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Chad PR Tells ICP Pull Out of N. Mali Is To "Not Protect MNLA” Or Azawad

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- Yesterday when France circulated its draft Mali resolution to the other 14 members of the UN Security Council, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud about Chad's announcement it would pull out of northern Mali.

Araud shrugged that was “an announcement of President Deby” and said it would not have any immediate impact on the resolution process or “project” being launched.

Today Inner City Press asked Chad's Permanent Representative Ahmad Allam-mi for his country's reasoning. Allam-mi exclusively told Inner City Press that his government's plan to pull out of the north of Mali has less to do with fighting than not wanting to get in the position of “protecting the MNLA.”

You mean Azawad,” Inner City Press asked, using the name for the MNLA proposed breakaway state in what is now northern Mali.

Allam-mi nodded. It is not our issue, he said. He continued: "If the Malian army wants to try to go in, so be it. But we suggest they try to get the MNLA on board."

The word autonomy was mentioned by Allam-mi. But by some accounts the resentment toward Bamako runs high in the proto Azawad. How France's plan for MINUSMA will deal with any of this is yet to be seen.

Yesterday Inner City Press put the French drafted resolution online, here. Today Inner City Press asked about several provisions, including intriguingly the “environmental assessment.” One diplomat emphasized there would be no reporting, just a call to “minimize” impact. Watch this site.

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