MONUSCO, UN’s Ladsous ignore Security Council over FDLR Italy trip
The head of UN peacekeeping operations Herve Ladsous ignored a UN Security Council refusal to grant a waiver to travel to Italy for senior commanders of Rwandan FDLR rebels. The Frenchman is now in the source of a serious political scandal for the UN.
It has emerged that on June 24, Ladsous wrote a note to the Security Council requesting for a waiver to allow General Gaston Iyamuremye (aka Rumuli Michel) and his delegation to go to Rome to meet members of the Catholic lay group Sant’Egidio, which has been the biggest clandestine funding mobiliser for the FDLR for many years. Ladsous said the FDLR would leave the next day June 25.
However, without waiting for response from the Security Council as required by the sanctions resolution which imposes travel bans on FDLR commanders, Ladsous gave go ahead for MONUSCO to facilitate General Iyamuremye and delegation to fly out. The same day on June 25, Ladsous received a response from the Security Council sanctions committee informing him that the waiver request had been rejected.
In short, General Iyamuremye was not allowed to leave DRC bushes, and if he did, he is supposed to have been arrested by the Congolese government or MONUSCO. The FDLR delegation did indeed travel to Rome and is there since Thursday June 26, expected to leave June 28.
Ladsous, the former French envoy to UN during the genocide in Rwanda, said in his note that the FDLR were going to Rome as part of “ongoing FDLR disarmament and surrender process” and to consider “the options available to achieve this objective.” Diplomats at the UN headquarters are furious that Ladsous who is in essence their employee would take a decision ignoring Security Council directives.
“…we were informed that MONUSCO did not even wait for the decision of the 1533 committee before starting the process of airlifting a UN sanctioned individual, as well as other FDLR leaders, including individuals wanted by the government of Rwanda for their responsibility in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi,” said Eugene Richard Gasana, Rwanda’s UN envoy. Rwanda is on the 15-member Security Council and chairs the sanctions committee.
Gasana added: “Indeed, while the request of the travel ban was pending, MONUSCO transported, by helicopter, Gaston Lyamuremye from Kanyabayonga to Goma, where he was transported to Kinshasa, though Kisangani, in a MONUSCO aircraft.”
In December 2010, the UN Security Council added General Gaston Iyamuremye to the list of FDLR commanders who are considered international pariahs. General Iyamuremye is currently the leader of the democratic forces for the liberation of Rwanda whose members formed the execution manpower for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda against Tutsis, then fled to Zaire at the time.