By Matthew Russell Lee
But when the UN’s envoy in the DRC Martin Kobler held a grand(iose) infomercial on UN Television on Thursday, using the Twitter hashtag #Kobler100Days, he downplayed that and almost all other less than positive news.
At least he took the LRA question, or part of it. Inner City Press asked: “What has MONUSCO & the DRC government done amid the increased LRA attacks in Orientale Province?”
The word “increased” was dropped from the read-out, and Kobler immediately claimed that there are a lot of actions against the LRA in the neighboring Central African Republic. That is not true: action against the LRA has been suspended in CAR since the Seleka coup.
Kobler came off as if he is running for office in the DRC, or is an appointed viceroy. He said things like “educate our children,” and essentially bragged about the victory over the M23. He put no timeline on going after the FDLR.
There were translation problems, some seeming intentional. Kobler in English conceded that MONUSCO is the UN’s most expensive mission; the French translation called it only the most “important” mission.
A question on the UN supporting an illegitimate government drew a blank from Kobler; finally he insisted there those in prison in the DRC are rightfully there. He claimed that impunity is a thing of the past — “dans le passe” — despite for example no one being jailed for the 135 rapes in Minova year ago, and only lower level army members even being charged.
While Kobler took at least four questions from the UN’s own Radio Okapi — and thanked Okapi for them at the end, North Korea style — here are some questions Kobler didn’t take or answer:
So UN believes no one higher placed is responsible for 135 rapes in Minova?
From DRC, who will have access to the info from Ladsous’ drone? [Kobler said “December,” but nothing on who’ll get the information.]
What did MONUSCO find when, as UN said, it went to check in “reprisals” in Bunagana & Kiwanja?
What does UN say to critique that members of Intervention Brigade have economic & political interests in #DRC?
What has UN done about links between DRC officers & FDLR militia cited in UN’s own Group of Experts report? [Kobler’s UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous should really answer this one, given his history.]
These will have to be answered. Watch this site.