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As Mali Resolution Pushes 30 Days to 45, Non ECOWAS Role Still Unclear

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 12 -- After months of hand-wringing about the coup in Mali and takeover of the north by insurgents, the UN Security Council on Friday afternoon passed a resolution which still does not authorize military force.

  As drafted by France, it said that a plan for such action by the West African regional group ECOWAS should be submitted in 30 days.

   But several of Mali's neighbors are not members of ECOWAS, notably Algeria, Chad and Mauritania. And US Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson has started citing the slow process used in Somalia as a model.

   Ultimately 30 days became 45 days -- one Council told Inner City Press, unlikely anything gets done in 30 days -- and there's a reference to getting the African Union -- that is, non ECOWAS members -- involved as well.

    On his way in to the 15-0 vote, French Ambassador Gerard Araud was asked about the change. He said he wouldn't discuss the negotiations, then called them more technical than political. Don't tell Johnny Carson.

  Some argued for this adoption, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, to allow more specific planning at the October 15 meeting of the Defense Ministers of the EU - fresh off their Nobel Peace Prize win.

 An African Permanent Representative, leaving the vote, told Inner City Press bitterly, now they are in the war making mode.

   Despite protests outside, the Security Council also 15-0 rubber-stamped another one year extension of its mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH.

At the day's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press again asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky why the claim that the UN introduced cholera into Haiti has been pending so long without action in Ban's Office of Legal Affairs. Nesirky called the timing normal in a legal proceeding. Really? Watch this site.

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