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Ban Urges IBK to Extend Authority To All Mali, Tuaregs Banned Like Tamils?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 5 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced on November 1 he was going to Mali and the Sahel, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson if he would be going to North Mali, Gao or Kidal, and if any of the money raised would be directed to that area, which harbors understandable support for autonomy or separatism.

 Neither question was directly answered, click here for that story.

  Now the UN sends a read-out of Ban's meeting with the president of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Bamako, saying Ban urged "the extension of state authority throughout the country." But what about the underlying grievances of the Tuaregs?

  Ban's approach is similar to that his UN stood by for in 2009 in Sri Lanka, when the government "extended state authority" to the north and killed tens of thousands of civilians in the process, and militarily supported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  By contrast in Syria, on the UN Security Council's agenda November 5, this "extension of state authority throughout the country" is not been called for, to put it mildly. Who decides that the aspirations in north Mali, as in northern Sri Lanka, are illegitimate? And in the long term, will either approach work? Watch this site.

Footnote: In former French colony Mali, Ban was greeted by Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row atop UN Peacekeeping. He praised Ladsous' man from Cote d'Ivoire to Bamako, Bert Koenders, for "keeping MINUSMA up to the expectations of the international community."

But with the lack of transparency on what's being done on the alleged gang rape by MINUSMA peacekeepers, and on Mauritania's request to join MINUSMA only along their own border -- is this the "expectations of the international community"? Or only what we've come to expect from UN Peacekeeping under Ladsous? Watch this site.


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