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On Mali, France's Structure Falls Under Fire, DRC Cited, Ladsous Stonewalls

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- While previous French led UN Security Council sessions on Mali have been surprisingly smooth, Wednesday's was not.

  Afterward, UN Department of Political Affair chief Jeffrey Feltman told Inner City Press, “Well, that was a lively debate.”

  Inner City Press asked Ambassador Susan Rice if the US thought the proposed “parallel” or French force should be under UN control.

  The answer appears to be, Non. Ambassador Rice said that robust counter terrorism work in northern Mali, at the request of the Malian government, should not be part of the UN stabilization mission.

  Rice said the US would have no objection to the Security Council offering its “blessing” to such work, but that would be it. She said proposals had been made in the consultations which raised a lot of questions.

  Other Ambassadors agreed. Vitaly Churkin said while it was a “professional” discussion, it will take time.

  Inner City Press asked Churkin about the parallel force and if it should be under UN control.

  His answer included noting that despite the claim that the “intervention brigade” for the Democratic Republic of Congo approved last week was an exception and not a precedent, it is already being cited or used for Mali.

  So what's next in Mali: UN drones like Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous started procuring for West Africa -- read, Cote d'Ivoire -- and Central Africa even before getting any Security Council approval?

When Ladsous left the Security Council, unlike Feltman and his DFS counterpart Ameera Haq he refused to answer or entertain any questions at all, even on Mali.

  After Ladsous refused a Mali question, Inner City Press asked him on the Democratic Republic of Congo, what assurances he claimed to have received, such that his supposed April 1 deadline was once again not enforced?

  This, he did not answer. Maybe he was rushing to the UN's own radio station, North Korea style. Watch this site.

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