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French PR Delattre Refuses Questions on Mali, MNLA & Gao, “I Have to Run”

By Matthew Russell Lee, updated

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 -- When French Ambassador Francois Delattre came to the UN Security Council stakeout on March 4 it was as Council president, with "Elements to the Press on Mali and then a read-out on Libya. Then he took three questions.

  But all three of the handpicked questions -- France 24, Agence France Presse then Voice of America -- were about Libya. Inner City Press said twice, "Question on Mali?"

  Delattre smiled and said, I have to run, I know it is the second time.

  On March 3 Delattre used the same "I have to run" line to not answer a question about Burundi, where France is set to lead a Council trip on March 13, the draft Terms of Reference for which (which Inner City Press published here) do no mention the Cibitoke massacre nor opine if a third Presidential term would violate the Arusha agreement, which is cited.

  Delattre in fact didn't run; Inner City Press asked about the MNLA not signing the deal Delattre has just praised on behalf of the Council, and about the completed report on UN Peacekeepers shooting at demonstrators in Gao: what will the Council do with it?

 Delattre did not answer. And the French mission's transcript of the stakeout, here, did not including the on-microphone Mali question(s) and Delattre's "I have to run."

 Later, the French mission put up the Mali "Elements to the Press," with no mention that a question about them had been asked, on microphone, and that Delattre had again said, "I have to run."

  We are compelled to note that UN Peacekeeping, run by France four times in a row most recently by Herve Ladsous who also does not answer Press questions, needs to answer when its personnel shoot at demonstrators, as recently happened in Haiti too.

  But there are no answers. Nor on the sale of UN posts in the DR Congo and Haiti by Deputy Permanent Representative Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, here. We'll have more on this.


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