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Mali Coup Reignites UNSC Fight About Libya, Gold Mine Qs UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 23 -- The coup d'etat in Mali did not come out of nowhere. After the fall of Gaddafi in Libya, arms and fighters flowed back to Mali. Soldiers were being ordered to go north to face the Tuareg without having the right, or even any, weapons.

  On March 17 there were protest by young soldiers in Gao Saturday then in Kati near Bamako, about the government's handling of the situation in the south. They mutinied.

  On March 21 it was said the UN Security Council would get a briefing under Any Other Business. But it was put back for a day. By the time the Council got briefing on March 22 at 4:30 pm -- several diplomats arrived late, from an Arria formula meeting on Syria -- the coup in Mali was entrenched.

  Inner City Press is informed that the briefing, Lynn Pascoe, was pointedly asked about gold mining in Mali, but did not answer. Here are some of the companies involved: Iamgold Corp., Avion Gold Corp., Randgold Resources Ltd. and Cluff Gold PLC.

  There are reports that coup leader Amadou Haya Sanogo received US military training. The US has yet to cut off military aid. The International Monetary Fund on March 22 answered Inner City Press' question about Egypt, but not one about Mali, then or since.

A larger issue is that groups previously supported financial by Gaddafi now have empty bank accounts. And so guns are picked back up - and proliferated weapons are there.

The Security Council has long delayed a Presidential Statement about the Sahel. Some, from the West, want to refer to Libya only in terms of humanitarian issues. Others want to tie it to security, now in light of the coup in Mali. A new draft is being circulated with an eye toward adoption Monday or Tuesday unless the silence procedure is broken. Watch this site.

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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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