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At UN, E. Congo Envoy Search Passes Through Buyoya, of ICC & Slim Pickings

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 -- Amid expanding fighting in Eastern Congo, talk at the UN in New York on Monday morning turned to the identity of the Special Envoy that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is slated to name.

  With the idea that the person should both be high profile and speak French, focus turned to former heads of state from Francophone Africa. As one wag joked, there aren't many of them.

  A name pushed or floated from a non Francophone African position is that of Pierre Buyoya, former Burundian president and, some point out, coup leader in 1987. But, the argument goes, who else? And why couldn't he handle what's left of Mali and the Eastern Congo at the same time?

  Another wag joked that there is another Francophone former head of state who is unemployed: Laurent Gbagbo. OK, he's in the Hague. But it's said in Kenya that a country could be run from there in a pinch. So why not a mediation?

  Meanwhile the ACPLS militia is said to be in control of Kitchanga. Where did the Congolese Army run to this time? And who was it, really, who shelled the hospital? Watch this site.

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