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At UN on Mali Coup, Recognition of Libya Fall Out, 2000 Touareg Returnees

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 22 -- The coup in Mali has several member of the UN Security Council saying, in essence, "I told you so." For months these Council members have argued that the way Gaddafi was overturned in Libya flooded the Sahel region with weapons and Touareg fighters.

  Inner City Press asked UN Political Affairs chief Lynn Pascoe if this was fall out from the Libya conflict. He said that some 1500 to 2000 Touaregs, some who served in Gaddafi's army, returned and reinvigorated the Touareg rebels' fight. The mutinying soldiers were frustrated at a lack of support, and overthrew the government.

  Others focused on whether any foreigners were "trapped" in Bamako. The Security Council's press statement addressed this issue. South Africa's Baso Sangqu predicted to Inner City Press that Mali will be suspended from the African Union. He said that finally the delay of a pending press statement on the Sahel will be broken.

Inner City Press asked Council president Mark Lyall Grant about this statement; he said meetings on it will continue. He put the number of Touareg returnees to Mali at from 2000 to 3000, and did not dispute that this was related to the conflict in Libya.

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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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