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Pulling Copters Out of CAR, France Uses Antonov, Grounded in Nigeria

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 8 -- When despite the continuing crisis in the Central African Republic France wanted to pull out its Gazelle helicopters and other equipment, to a base of its in Chad, how did it do it?

  With a Russian cargo plane, it emerges, one that when it landed in Kano was grounded by Nigerian authorities. Eventually they were released, and the pull-out from CAR continued. How did the copters get to CAR in the first place?

  Ironically, France got a contract from the UN to run and got paid for airfield services in northern Mali. Now this.

  Meanwhile, since UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous left unanswered the Press question raised about his reported desire to eavesdrop in Mali, MaliActu picked it up, here.

  Back on October 4, more than twenty four hours after French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian came to the UN on October 3 and met the UN's Ban Ki-moon and former French diplomat Herve Ladsous, the UN had provided no read-out.

  Earlier on October 3 Le Drian had met with (soon outgoing) US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Hagel said they discussed if France will join the US in airstrikes in Syria. Did Le Drian discuss this with Ban and Ladsous as well?

 Even France 24 reported what Hagel said. To extrapolate to the UN is not a stretch - except, apparently, for big wigs or grands fromages in the UN press corps. At NPR, Michele Kelemen interviewed Le Drian who said France is very "transparent" about its positions on Syria. So why no read-out?

 There emerges a photo of Le Drian and Ladsous, marking some agreement, here. Ostensibly it's for the French troops in Sangaris to cooperate with Ladsous' MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic. But with reports of French troops killing in CAR, most recently in Bambari, would UN Peacekeeping under former French diplomat Herve Ladsous really look into this? He does not answer Press questions.

   As regards Syria, Ladsous ordered peacekeepers from Fiji and the Philippines to surrender to the Jabhat al Nusra rebels, or terrorists, in the Golan Heights.

  Now the UN vehicles Nusra took have been used for suicide bombings in Daraa. Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on December 8 when UN Peacekeeping had done to try to get the vehicles back, and how many Nusra had, and has - without receiving any substantive answer.

  When Inner City Press tried to asked Ladsous questions on September 26, Ladsous refused to answer. On September 27, as Inner City Press filmed from the entirely legal UN General Assembly stakeout area, Ladsous came over and blocked Inner City Press' camera and demanded, what do you want with this?

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has been asked twice about what Ladsous did, for the Free UN Coalition for Access, but has yet to respond substantively.

We repeat, now also on behalf of FUNCA: For a meeting like Ban's with Le Drian, there should be a a read-out. Watch this site.  

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