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On Mali, France & Morocco Disagree on Stand-Alone Envoy, Gambari Floated

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 6 -- In the wake of the ECOWAS visit to the UN Security Council this week, to get the first of they hope two resolutions about Mali, a rare split between France and Morocco has emerged.

  In closed door consultations, numerous sources tell Inner City Press, Morocco proposed that a special UN envoy for Mali be designated, like Jamal Benomar has been on Yemen.

  France on the other hand, to save money and to retain control, favors leaving the Mali situation in the hands of Senegal based UNOWA, headed by Said Djinnit.

  Some question Djinnit's response for example to the coup in Guinea Bissau, and think he's stretched too thin. But who could be stand-alone envoy to Mali?

  Inner City Press on July 5 floated a candidate, largely tongue in cheek: Ibrahim Gambari, covered most recently building a $600,000 "Hardshell on the Hill" mansion in the paecekeeping based in El Fasher. Before that, Inner City Press exposed him taking wedding photographs with Omar al Bashir and Janjaweed founder Musa Hillal.

  But, the thinking goes, Gambari might have the skill set or bravado to work on Timbuktu. Inner City Press joked he might build another $600,000 mansion. But as one Council member said, everyone has their foibles and $600,000 is not really that much, in the grand scope of UN things. And so it goes at the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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