
Ladsous in his previous incarnation as French deputy permanent representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide argued for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo. When asked by Inner City Press about it, he started talking about “innuendo” and refusing to answer questions, video here.
The UN’s and Ladsous’ non-enforcement of human rights due diligence and conditionality policies were air brushed from Reuters gloss on this report — not surprising, not only politically but also in light of recent evidence that Reuters gives the UN information the UN should not have, here: quid pro quo?
For now, consider these:
107. The Group interviewed 10 FARDC soldiers in Tongo, in North Kivu, who reported that FARDC and FDLR regularly meet and exchange operational information. These same sources stated that FARDC soldiers supplied ammunition to the FDLR. Col. Faida Fidel Kamulete, the commander of FARDC 2nd battalion of 601st Regiment based at Tongo, denied such collaboration, but declared to the Group that FARDC and FDLR do not fight each other.
When Inner City Press published internal emails from the MONUSCO UN Mission on this topic, MONUSCO replied angrily via press release that it was false. Now that the Group says it too, will MONUSCO attack the Group of Experts?
MONUSCO has not responded to a request, in French no less, by the Free UN Coalition for Access, digging into the UN system’s and particularly UN Peacekeeping’s one-way social media, to clarify how many FARDC arrests there have been for the 135 rapes in Minova in late November. Now what of the UN mission MONUSCO working with Congolese Army units intertwined with the FDLR?
“138. On 20-21 November 2012 in Bunia (Ituri District, Orientale Province), PNC and FARDC organized the looting of more than three-dozen facilities belonging to MONUSCO, various United Nations agencies, and international humanitarian organizations, as well as residences of UN and humanitarian staff (see annex 65). Eyewitnesses in Bunia and a report by the District of Ituri specifically identified Col. Willy Bonane Habarugira (see annex 66),29 who was acting commander of FARDC forces in the Safisha Operational Zone (Ituri), as having organized and participated in the ransacking of UN and humanitarian facilities...The Military Tribunal in Bunia convicted 5 PNC and 1 FARDC of pillaging; however, the government has brought no charges against either Col. Bideko or Col. Bonane despite their well-known roles in the pillaging.
“29 In 2009, the U.S. Government rejected Col. Bonane for participation in a U.S.-run military training course due to his poor human rights record.”
By Matthew Russell Lee,/ innercitypress.com