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On CAR, Araud Denies August Inaction Due to Vacation, Haiti Up to Ban

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 10 -- A Central African Republic resolution was belatedly adopted by the UN Security Council on Thursday, after more than two months of delay. Afterward Inner City Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud why no action had been taken back in August. Video here, from Minute 3:58.

Araud said it was silly to suggest that France wasn't working hard. He blamed the delay on the obscurity of CAR, that it is not on the front pages of American newspapers.

But as Inner City Press reported in August, from multiple sources inside and outside the Council, the United States was said to expect a CAR resolution in August, after their presidency ended in July. But, the sources -- including in the French mission -- said, France explained that nothing would be done in August because of vacations, including Araud's.

France "has the pen" on CAR, as it does on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and other parts of its colonial heritage. When it won't draft, nothing happens.

 On DRC, France abused its "pen holding" to chosen which pens (or laptops) would go cover the Security Council's trip not only to DRC but also to Uganda (led by the UK), Ethiopia and, notably, Rwanda.

  Rwanda was not consulted on which journalists had asked to go on the trip, and which France hand picked and which it banned. This is colonialism.

  After Araud spoke, Inner City Press asked the outgoing representative of the Central African Republic what he thought of Araud's saying the situation in CAR is not an emergency, so there would be no force like "Serval" in Mali, but rather perhaps one like "Licorne" (Unicorn) in Cote d'Ivoire.

  The CAR representative diplomatically said that since CAR is such a "foreign country," they have to take what they can get and hope for more in the future. They call it FranceAfrique.

  Inner City Press also asked Araud about the lawsuit filed against the UN for bringing cholera to Haiti. Araud replied, that's your assessment, that it's pretty clear the UN brought the cholera. Yes, it is. And of doctors and clinicians and even those who issued the UN's first, whitewash report.

  Araud said defense of the lawsuit is up to Ban Ki-moon. When Inner City Press asked about Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe saying the UN has "moral responsibility" for cholera, Araud called the phrase "vague." We'll have more on this. Watch this site.


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